Dr. Gregory S. DiFelice is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in Sports Traumatology and Joint Reconstruction Surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Presbyterian Hospital. He also holds an academic appointment at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University as an Associate Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon and Assistant Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery. His main surgical focus is on treatment of the knee, shoulder and hip. Using both non-surgical and surgical methods, he strives to utilize the latest technologies to improve patient outcomes, while preserving their native tissues. His customized approach to patient care is to use surgery as a last resort, and if absolutely necessary to perform the most conservative surgery that will obtain the best, most long-lasting results for the patient.
Dr. DiFelice is a surgical innovator and has developed several cutting edge surgical techniques that allow him to save patients torn ligaments, rather than replacing them that is the current standard of care. The concept is called Ligament Preservation, and includes conservative, minimally invasive techniques such as Primary Repair and Primary Repair with Augmentation. By saving the patients native ligament tissues, a concept that the majority of Sports Medicine surgeons still believe is not possible, he greatly reduces surgical injury to the patient, thus diminishing the recovery time and restoring more of the natural function of the knee. Currently, for 50-75% of his ACL injured patients, he is able to save most, if not all of the patients’ native tissue thereby diminishing the need for grafts. He uses ACL Reconstruction that is considered the standard approach throughout the world only as a last resort when there is little to no tissue available to save. As the surgical innovator of his modern-day preservation approach, he has lectured extensively both domestically and internationally on this and other topics. More can be learned about this topic on his website.
Admittedly, not all ligaments, or all joints for that matter can be saved, and Dr. DiFelices’ conservative approach to surgery is also evident in his approach to arthritic joints. Rather than the majority approach, that everyone with arthritis gets a joint replacement surgery, his approach is more nuanced and customized for each patient, their health, activity level and particular pattern of arthritis. He is an expert in both realignment osteotomy and robotic unicompartmental arthroplasty, two techniques that allow the patient to avoid the larger, more morbid total joint arthroplasty when in their best interests. However, he is also an expert in both total hip and total knee arthroplasty having performed thousands of these procedures over his 15-year career.
Dr. DiFelice was born and raised in northern New Jersey. He completed his undergraduate degree at Princeton University while simultaneously earning 3 Varsity letters playing football. He then continued on to New Jersey Medical School, where he graduated as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He did his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. He then completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. While there, he worked as an assistant to the team physicians for the St. Louis Rams, the St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Once Dr. DiFelice finished his training, he was the creator and Director of the Division of Sports Medicine and Joint Reconstruction Surgery for the North Bronx Healthcare Network for approximately 16 years. Prior to his return to the Hospital for Special Surgery in 2010, he also worked in conjunction with the Ranawat Orthopaedic Center at Lenox Hill Hospital for five years.
Among his many accolades, Dr. DiFelice is a member of numerous state and national medical societies. His athletic accomplishments are also numerous and range from State Regional Champion High School baseball, to Division I collegiate football, to domestic and international Rugby player to Alpine Ski Instructor. As such, patients of his can take comfort in knowing that they are not only being treated by an esteemed physician, but a fellow athlete as well.