What is it like taking care of professional athletes?
It's exciting. It's really my passion. I'm a sports medicine guy and I'm a fan. I love watching tennis and caring for the guys, and I've developed some nice relationships with them over the years.
How do tennis players compare to the other athletes you have worked with in your career (Boston Bruins, New England Patriots, athletes in the 1996 Summer Olympics and 2003 World Figure Skating Championships)?
Tennis, you see more sprains and strains. Back injuries, ankle injuries. There's not a lot of injuries. They're very well-conditioned athletes and they take great care of themselves, but we're there if they need us. Obviously, hockey and football are contact sports. You're definitely busier as a team physician in hockey and football.
Is there an athlete whom you especially enjoyed working with?
Leander Paes really is an outstanding individual and a consummate professional, and I've really liked working with him. Years and years ago, I took care of [Bruins legend] Bobby Orr, so that was fun. It was during my training, I was the fellow and helped with one of his knee surgeries. He's a real icon in Boston, so he stands out in my mind. He is just such a nice guy. He had so many knee surgeries and unfortunately it cut his career short.
How has your profession changed for yourself and the athletes over time?
The technology has evolved rapidly. The techniques are better. Surgeries are as minimally invasive as possible and the rehab has accelerated, so we're getting athletes back sooner. I think they're in better condition now than they were years ago. They're bigger, faster, stronger and in better shape.
- Steve Contorno