Dr. James Andrews, the famed orthopedist that has performed hundreds of surgeries on athletes from all professional sports has made the decision to temporarily suspend performing Tommy John elbow surgeries at his medical facility in Gulf Breeze, Florida, a spokesperson said.
“We are not performing any non-urgent or non-emergent procedures, including Tommy John surgery, in compliance with the governor’s executive order,” the spokesperson for the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine told the Boston Globe. “We are adhering to these restrictions and all such cases are suspended at this time.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently issued an executive order on March 20 prohibiting “any medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedure or surgery which, if delayed, does not place a patient’s immediate health, safety or wellbeing at risk, or will, if delayed, not contribute to the worsening of a serious or life-threatening medical condition.”
Andrews had just successfully performed the Tommy John surgery on Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, but it is expected to be the last one until further notice.
ElAttrache confirmed Syndergaard had an acutely torn ulnar collateral ligament and recommended his surgery as essential.
“I know that I’m going to get criticized for taking care of these kinds of guys, but it’s essential to their livelihoods,” ElAttrache told the San Francisco Chronicle on March 24. “If you have somebody’s career at stake and they lose two seasons instead of one, I would say that is not a nonessential or unimportant elective procedure. … We have to have some criteria. We don’t want it to be arbitrary. We want the public to trust what we’re doing.”
The news comes weeks after the MLB had decided to cancel Spring Training and postpone the start of the 2020-2021 season.
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