expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Thomas Vincent Distefano, M.D.

Orthopedist

Dr. Thomas Distefano is an orthopaedic surgeon practicing in Maryville, MO. Dr. Distefano specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, diseases and disorders of the bodys musculoskeletal system. As an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Distefano tends to bones, ligaments, muscles, joints, nerves and tendons. Orthopaedic surgeons can specialize in certain areas like the hand, spine, hip, foot and ankle, shoulder and elbow or the knee.
26 years Experience
Dr. Thomas Vincent Distefano, M.D.
  • Maryville, MO
  • Tulane Univ Sch of Med, New Orleans La
  • Accepting new patients

Should I be avoiding exercise with scoliosis?

Exercise is being recommended more and more as a treatment for mild to moderate scoliosis. By being proactive and performing these exercises, you may be able to slow the curvature READ MORE
Exercise is being recommended more and more as a treatment for mild to moderate scoliosis. By being proactive and performing these exercises, you may be able to slow the curvature of your spine and decrease the pain you feel as a result of your scoliosis.

Will my surgery end my career?

It really depends on what the surgery is. In now-minor surgeries like a herniated disc, players can often return to play. In more extensive procedures, return to play could be READ MORE
It really depends on what the surgery is. In now-minor surgeries like a herniated disc, players can often return to play. In more extensive procedures, return to play could be less likely.

My son has tension in his legs from playing basketball. How can I help him?

Make sure he gets proper hydration. A year-round low-impact program (biking, swimming, elliptical 30 minutes 4/week) helps prepare for sports. Proper stretching is also very important. READ MORE
Make sure he gets proper hydration. A year-round low-impact program (biking, swimming, elliptical 30 minutes 4/week) helps prepare for sports. Proper stretching is also very important.

My father had knee surgery. When can he start walking?

It depends on what kind of surgery he had. Other than surgery for fractures, most surgical procedures on the knee can start walking on it right away. Patients who had a total knee READ MORE
It depends on what kind of surgery he had. Other than surgery for fractures, most surgical procedures on the knee can start walking on it right away. Patients who had a total knee replacement usually weight bear the same day as surgery. They are typically on assistive devices (walker, cane) for 2-6 weeks after surgery.

How long does a sprain take to heal in children?

Children usually heal much quicker than adults. Usually, they heal within 2 to 6 weeks depending on the injury.

How long will my back take to recover after surgery?

Back surgery in general takes a long time to recover from, anywhere from 2 to 6 months for initial recovery and 6 months to a year to fully recover depending on the injury and READ MORE
Back surgery in general takes a long time to recover from, anywhere from 2 to 6 months for initial recovery and 6 months to a year to fully recover depending on the injury and surgery.

How long will it take for me to recover from a shoulder surgery?

It depends on the type of surgery you are having and what your job is.  If it is an office job with no physical demands many patients can return in 2 weeks.  If it is a very physical READ MORE
It depends on the type of surgery you are having and what your job is.  If it is an office job with no physical demands many patients can return in 2 weeks.  If it is a very physical job that requires alot of lifting it may take 4 months to return for surgeries without a rotator cuff tear and 6 months with a rotator cuff tear.

Is knee surgery advisable for a person who is 78 years old?

It would depend on the exact medical conditions that he has and how well they are controlled. A preoperative evaluation can be performed by his pcp physician and/or cardiologist READ MORE
It would depend on the exact medical conditions that he has and how well they are controlled. A preoperative evaluation can be performed by his pcp physician and/or cardiologist or pulmonologist to determine if he is a candidate for surgery and also recommend optimizing the conditions needed for surgery. Regional anesthesia can often be performed to decrease risk.

My mother has to have a laminectomy. What is that exactly?

Spinal stenosis usually develops because of arthritis because of arthritis in your spine. As you develop arthritis in your spine, you build up spurs, which can encroach on your READ MORE
Spinal stenosis usually develops because of arthritis because of arthritis in your spine. As you develop arthritis in your spine, you build up spurs, which can encroach on your spinal cord. This can cause stenosis or "squeezing" down the space of the spinal cord, which can cause terrible back pain. When conservative treatment does not help, a laminectomy can be performed. This is removal of some bone of the spine to create more space for the spinal cord. 

Does elbow dislocation require surgery?

