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Lani Yap: Bilateral Hip Replacement in Indonesia
 
Name : Lani Yap
Age : 49 years
Date of Surgery : March 20 2010
Surgeon : Dr Lo Ngai Nung
Hospital : Gleneagles Hospital Singapore
 
Dear Naomi,
 
laniI came across your website while I was doing research for my then upcoming total hip replacement surgery. Your website was a deciding factor in my decision to go ahead with the surgery. It gave me the optimism and the hope that I can recover and dance again post op. I am also medically trained, having gotten my medical degree in Sydney Australia though I am no longer a practicing physician. I have my own business which I do out of home. Although I am not a professional dancer, I have been dancing for quite a few years. I am a serious salsa dancer, having competed and performed throughout Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong) and have won a few competitions both at home (Indonesia) and abroad (Hong Kong). My team and I won the Asia Pacific Salsa competition (team division) in Hong Kong in 2009 and 2010. I also do Latin ballroom and jazz ballet.
 
I have bilateral hip dysplasia which I did not know about till 2004 when my hip started locking after long periods of sitting. I would have to hobble around after getting up from a sitting position, for a few minutes before I could walk normally again. When I went to an orthopaedic surgeon to get it checked out, he told me of my condition. I had a cartilage tear and a cyst in my Right hip joint and there were definite sign of osteoarthritis with narrowing of the joint space. I was told that I would eventually have to have a hip replacement. My initial reaction was one of disbelief and anger, and I remember thinking to myself that I was too young to get a hip replacement.
 
laniSo I tried alternative therapies including acupuncture. I stopped dancing while undergoing the acupuncture treatment (about 3 months)and it got better for a while. I started dancing again and did not stop despite the fact that the pain got steadily worse. I began to take painkillers Nsaids like Arcoxia and Celebrex. Towards the middle of 2009 I was taking NSAIDs every day. Walking and running was a big problem and walking uphill was even worse. I would have to stop every 100 metres or so. My range of movement began to be limited. I could not bend over to do up my dance shoes anymore nor could I weight bear on my R side longer than a few seconds. Yoga poses were definitely out and during jazz class I could not flex my hip beyond 120 degrees. However, when I was dancing salsa I forgot about the pain till after practice or the performance. I guess the endorphins and adrenaline kept me going. Our team still managed to win the team championship in Hong Kong one month before my surgery despite my bad hip. However, the walking became such a problem that after the competition I decided I better get something done about the hip and so I consulted the orthopaedic surgeons again. I consulted 4 different surgeons and showed each of them a video of my dancing and asked them whether I could dance again like that post op. 2 of them said "NO" that I could only walk, swim or cycle as exercise. One said YES but a gentler form of dancing that I would unlikely be able to squat or do the acrobatics which are part of the salsa routine. Only one doctor said YES but it might take up to 9 months to a year before I got my full range of motion back and though there would still be a risk that I would not get the full range back. He recommended a ceramic on metal implant with the biggest head possible (a 54mm diameter head) to provide stability. Having read your website some months before, I felt encouraged and decided to go ahead with the surgery.
 
lanix-ray I was in hospital for 4 days and the surgery and recovery process went on flawlessly. I had no post op pain whatsoever, and even though I had a spinal pethidine pump, I never had to use it. I started having physical therapy on the 2nd post op day and by day four I was discharged. I used crutches for 6 weeks and started 2-3x weekly physical therapy. I had an excellent therapist who combined traditional therapy with pilates excercises. After 6 weeks the crutches were discarded and I could already weight bear fully on the operated leg. I started dancing again after 8 weeks post op. Even though the range of motion was somewhat limited it was such a joy to be able to dance again. Flexion came back the fastest whereas external rotation with flexion (at the same time) took the longest. By 14 weeks post op I was performing again doing the splits, spins and back flips that are part of the routine. I have not had to modify anything so far. If I cannot do it I stop and do not force anything beyond what my hip can do. 5th position is fine and at 11 months post op I can now sit cross-legged almost normally (about 90%).
 
You can see my 14 week performance on You Tube http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qg9WPlzprw. The keywords are: Salsa. Lani and Reyno 14 weeks post op right total hip replacement June 25 2010
 
I sent this link to my surgeon who was so impressed that he sent it on to Johnson and Johnson Medical who manufacture the prosthesis. I am now working with them to make a promotional product video.
 
I feel so blessed that everything worked out so well for me. No one least of all myself expected the recovery to be rapid and so total. I had told my team I would have to rest for about 9 months and there I was performing again after only 14 weeks! I hope my story helps in some small way other dancers or non dancers who are facing this life changing decision.
 
Yours Sincerely,
Lani Yap
 
Jakarta, Inbdonesia, 6 February 2011
 
Postscript: Lani write (2/17/2011)
I sent this link to my surgeon who was so impressed that he sent it on to Johnson & Johnson Pte Ltd of Singapore who supplied the prosthesis. I am now working with them to make a video about my experience with hip replacement surgery.
 
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