Dr. Neal ElAttrache quoted by New York Times in its in-depth look.
The New York Times takes a closer look at the scars and the success rate of Tommy John Surgery. This surgery, which was an experimental procedure by Dr. Frank Jobe more than 40 years ago, is now common in the major leagues. Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who is frequently recognized as a top sports medicine specialist and who has performed Tommy John Surgery on many well-known MLB athletes, weighs in on the success, recovery, and significance of the procedure.
According to the article, "About a quarter of active major league pitchers have had elbow surgery to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament. Some have had it multiple times. The operation, known as Tommy John Surgery, after the first pitcher to undergo it, leaves players with a crescent-shaped scar inside the elbow.”
Citing research by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and others, the Times continues, “The success rate of the operation is higher than Jobe first expected in 1974 — roughly 80 percent now. But a recent study, conducted by a group including ElAttrache and Altchek, examined 235 major league pitchers who had the operation from 1999 to 2014 and found that 13.2 percent of them had to have it a second time." Then, quoting Dr. Neal ElAttrache, "ElAttrache warns his patients, ‘If you ruptured the ligament God gave you, you can tear the one we’re going to give you.’”