It depends on what was injured in the dislocation. An MRI could be obtained to see exactly which structures were injured. Many times conservative treatment can be successful if READ MORE
It depends on what was injured in the dislocation. An MRI could be obtained to see exactly which structures were injured. Many times conservative treatment can be successful if there are not intra-articular or significant ligament injuries sustained.

I am having a lot of hip pain. Will a surgery help?

Probably not. If it is still hurting, you may benefit from an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon and conservative treatment, physical therapy, ice, heat, NSAIDs. If it still does READ MORE
Probably not. If it is still hurting, you may benefit from an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon and conservative treatment, physical therapy, ice, heat, NSAIDs. If it still does not get better after 6 weeks, an MRI could be obtained to get more information.

How long is the recovery for a shoulder dislocation surgery?

That would be up to your doctor and depends on exactly what he did. Generally you wear a sling afterwards 4 to 6 weeks after this type of surgery.

How long does a knee replacement surgery take to heal?

In general, after six weeks, you should be able to do what you could before surgery, but each day you get better. It takes about 6 months to get 85% recovery and a year to fully READ MORE
In general, after six weeks, you should be able to do what you could before surgery, but each day you get better. It takes about 6 months to get 85% recovery and a year to fully recover.

What causes elbow pain?

Without trauma or a previous injury, the most common cause of sharp pain either on the outside or inside of the elbow is epicondylitis (tennis elbow on outside or golfers elbow READ MORE
Without trauma or a previous injury, the most common cause of sharp pain either on the outside or inside of the elbow is epicondylitis (tennis elbow on outside or golfers elbow on the inside of the elbow). It is a combination of micro-tearing and inflammation. It is almost always relieved by conservative treatment. This would include cortisone injection, Medrol dose pack followed by one month of anti-inflammatory medication (mobic), occupational therapy exercises, and phonophoresis and possible bracing. 

Are there any risks involved in my spine surgery?

there are certainly increased risks of infection and healing potential for diabetic patients.  It helps if your diabetes is under control (good hgbA1c and sugar level) at the time READ MORE
there are certainly increased risks of infection and healing potential for diabetic patients.  It helps if your diabetes is under control (good hgbA1c and sugar level) at the time of surgery

Why do I still have pain after my shoulder surgery?

It is a little difficult to answer this question without knowing what surgery you had on your shoulder and how long it is has been since surgery. In general, for most shoulder READ MORE
It is a little difficult to answer this question without knowing what surgery you had on your shoulder and how long it is has been since surgery. In general, for most shoulder surgeries, you are at about 85% recovered at 6 months and it takes a year to fully recover.

For how long should I have pain after my hip replacement?

After hip replacement, you should feel about the same as you felt before surgery 6 weeks after surgery, but then it should continue to get better. It takes about 6 months to be READ MORE
After hip replacement, you should feel about the same as you felt before surgery 6 weeks after surgery, but then it should continue to get better. It takes about 6 months to be 85% recovered and a year to fully recover. Your best results are when you do the rehab exercises and walk.

How soon will I be able to run again after a knee replacement surgery?

You should be able to jog at 3 months with gradual progression to running, it takes 6 months to get to 85%, and a full year to fully recover.  I discourage my replacement patients READ MORE
You should be able to jog at 3 months with gradual progression to running, it takes 6 months to get to 85%, and a full year to fully recover.  I discourage my replacement patients from running for exercise as it will wear out your knee faster.  I encourage patients to be active but try to do low impact activities including swimming, biking, elliptical, and walking.

I am suffering from severe numbness in my foot after a hip replacement surgery. Is it normal?

One of the complications after total hip replacement is sciatic nerve injury. Most are transient (will recover over time). An EMG nerve test can be performed 4 to 6 weeks after READ MORE
One of the complications after total hip replacement is sciatic nerve injury. Most are transient (will recover over time). An EMG nerve test can be performed 4 to 6 weeks after surgery to better see what is going on and the prognosis.

My mother is going in for a Hip replacement surgery. What should I ask the doctor?

What surgical approach will be used? There are three, anterior, posterior and superpath. The superpath technique is the newest and if the surgeon is experienced using this approach, READ MORE
What surgical approach will be used? There are three, anterior, posterior and superpath. The superpath technique is the newest and if the surgeon is experienced using this approach, there is less surgery, no muscle takedown, quicker recovery and very little chance of dislocation. How experienced is the surgeon is doing total hip replacement? What type of prosthesis will be used?