Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews won't perform Tommy John surgeries at his Florida clinic amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are not performing any non-urgent or non-emergent procedures, including Tommy John surgery, in compliance with the governor's executive order," a 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."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning any surgery that wasn't immediately necessary or life-saving on March 20 to preserve medical resources for the seriously ill. Still, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard had Tommy John surgery late last week in West Palm Beach, Fla., where it was performed by Dr. David Altchek.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale underwent the elbow surgery on Monday at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles.
The facilities in West Palm Beach and Los Angeles are not public hospitals, rather specialized orthopedic facilities.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed Sale's surgery, defended continuing the procedures in an interview last week with the San Francisco Chronicle.
"I know that I'm going to get criticized for taking care of these kinds of guys, but it's essential to their livelihoods," he said. "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."
--Field Level Media