Furcal, 35, suffered a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament last August and tried to recover with rest and rehabilitation. He attempted to throw during spring training but examinations this week indicated surgery was called for.
The Cardinals said the operation would be performed next week by Dr. James Andrews. While no timetable was announced for Furcal's return, the usual recovery time for this type of procedure is 6-8 months.
Furcal, a three-time All-Star, joined St. Louis in 2011 and helped the Cardinals to the World Series title. In 121 games last year he hit .2654 with five home runs and 49 runs batted in.
He is a career .281 hits with 113 home runs and 585 RBI over 13 seasons.