After Hip Replacement, Dan Lawson is Back to the Ballroom

Dan Lawson is thrilled to be back to competitive ballroom dancing with his wife, Cathy. Dan Lawson could not imagine life without a tango or a fox trot. But with degenerative arthritis of the hips, the bright lights of the ballroom had dimmed.

“My wife and I have been dancing at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio for years, and we competed in numerous ballroom dance competitions,” says Dan, 61, of Malvern, PA. “But, with the pain in my hips, my range of motion was limited and it was uncomfortable to do the dance moves.” He also wasn’t able to participate in other hobbies like fishing, golfing and paddle tennis.

Ten years ago, Dan had his first hip replacement surgery in Philadelphia and had a difficult recuperation. “I had to use crutches and then a cane for a few months, and I experienced quite a bit of pain,” he says. “It was a long recuperation for me.”

The second time around, Dan and his wife wanted to make sure he had the best surgeon performing the procedure that would be right for him. “My wife and I interviewed several orthopedic surgeons, and we both agreed on Dr. Gregory Klingenstein of the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute,” says Dan. “He explained what he thought was the best procedure for me. He was kind, caring and very knowledgeable.”

For more than 3 years, Dr. Klingenstein has been performing a minimally invasive hip surgery that uses CT-based navigation. This makes him one of the most experienced surgeons using this cutting-edge technique in the Northeastern U.S. This image-guided approach delivers precise component placement, which maximizes the life of the new joint and minimizes the risk of complications and revision surgery.

Dan had his hip replacement surgery in June 2014. Minimally invasive hip replacement usually requires the surgeon to cut muscles and other soft tissue at the back of the hip to access the hip joint. Dr. Klingenstein was able to stretch the muscles rather than cut them, which minimizes soft tissue and muscle damage. A total artificial hip device was surgically implanted to replace the damaged bone within the hip joint.  Dan reports that recuperation was drastically different from the first time around, especially since the muscles were not cut. After minimally invasive hip replacement, the bachata was no match for Dan Lawson and his dance partner, Kellie.

“I had the best care at Virtua,” says Dan. “The joint replacement team made sure I was comfortable during my stay. I was up walking the day of surgery, and I was discharged exactly 28 hours from when the surgery was performed. I left walking with just a cane and, 7 days later, I was walking unassisted.”

Dan had 3 weeks of rehabilitation at home, which is a short time frame for hip surgery patients.  He recalls: “My therapist was amazed at how quickly I bounced back. I attribute that to an excellent surgeon, my overall good health and having good upper body strength.”

Twelve weeks after surgery, Dan’s wife had her dance partner back. Dan was able to move around more easily and was pain free. “The surgery gave me back my mobility and quality of life. And, let’s not forget —it got me back to the ballroom where we added a few more competition medals to our mantle.”

Updated July 11, 2016

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