Cost analysis of Tommy John surgery for Major League Baseball teams
BACKGROUND: The economic loss following ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (UCLR) in Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers has not been evaluated. The purpose of this study is to quantify the financial impact of UCLR on MLB teams. We hypothesize that MLB teams incur significant losses annually as a result of salaries paid to injured players following reconstruction.
METHODS: Public records were accessed to identify MLB pitchers from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2014, who had undergone UCLR. Contract terms and time away from competition were used to approximate economic loss. Successful return was considered when a pitcher returned to play in at least 1 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) or MLB game.