Hip Injury and Healing Through Weightlifting.
Barrence Baytos (37-year-old soft tissue therapy specialist)
I was a professional ballet dancer for over twenty years. I danced with such companies as Ballet West, San Francisco Ballet, Washington Ballet, and, as a guest artist, companies throughout America and Europe. Then, ten years ago, I injured myself in a ballet class, and that ended my dance career. Initially, my injury was diagnosed as a simple muscle tear of the right gluteus minimus, which had become inflamed. What the MRI didn't show was a tear of the labrum and internal bleeding around the right hip joint. After repeated visits to doctors, I was told that there was nothing I could do.
I developed a limp, which began to wear away the auricular cartilage and created severe bone spurs along the bottom and top of the joint. Even the neck of the thigh bone had spurs. The doctors said that my only hope was a hip replacement. I felt deep despair, as if my life had ended. Dancing was my life, my passion, and my identity.
Not wanting to have an artificial hip, I searched for answers by pursuing a career in sports medicine and tried every holistic method I could find. But eventually I stopped exercising and began indulging myself with food. As a dancer, I had weighed 170 pounds. Now I shot up to 230.
I was introduced to Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek through Joe Carbone, Kobe Bryant's trainer, who told me that they were world champion Olympic weightlifters. I had seen the sport on TV, but in America they only show heavyweight lifters, so I never had a chance to see the body types of the lighter weight classes.
One day, into my office walked two of the most beautiful and physically proportioned people I had ever seen. During our meeting, Aniela noticed an old picture of me as a dancer. "Is that you?" she asked. I sheepishly replied yes and began to tell them how I had hurt myself.
I immediately trusted Jerzy and Aniela's integrity and began working with them the following week. They adapted their Happy Body program to my lack of mobility caused by the spurring. Within three months, I was down to 165 pounds. My mobility in the hip joint had increased, and I gained three millimeters of cartilage.
Jerzy and Aniela soon began exposing me to Olympic-style weightlifting. At first, because of the spurring, I was limited to lifts from above the knees. Then Jerzy suggested that I get an operation to remove the bone spurs on my hip. I found a wonderful surgeon by the name of Joel Matta and began exploring the viability of having the spurs removed. On June 26, 2002, I had the operation. Dr. Matta removed 11/2 cups of spurring from the hip joint, broke the neck of the thigh bone, and reattached it with screws. My recovery was swift, thanks to the prehabilitation program that I had followed before the surgery, thanks to Aniela and Jerzy.
It is now more than a year since the surgery, and my recovery has been nothing less than astounding. I can squat with a weight equal to my body weight and have resumed Olympic weightlifting training with added mobility. Jerzy and Aniela's integration of functional rehabilitation into my recovery has allowed me to return to dancing without any pain in my hip!
Traditional physical therapy could not have helped me because its exercises are designed to facilitate individual muscle groups while ignoring the rest of the body. Aniela and Jerzy's program coordinates the entire body during a movement. They prepare the body for the rigors of daily life and beyond. Their intelligence, experience, and patience allow athletes to return to their full potential. I cannot thank them enough.