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Professional Dancer Turns to Good Shepherd After Hip Replacement

February 17, 2017

Angeline Gloria grew up in a home where health was a priority. The New York City native’s father, Stewart Wolf, MD, discovered the Roseto effect, examining the low incidence of heart disease in Roseto, Pennsylvania, a close-knit town inhabited by Italian immigrants. A professional dancer, Angeline shared her father’s straightforward, common sense approach to health, so when her left hip started to bother her, she thought she could work through it.

Despite the pain, the instructor at the Totts Gap Arts Institute kept dancing and teaching classes. She has danced for more than 50 years and for 20 years on the international stage and was trained to know her body. Thinking the problem was muscular, she tried meditation and worked on improving her alignment. This brought temporary relief, but the pain returned and eventually got worse.

“I would try to massage it, but I could never get deep enough to reach the pain,” says Angeline.

When the pain started to move down her leg, a friend suggested Angeline see an orthopedist for an evaluation. A diagnostic imaging study revealed that, while her right hip was in perfect shape, there was no cartilage in the left, leaving her bone on bone. Diagnosis in hand, Angeline again took matters into her own hands, trying Pilates to strengthen the muscles around the hip for support. Again, a temporary fix. However, she kept up with Pilates once a week right up to the surgery, a wise choice.

As someone who had been fit and healthy her entire life, the thought of spending the next 40 years restricted and in pain and knowing the physical consequences of compensation convinced Angeline to consider a hip replacement. It was a huge decision for someone who had never taken medication other than the occasional aspirin, but none of the conservative measures had helped including cortisone. In December of 2015, she received a new titanium joint.

Thanks to Angeline’s excellent health and fitness, the procedure went smoothly. Within three weeks, she was off pain medication and began therapy at Good Shepherd Physical Therapy – Bangor. Her goal was not just to feel better and dance again, but to dance and move the way she did before surgery.

“My Good Shepherd therapists tailored therapy to my needs and goals,” explained Angeline. “The fact that I am a dancer is part of my identity.  I was so worried I would lose that. Good Shepherd helped me to understand what happened to my hip and to deal with my eagerness to recover fully. ”

Under the guidance of her therapists, Dennis Duerring, PT, DPT, ATC, and Rachel Snyder, PT, DPT, Angeline did a lot of work to address her strength, mobility, balance, and conditioning.  As she began to improve, Angeline slowly resumed her activities. A short seven weeks after her surgery, she was on a trampoline for short periods, gradually building her endurance.  She slowly returned to the dancing she loves, and one month after finishing physical therapy, she gave her first performance.

“I am eternally grateful to Good Shepherd,” says Angeline. “I had so many questions and concerns about healing. They respected the fact that I had unique goals and supported me every step of the way. I so appreciate my experience at Good Shepherd.”

Photo credit: William Cohea