On Friday, November 24, 2017, I was a 57-year-old pedestrian when a 17-year-old lost control of his car, crossed double yellow lines, and hit me at approximately 40-50 miles per hour. Miraculously, I survived, but my left knee was destroyed. I sustained a torn ACL, torn PCL, torn LCL, torn lateral and medial meniscus, comminuted fracture of my fibular head, fractured and displaced tibial plateau, etc. I was rushed by ambulance from the accident scene to a trauma center and discharged hours later after I refused surgery at that facility. I subsequently scheduled an appointment with a highly regarded orthopedic trauma surgeon at HSS. However, after he performed his exam, reviewed my diagnostic films, and noted the extent of my injuries (particularly the multi-ligamentous tears), he advised “You need Dr. Gregory DiFelice to put your knee back together.”
Dr. DiFelice performed the surgery one week after my accident, and he visited me that evening and again on Saturday during my HSS admission. I had numerous follow-up exams and appreciated that Dr. DiFelice was present at every one of them. Despite his busy schedule, he never rushed through the exams and always patiently answered my questions with straightforward, tell it like it is, responses. Making appointments with his cordial staff was easy and I rarely waited more than a few minutes, if at all, for any scheduled exam.
Most important, four years have passed since my accident, and I am still doing extraordinarily well. I can golf, hike in the woods, stand for hours at outdoor music festivals, ride my Peloton with significant resistance and consistently achieve “outputs” higher than people half my age, etc. I am constantly amazed that I can perform certain activities, and invariably find myself taking a moment and thinking “I can’t believe I’m able to do this.”
As Dr. DiFelice was able to successfully reconstruct my severely damaged knee, repairing “just” an ACL tear is probably as simple for him as removing a splinter. Whether you need a relatively minor procedure or something more complicated, another comforting advantage of having Dr. DiFelice perform your surgery is that he has the confidence and ability to be creative during the actual procedure if a particular injury warrants an atypical approach. Part of my successful outcome was the result of Dr. DiFelice using a novel approach with “biceps buttons” to address my torn LCL and comminuted fibular head fracture. Fortunately, the only thing Dr. DiFelice was not spot-on about was the amount of pain he understandably anticipated I would have immediately after my extensive surgical procedure. Remarkably, my actual pain was minimal and brief.
I am extremely grateful for Dr. DiFelice’s skills and for his giving me my life back.