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Dancing Again: Patient Jeanie Sewell

Cedars-Sinai orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Sean Rajaee with hip transplant patient Jeanie Sewell

When North Hollywood resident Jeanie Sewell was dealing with a lot of arthritis pain in her hip and looking for a doctor to perform a hip replacement, it was an easy decision.

"I chose Cedars-Sinai," she says. "My son was born there 34 years ago."


She has a really positive personality, and I think that has really helped in her recovery. "A patient's ability to be positive and motivated is one of the biggest factors that helps people recover from hip replacement surgery."


Cedars-Sinai Joint Replacement specialist Sean S. Rajaee, MD

She contacted Dr. Sean Rajaee, who first met 75 year-old Jeanie virtually on a video visit in April 2020 to discuss her condition.

"She was really debilitated with pain, but she was also really motivated to get better," Dr. Rajaee says. "I told her to come in for an in-office visit."



Like Moses parting the Red Sea

In June 2020, Jeanie was on her way to her in-person consultation with Dr. Rajaee at Cedars-Sinai. At the time, public demonstrations from Black Lives Matter supporters were common all over Los Angeles, including the areas surrounding the hospital. On her ride to Cedars-Sinai, she got caught in traffic caused by thousands of people marching down Sunset Boulevard.

"I told my driver, 'In my younger days, I probably would have jumped out there and just made everybody stop, but now I can hardly walk,'" Jeanie recalls. "And then I thought, 'Never mind.' And I jumped out of the car and walked up to the corner."

She then walked directly into the crowd of marching protestors and stood right in the middle of the street. Before long, a man approached her and asked if she needed help.

"I said to him, 'Are you the guy who can stop all of these people so that I can get across this intersection and go to a doctor that I've waited four months to see?'" she says. "'So I can get a hip replacement and walk in a protest with you guys?'"

Miraculously, he said yes. He yelled loudly into the crowd, put his arms up and stopped the crowds of people on both sides. Cars began to make their way through in intervals.

"It was like Moses parting the Red Sea," she says. "I was so impressed."

She made it just in time for her appointment and told Dr. Rajaee the story.

"She was going to do anything she needed to get to this appointment and wasn't going to let anything stop her," Dr. Rajaee remembers. "Hearing what she actually did was truly amazing."



Dancing again on TikTok

Jeanie's X-rays showed she had hip osteoarthritis. She returned to Cedars-Sinai for her total hip replacement surgery a few weeks later.

"At Cedars-Sinai, we have the ability to do minimally invasive hip replacement procedures while using computer and X-ray technology during surgery to make sure it's done correctly the first time," Dr. Rajaee says. "Through rapid recovery protocols, we can get patients up and moving a lot faster than we used to."

Six weeks after her surgery, Jeanie was well on her way back to her normal self and was even dancing again on a new platform—TikTok. 

"She has a really positive personality, and I think that has really helped in her recovery," Dr. Rajaee says. "A patient's ability to be positive and motivated is one of the biggest factors that helps people recover from hip replacement surgery."

When asked if she has advice for other people who may need hip replacement surgery, she says, "I would advise them to get it. And they can call me if they want to—I'll come over and help."

More on the Joint Replacement program at Cedars-Sinai