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As a former surgical nurse of 16 years and home care agency owner, Traci Graf was very familiar with both the tenacity and patience it takes to work in the healthcare industry. She quickly learned the same fight and perseverance is needed to be a successful orthopedic surgery patient as well.

In May 2020 Traci was in excruciating knee pain from her osteoarthritis. Both of her knees were “spent” with bone-on-bone arthritis and she couldn’t walk without a cane. Although she didn’t suffer from diabetes or hypertension, she had experienced some recent weight gain. She made an appointment with a locally renowned orthopedic surgeon for some help. Nothing could have prepared her for the lack of empathy she received from that one appointment. The physician shamed her into believing nothing could be done for a woman of her size. She left the office appointment hysterical and without hope of ever being able to even walk down her own driveway again.

Traci Graf and Dr. Ron Hudanich

Luckily, Traci’s tenacity and determination took over. Because of her experience in the operating room, she knew a Stryker Mako Robotic Knee Replacement surgery would likely be best option. She discovered Dr. Ronald Hudanich when she was researching Mako robotic knee surgeons. With his office less than an hour drive away in Orlando, she made the appointment.

“Dr. Hudanich patiently listened to all my questions and never told me my knee surgery was impossible. He was appalled by the behavior of the other doctor. We bonded over knowing some of the same people from the OR and going to school in Philly. I instantly knew he was my orthopedic surgeon. He believed in me and that’s all I needed,” said Traci.

Dr. Hudanich performed both her knee surgeries between May 2020 and October 2021. She felt so amazing after the first knee replacement, she started taking dancing lessons after just a few weeks of physical therapy. She has always been a big Dancing with the Stars nerd. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” she said.

After her second knee surgery and losing 40 pounds, Traci told Dr. Hudanich she was ready to fix her arthritic hip. Her training told her that by taking the robotic anterior approach to hip surgery, there would be less restrictions and she would be able to get back on the dance floor sooner, but there was one catch.

“I told her as a statement of fact that she needed to lose another 30 pounds. Hip replacement candidates must have a BMI of less than 45%, but I knew she would do it. She was a different person after she started dancing,” said Dr. Hudanich.

Traci lost the additional 30 pounds and was dancing less than six weeks after her robotic hip replacement surgery.

“I am a completely different person than I was three years ago. Everything has changed for me,” she said. “Dr. Hudanich is a different breed of doctor, he really cares about his patients.”

Traci now knows 10 ballroom dances and her dancing teacher is shocked at how far she’s come in such a short period of time. She plans on dancing in the local “Dancing for the Space Coast” competition this spring. For a clip of her newly-acquired skills, click here.

“I refer all my dancer friends to him. I’m the president of the Hudanich fan club,” said Traci.

Fixing her major joints and losing the extra weight gave Traci the confidence and coordination she needed to follow her dreams, and it has given her the life of her dreams.

Dr. Hudanich, board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Hip and Knee Replacement Specialist, Greater Orlando Orthopedic Group™ dba Hudanich Orthopedics®, is one of the most experienced orthopedic surgeons in the Central Florida area. Having performed more than 3,000 robotic hip and knee replacements and 5,000 total joint replacements, Dr. Hudanich was one of the first surgeons in Florida to optimize the robotic assisted total knee replacement.

Dr. Hudanich is a proud leader in Stryker® Mako™ robotic joint replacement surgeries, and consistently ranks amongst the top orthopedic surgeons in the area for the minimally invasive Stryker® Mako™ robotic-arm assisted hip replacement and robotic knee replacement surgery technique.

He pioneered and specializes in non-muscle cutting Robotic Total Hip Replacement Direct Anterior Approach and non-muscle cutting, tourniquet-less Robotic Total Knee Replacement. Call (407) 977-4130 to schedule a consultation.