Our Athletes

North EastMidwest

Professional, college, and amateur athletes, as well as people suffering from undiagnosed pain, travel from across the world to Vincera for treatment.

Patient Testimonials

  • STEVEN D KRAUZA, 41

    I had suffered from bilateral core muscle injuries for years. I probably suffered from the injuries a lot longer than I realized like most of the people within this group. It is a terribly frustrating injury to experience. The lack of understanding, the lack of awareness, and the lack of effective treatments for this condition created a feeling of isolation and desperation. In January 2018, I met with Dr. William Meyers from Vincera Institute. He confirmed what I had anticipated: bilateral core muscle tears. He also discovered I suffered from bilateral labral tears. The news was music to my ears. Finally someone officially identify the problem and more importantly had the skills and technique to fix the problem. I knew going into this appointment with Dr. Meyers the surgery would be an out of pocket expense. I had secured a line of credit through a local bank to pay for the surgery. I had bilateral core muscle repair surgery performed on Thursday, March 8, 2018. I did not have the bilateral labral tears repaired at this time. I had mesh removed from my left groin region due to two previous inguinal hernia repairs. The surgery itself was considered successful at the time. I experienced no complications during the surgery. I had a good post-op visit and PT session the following day. I went home to Erie, PA, the day after surgery. In the early stages of recovery I focused on preventing scar tissue build up from happening. About two weeks after surgery, I had one incidence in which I felt a big pop and subsequent pain on my right side. This pain persisted for about two days. Direct text messaging with Dr. Meyers himself assured me this was a normal experience with scar tissue breaking up. I adhered to the rehab protocol provided by the Vincera Rehab department to a T. Within seven weeks post surgery, I was swinging a golf club and playing nine holes of golf. In June (3 months post op) I ran a 25K trail race. In July (4 months post op) I rode a century ride on my bike. In August (5 months post op) I ran my 9th Tough Mudder. In October (7 months post op) I ran a 50K trail race. In November (8 months post op) I ran my fastest 5K ever (under 24 minutes). In December (9 months post op) I ran my fastest ever road half marathon (1 hr 50 minutes). Over the course of the year I kept getting stronger and faster. I share this only to provide a realistic expectation of your progress over the course of the year. Recovery from bilateral core surgery goes in stages. All combined, I ran a total of 375 miles. I cycled 1,250 miles. I performed close to 54,000 push ups and 27,000 pull ups in 2018. March through May were lean months in terms of overall activities and intensity. The stronger I became the more confident I became. The more confident I became the more I attempted and ultimately achieved. Bilateral core muscle repair is an uncomfortable recovery in the early stages following surgery. People who have suffered from this condition for years are constantly afraid of re-injuring themselves. People who have had this surgery are constantly fearful they may “undo” the surgery. I know because those were and still are to a small extent the emotions I battled through. I assure you, with continued patience, sticking with the rehab protocols, and listening to your body you too will regain confidence. This past year hasn’t been without its challenges. I still experience discomfort along my pubic bone and inner groin area if I over do it. I believe any lingering discomfort I feel is related to the bilateral labral tears and for the fact that I have had bilateral core surgery. I tend to feel more aggravations when I do extensive ab exercises. I also tend to get tightness in my adductors after sprints. There were several key components to my recovery process and maintenance I’d like to share. Patience is probably the number one thing I can advise. Be patient with the process. Ultra athletes are driven and focused. Being anything than 100% is difficult for ultra athletes to accept. I assure you, being patient will help. Secondly, therapeutic massage of the adductors, glutes, hamstrings, and lower abdominal muscles was essential to my experience. Therapeutic massage was and is painful in the affected areas. What I learned early on in the recovery process was I wasn’t just recovering from surgery. I was also recovering from YEARS of compensation patterns that had developed due to the bilateral tears in adductors and rectus abdominis. I think recovering from the compensation patterns was more difficult than recovering from the surgery. Massage was essential in helping break up old muscle patterns. The intensity and depth of the massages evolved with the stages of my healing from surgery. Thirdly, regular stretching of the adductors, glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors was a must. If I neglected my stretching, my body let me know it. Improved performance is a good motivator to maintaining a regular stretching protocol. As I increased my activity levels and demands on my body, the importance of stretching was even more evident. Fourthly, chiropractic adjustments to my pelvis helped provide alignment and improved body mechanics. Lastly, I added cupping into the mix of therapies. Cupping is great for increasing circulation, breaking of myofascia, and reducing inflammation within the affected regions. I used cupping on the incision scars after about 10 weeks post op. I wanted to make sure the scars were strong enough to handle the cupping. The cupping helped reduce the swelling of the scars and improved the pliability around the scars. As I mentioned above, I had to pay out of pocket for the surgery. I used a line of credit to pay for the services. Vincera had submitted the surgery to my insurance (UPMC Health Plan) anticipating it would not be covered. To my surprise, in May (2 months post op) I started receiving EOB’s in the mail saying a portion of my surgery was being covered at the out-of-network rate. In the end, I ended up paying 50% of the self pay rate prices. Vincera Institute sent me a check for the amount of overpayment once the insurance payments were applied to my account. This was a fantastic and unexpected surprise! My experience with Vincera Institute, Dr. Meyers, the scheduling staff, the nurses, the receptionists, and billing specialists was always beyond my expectations. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone who is battling this condition.

  • Tim, 48

    Just wanted to say thank you for everything,  my hips and abs feel better than they have in a long time. All the exercises are going well, beginning some weight training and its feel great! YOU AND YOUR TEAM ARE THE BEST! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING,  YOU HAVE GIVEN ME MY LIFE BACK.”  

  • Michael Pirolli, 17

    My son Michael Pirolli had surgery in May of 2013.

    I just wanted to let the Vincera Institute know that Michael has been offered a full athletic scholarship to Bucknell University. This could not have been possible without all of you. He is doing very well and enjoying his senior year pain free! Thank you for all you have done.

    The Pirolli Family

  • Wayne Hardwick, MD,

    Dear Dr. Meyers:

    When I saw you about a year ago I had been out of work for four and a half months because of pain. Prior to that, I had worked as an emergency physician for 33 years without ever missing a day. I had been president of my county medical society, president of my state medical associations and had received many awards for my professional activities. But because of pain I had no reasonable expectation of continuing to work in the ER. I thought my career was finished. After your surgery, I was able to return to work in one month and I continue to work full time in a very busy emergency room with a census of about 300 patients a day. Thanks for your help.