Meeting Dr. Mehdi & Dr. Ben-Zev: Specialty Orthopedic Surgeons

Orthopedic Surgeons provide specialty services for spine, hip and knee problems


Healthy Connections is published by Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospital.

From tumor removal and fracture repair to joint replacement, Orthopedic Surgeons can perform a variety of procedures. Within this specialty field of medicine, some surgeons have honed in even further with advanced training to tackle severe and specific cases. Froedtert South is proud to have built a well-rounded team of Orthopedic Surgeons to care for the vast needs of our growing community. We would like to introduce you to the newest members of our world class surgical team: Dr. Syed Mehdi, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and Dr. Jonathan Ben-Zev, Orthopedic Surgeon- Hip and Knee Specialist.


Syed Mehdi, M.D. Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Why did you choose to work at Froedtert South?

I grew up in Southeastern Wisconsin, and my biggest goal with my training was to come back to my community and family. I also wanted to live and work in a smaller community so that I could know my patients and colleagues. I enjoy recognizing people at the grocery store and gas station. This is a place I can call home and a community I can grow with. I am proud to be part of the outstanding team at Froedtert South, and I am excited that they are attracting diverse specialties like mine to this non-metropolitan area.

What inspired you to choose this profession, and what do you enjoy most about it?

I began my training pursuing orthopedic sports medicine; however, after being exposed to the dramatic recovery of patients after spinal surgeries, I was fascinated! Learning minimally invasive surgical techniques really inspired me. Life changing work can be done through a 1cm incision, and the patient can go home within hours. It’s incredible! Spine anatomy intrigues me, and I love this challenging, constantly evolving field. After the common cold, back pain is the second most common reason patients seek medical attention. Being an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon enables me to provide care for a vast array of patients from pediatrics to geriatrics. I like that this profession has both clinical and surgical aspects, too. In the clinic, I witness how debilitating a patient’s back pain is to their quality of life. Then, after surgery, I see their shock as their pain has been relieved. I enjoy how instantly rewarding that is.

How do your specialty skills help local patients?

Two major aspects of my practice are that I utilize minimally invasive and robotic techniques and that I treat every patient like family. Minimally invasive procedures are frequently same day surgeries. This results in far less time in the hospital for patients and much less pain and recovery time overall. I specialize in spine surgeries that address arm or leg pain, arm or leg weakness, debilitating back or neck pain, fusions, and reconstructions. I also address pain management. I was taught in my fellowship to treat every patient as if I were caring for my own mother or father, and that is what I do. I am happy to be taking care of the people of this community and want patients to know when they see me that I truly care about them and that I have their best interests at heart.

What does being part of the Froedtert South Orthopedic Team mean to you?

Being part of this comprehensive neural- spinal team at Froedtert South means that I can take on more difficult cases right here in Southeastern Wisconsin. Excellent teamwork and physician collaboration were important factors in my selection of what hospital to work at. Easy access to the hospital, physical therapy being in the same building as the clinic, and convenience for patients all matter to me. Froedtert South provides these wish list items, and I’m grateful to be part of the team. Being here also means that I get to be in Wisconsin, which I love. It means a lot to me to enjoy family time, cheer on Wisconsin sports teams, and live and work in a community where I get to know my patients.


Jonathan Ben-Zev, M.D. Orthopedic Surgeon- Hip and Knee Specialist

Why did you choose to work at Froedtert South?

One of my professional goals would be to work at one hospital for the duration of my career, and I can see myself establishing roots here at Froedtert South. My family and my wife’s family live in the greater area, and Southeastern Wisconsin is a wonderful place for us to live and work. I was proactive in my job search. I knew I wanted to be part of a supportive and forward-thinking hospital system that was investing in technology and embracing medical advancements. From the moment I interviewed at Froedtert South I have felt incredibly supported.

What inspired you to choose this profession, and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am very fortunate to have had inspirational mentors and great teachers along my path. I always knew that I loved Orthopedics, but when I started my residency, I did not anticipate choosing a career in hip and knee replacements. I thought it would be too repetitive- hip, knee, hip, knee. My attending physician on hip/knee services was such a great educator that I couldn’t help but enjoy hip and knee surgeries. While I do like the biomechanical element, I most importantly enjoy helping people walk again. I view it as a privilege to be able to help others, and it is so rewarding to see patients walking better after surgery. Seeing my patients happy is the best part of my job! I enjoy orthopedics because I see patients over many years, and this leads to strong relationships. I typically see patients more frequently the first couple months after a hip or knee replacement, but I believe it is important to continue to see patients annually. The longevity of the care given makes this specialty stand out to me.

How do your specialty skills help local patients?

Most Orthopedic Surgeons can perform routine hip and knee replacements. What my extra training brings to Froedtert South is the ability to perform procedures on complex deformities and revisions on a hip or knee replacement. Revisions can be needed because of infection or loosening of the implant. If a patient with a hip replacement falls and breaks bones around the implant, this could also require a revision. Such a situation is more challenging than a typical fracture and is where my additional training comes into play. Froedtert South strives to provide comprehensive care for patients, and now we can proudly offer complete care of hip and knee replacements. If we sold cars, we would not want to tell you to go to multiple different places to service various parts of the car. In a similar way, if we do a hip or knee replacement here, we want to ensure that we can provide complete care for that implant and not have to send a patient elsewhere. With the world class team of Orthopedic Surgeons at Froedtert South, from pediatrics to geriatrics, we can tackle the big cases and provide comprehensive care right here, close to home, making it convenient for our community.

What does being part of the Froedtert South Orthopedic Team mean to you?

Being part of this team means that I am surrounded by skilled and dedicated surgeons, nurses, and support staff. It means that I am supported in the growth of my specialty, and that I can make a positive impact on this community. I am so grateful to be part of this team, and I enjoy working here. It is also nice that the RecPlex, where I play on a men’s ice hockey team, is so close. At this point in my life, I’m officially on the “Geezer League,” and having a great time playing. Working at Froedtert South also provides the opportunity for my wife to be my colleague. My wife, Courtney Johnson MSOT, CHT, is a Certified Hand Therapist at Froedtert South. Courtney and I enjoy snowboarding together. From an Orthopedic Surgeon and an Occupational Therapist, our advice is, wear your helmets and wrist guards!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Prairie Ridge Orthopedic Clinic at (262) 656-3590.