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Heal Your Hips How to Prevent Hip Surgery-and What to Do If You Need It
Robert Klapper, M. D. and Lynda Huey
It was basketball great Wilt Chamberlain who, following his hip surgery, introduced Lynda Huey to me as "the most knowledgeable water trainer in the world." Lynda's and my collaboration has been terrific, because we are both passionate about our daily work, both committed to steering our patients to conservative care.
Here's how perfect a match we've been: Let's say you place a vibrating steel tuning fork, the density of which is 100 hertz, next to an 80-hertz tuning fork. The 80-hertz fork will remain silent. But if you bring close another tuning fork of 100 hertz, it will, without being struck, begin to vibrate. It has responded to the perfect match.
Lynda and I have been like those two tuning forks throughout the process of writing this book. We've taken turns inspiring and uplifting each other-keeping each other vibrating at 100 hertz. Lynda's notes for our book sparkled with the buoyant flow of body and water in her pool-her elixir of life. My own notes ran to dozens of pages about patients.
Many come to me because their doctors have flatly told them, "I'm the doctor, you're the patient." My answer: for me there's nothing better than patients who participate in getting themselves well. I'm delighted when they bring along popular articles on health and fitness to discuss during office visits or when they choose books to take home from my library. More power to them! And when we talk about their hips, I try to avoid jargon. I want to demystify their loss of mobility, their decreased strength, and loss of function. I use examples, anecdotes, X-rays, quick drawings, and photographs as I encourage their understanding of the anatomy and physiology of a hip, that elegant piece of biological machinery.
"I love to operate," I say after listening to patients describe their pain. "But I'd rather we exhaust all conservative care to get you back to health."
Back to golf, tennis, running, skiing, pickup basketball, beach volleyball, bicycling-so many of my patients have their return to sports as a goal. And back to construction work, driving a bus, managing a restaurant, repairing computers-these recent patients of mine have sought to regain strength and mobility for their jobs. Most of my diagnoses lead to treatment in a pool, where those with arthritis, congenital hip problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and even more complicated hip problems become instant athletes and unhobbled workers as they walk, run, push, pull, bend, squat, lunge, jump, and lift themselves easily. Indeed, they can practice all their moves in the glove of water that protects them from pain.
People call my office from around the country, and some even fly in for consultations or surgery. Patients who want to learn Lynda's pool program often do the same. But not everyone can come to California to visit us, so Lynda and I have written this book as the next best thing. Heal Your Hips gives you a chance to learn about your hips, seek a correct diagnosis, begin positive treatment, and do everything possible to prevent hip surgery. Nothing could make us happier.
-Robert C. Klapper, M. D. Beverly Hills, California
Twenty-five years ago I sprinted for one of America's fastest relay teams. Twenty years ago I coached college athletes. Fifteen years ago my athletic injuries and those of my Olympic athlete sled us into a pool for water training. There we pioneered the use of exercising in water to sustain fitness. Water embraced and surrounded us as we went through the fitness programs that I soon compiled for my first book, The Waterpower Workout. What all of us thought at the time was that we'd simply found a way to stay in shape while injuries healed. We didn't expect this added bounty: through our efforts in the pool, we were speeding the healing of injuries.
By the late 1980s, heroes from many sports made headlines by using Waterpower for their amazing recoveries. Physical therapists across America began to add water exercising to their programs, and when the media turned a spotlight on my articles in national magazines and on my exercise video, I began a second book, this one to include water therapies: The Complete Waterpower Workout Book. The book led to my work with Mike Shapow, P. T. For him I toned down my pro-grams, making them manageable for general patients, people far less physically capable than athletes. I devised easy exercises so those with serious disabilities could begin at their own level. Yet I always took my drive for excellence into the pool with me and my patients. I expected every one of them to strive for top fitness, flexibility, and good form-for optimum performance. I also expected many of them to add land exercises to their rehabilitation programs. These were devised and assigned to patients by Mike Shapow, my partner at Total Aquatic Rehab. Dr. Robert Klapper and I met in 1993, shortly after he performed hip arthroscopy on my friend Wilt Chamberlain. I had helped Wilt with rehabilitation in his pool after each of his surgeries: hip, knee, and elbow. Wilt told Dr. Klapper of his intention to work with me in the water, and before long, Dr. Klapper was sending dozens of patients into my pool to prevent hip surgery. In turn I observed him at work in his operating room; together we studied X-rays in a view box. I learned why my programs were successful: if patients regained strength and flexibility in the muscles surrounding the hip it wouldn't matter if the interior of the joint was normal. As long as patients could function in t heir daily lives without undue pain they wouldn't need surgery. To share that concept with as many hip patients as possible, we undertook this book. No one wants to live disabled and in pain, and hip pain is especially troublesome, because it leads to inactivity, which leads to numerous other health problems that cause further misery. Our exercise programs have been astonishingly successful, sparing many of our patients the surgical procedures described in Chapters 11 and 12. We hope you will commit to the self-help to follow.
-Lynda Huey Santa Monica, California