Captain Mike Mitchell is a former Mr Universe, former Fitness World Champion turned professional actor whose film credits include Braveheart and Gladiator.
Following a nasty fall on his yacht, Mike travelled for BHR surgery with Mr McMinn in November 2010. Within 12 months, he’s back to fitness, sailing and starring in action movies.
We caught up with Mike on the set of his new movie Rose. “This is a very special movie for me,” he says. “It’s a real hard hitting drama that’s based on a true story. There’s not so many stunts on this one but we’ve been doing 16, 17 and 18 hour days and to be honest, the hip is the last thing I think about.”
Mike explains things were quite different before surgery, “It was a constant gnawing hip pain and it wasn’t going away. One day I fell on the yacht and it was excruciating.”
Mike’s GP referred him to a specialist in Istanbul who explained he had, “some pretty severe damage and they were going to have to carry out a full hip replacement as soon as possible. But he went on to say that I wouldn’t be able to sail for 12 months, that I wouldn’t be able to do any fitness. He also said I’d have to forget about an action movie I had booked in.”
Happily, Mike found an alternative treatment that would allow him to be highly active following surgery. “My friend advised me that he’d had a ‘hip resurfacing’ done in Birmingham and he was back skiing less than two years later,” he recalls. “So I realised there was light at the end of the tunnel and it was time to explore.”
Mike was thrilled by the speed of his recovery explaining, “Amazingly enough, 4 days after surgery I really did feel so full of energy. The pain had gone completely. I expected it to be a lot worse from the pain aspect and the mobility. But it was unreal.”
Mike was back to the gym within weeks, which he admits, “Was a little bit stupid. But I felt fantastic. Six weeks later I flew to Gibraltar and brought a friend’s yacht back to Turkey which was about 1,875 miles.” The journey wasn’t easy on his hip either. “We hit two periods of very bad weather, into storm force 10. Which means you get thrown around a hell of a lot! Many people said [the hip’s] too weak, it won’t stand up to the punishment. But I had no problem at all. Absolutely none.
“My whole life has been about finding the best. So with the greatest respect to all the other consultants that carry out the procedure, it made logical sense to me to go back to the teacher. To go to the man that is the world expert - Derek McMinn. The whole operation seemed so logical in my mind.”
Thanks to his BHR, Mike’s back in action. “It’s allowed me to go back to making movies within a very short space of time. I did a film called Revenge in the middle of February. The role called for an immense amount of stunt work. I went right to the end of it doing a lot of jumps and dives and didn’t think about the hip once.”
In Autumn 2011 Mike featured in Hip & Knee News, you can download the newsletter here.