You can't really blame MDs for practicing defensively when they are trying to do the best job they possibly can for their patients and they don't want to be involved in a malpractice case if they make an error. In a study of 1200 orthopedic surgeons 96% admitted practicing defensively. This came to an estimated $2 billion cost annually. Many of the unnecessary tests included x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, consultations, biopsies, and even defensive hospitalizations. The cost per orthopedic surgeon was $100,000 per year.