After two surgeries in three years for an inguinal hernia, Steven D. Krauza accepted the pain. He probably shouldn't have, but he did. Multiple surgeons had told him that he did not have a hernia anymore and suggested that he stretch more before activity.
Bike rides from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia, 480-mile trek. Nine Tough Mudders. A 100-mile trail run. It was after that run in October 2017 that Steven's pain became more pronounced and began affecting his normal day-to-day living.
Three months later, in January 2018, Steven met Dr. William C. Meyers and the Vincera Institute. For this trip from Erie to Philadelphia, Steven drove. Bike rides simply were out of the question at the point.
A dozen or so years after his first diagnosis of a mild inguinal hernia without any bulge, Steven received what he called "the gift of hope" from Dr. Meyers: bilateral core muscle tears. He also discovered bilateral labral tears.
"The news was music to my ears," Steven said. "Finally someone officially could identify the problem and more importantly had the skills and technique to fix the problem."
He had surgery in March 2018. For Steven, it was more than just a medical procedure. It was a giant exhale and the start of something new for the chiropractor.
"Dr. Meyers and his staff gave me my life back," Steven said. "I'm 40 years old. I feel like I've been given a gift of life by this man. It is a gift I will not squander."
Steven started his rehab the day after surgery, following the protocol to the letter. He progressed as expected and resumed activities as the recovery guidelines suggested to advance to the next level. He credits his adherence to the guidelines as a crucial component of his recovery.
"Throughout my recovery process, Dr. Meyers was readily available for questions and answers," Steven said. "If I sent him a text message with a question or concern, he was prompt in his response. His personal attention, his personal concern made all the difference in my recovery. The questions I had for him must have been common questions he has received over the years. He was 100 percent accurate in the answers he provided. It was calming and comforting."
Steven recalled the first time he went for a run after being cleared to resume that activity.
"I laughed, giggled and cried at the same time," he said. "I knew instantly I was better. I knew I'd made the right decision to have this surgery. I am now and will forever be a walking, talking billboard for Dr. Meyers and the Vincera Institute."
Within seven weeks of surgery, Steven was playing nine holes of golf. Within three months, he ran a 25K trail race. A month later, he rode 100 miles on his bike. A month after that, Tough Mudder.
Before being diagnosed with this core muscle injury by Dr. Meyers, Steven felt his quality of life was declining. Not just over the course of months. We're talking years. Years. That's not ideal. That's also a thing of the past now for Steven.
"My life has been returned to me," Steven said. "Vincera Institute from the initial evaluation, MRI, pre-op, operation, post-op, and rehab experience is a top-notch facility. They are highly professional, yet down to earth, compassionate people. I cannot thank them enough for allowing me to return to my activities without pain. I am able to perform at a level I have not been able to perform in many years."