In late October, my daughter Sophia suffered a knee injury while playing high school soccer. After visiting our local orthopedics and having an MRI, the extent of the injury was unclear with a likely meniscus tear and a possible ACL tear. Living in Northern NJ, it was a no-brainer to visit a specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in NY. HSS is consistently recognized as the top Orthopedic hospital in the country (and I imagine the world).
After some research, we decided to visit Dr. Gregory DiFelice because of his expertise with multi-knee ligament injuries. The evening prior to our initial visit, we watched a video on a new technique that Dr. DiFelice was performing which repairs the ACL and leaves the patient with his/her native ligament.
After reviewing the MRI and examining Sophia, Dr. DiFelice immediately diagnosed Sophia with a torn ACL which required surgery. Luckily, Sophia's injury was a perfect tear for Dr. DiFelice's new technique, Primary ACL Repair. Immediately, Dr. DiFelice's knowledge and confidence eased Sophia's (and our) fears and we scheduled surgery two days later. As a parent, it was very interesting to observe how calm Sophia was as a result of Dr. DiFelice’s confidence and expertise.
The surgery went perfectly, and as expected, Dr. DiFelice was able to reattach Sophia's native ACL leaving her with the ligament God gave her - not a graft. Thus far, Dr. DiFelice's primary ACL repair technique has significantly enhanced Sophia’s recovery. Highlights include:
1) The first two days after surgery Sophia was in pain, but she was back to school day 3 using just a few Advil. She even felt well enough to go to MetLife Stadium 48 hours after surgery to see a High School football championship game!
2) One week post surgery, Sophia had amazingly good range of motion.
3) To the amazement of her Physical Therapist, Sophia had essentially full range of motion two weeks post surgery.
4) Sophia was walking six weeks post surgery.
5) Three months post surgery she was running on a treadmill at 7mph with no pain and great balance.
6) Sophia's Physical Therapist noted that three months after surgery her one-legged squats were perfect.
7) During the entire recovery process, Sophia has had no pain and essentially no swelling after the initial swelling healed.
8) While talking to her Physical Therapist as well as other Therapists who watch her, they have all been shocked at her progress (significantly ahead of standard ACL patients), and perhaps more importantly, her confidence and comfort performing every new step. I believe this is definitely due to the fact she has her native ligament, with native nerve endings and flexibility.
9) As a competitive soccer player, Sophia was extremely upset when she was diagnosed with a serious knee injury. While it hasn’t been easy, the rapid progress she has made has helped her remain very positive and focused throughout the entire process. At each visit, Dr. DiFelice’s enthusiasm and excitement about her progress has really helped Sophia remain positive and focused.
Looking ahead, Sophia still has several hurdles to clear, but it appears she is well ahead of schedule and will be able to reach, and likely surpass, her pre-injury performance level. I would strongly urge anyone who suffers an ACL injury to visit Dr. DiFelice!
I am happy to discuss our experience with anyone who is interested.