ALIF – What It Is and How It Helped Tiger Woods
ALIF Tiger Woods was a successful minimally invasive surgery performed by Dr. Richard Guyer. Tiger Woods is one of the most famous golf players in the world. Woods made a historic comeback at 2019’s Masters Tournament and won his 15th major title.
Thanks to the ALIF surgery he underwent in 2017, the accomplishment would not be possible. Like our dedicated neurosurgeons in the Plano Tiger Woods back surgery clinic, Dr. Guyer understood how to give Tiger Woods the best possible treatment that would help him overcome the problem of back pain.
ALIF Tiger Woods
Woods received ALIF, which is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involved the removal of a portion of a degenerated disc. In general, the goal of fusion with bone graft material is to provide spinal stability and reduce painful sensations.
There are many spinal conditions, such as spinal fractures, degenerated discs, scoliosis, and herniated discs, which cause instability in the back. ALIF is a unique MIS procedure that treats these problems accurately. So, the results were very favorable for Tiger Woods, and with a few weeks rest and rehabilitation for six months, Tiger was able to recover from his spinal issues fully.
During the surgery, Dr. Guyer removed the degenerated disc between L5 and S1. L5 is the last lumbar vertebra, and S1 is the top of the sacrum, which make the triangular structure of bones in the pelvis region.
Dr. Guyer was able to restore the proper alignment between L5 and S1 successfully and then he inserted the bone graft material that led to the fusion of two bones. Dr. Guyer approached the joint from the front to spare the nerves, ligaments, and muscles in the Tiger’s lower back.
There are many benefits of preserving the nerves, ligaments, and muscles in the lower back. In particular, it is beneficial for people with an active lifestyle. Since Tiger Woods is a golf player, an athlete with an active lifestyle, ALIF surgery benefited him a lot. He made a huge comeback in 2019 and won the jaw-dropping Masters Tournament.
So, people who are suffering from back pain, sciatic pain, instability, imbalance, spinal deformity, spondylolisthesis, and painful disc degeneration should undergo ALIF procedure.
Plano Tiger Woods back surgery clinic has experienced and qualified surgeons who are performing ALIF, PLIF, TLIF, lumbar fusion, laminectomy, and other MIS procedures for many years can treat you adequately.
What is ALIF?
ALIF is a minimally invasive surgery and a common procedure for the qualified surgeons here at the Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas. Just like ALIF Tiger Woods, our surgeons approach the spinal area from the front to reach the disc space. The surgeon who performs the ALIF surgery has enough experience to carry out the step by step procedure.
During ALIF, the surgeon makes an incision in the front of the abdomen. The same was done for ALIF Tiger Woods. The surgery requires the spine surgeon and vascular surgeon to work as a team.
First, the vascular surgeon moves aside the vessels and clear a path to the patient’s spine. Then, the damaged disc is removed by the neurosurgeon to fill the space using a bone graft material.
The insertion of the spacer will restore the height between the vertebrae and correct the curvature of the spine. It will also relieve the pinched nerves. In simple words, the bone graft material acts as a bridge between the bones and promotes their fusion into a single, solid bone. Surgeons at the Plano Tiger Woods back surgery clinic use screws and a metal plate to strengthen the graft.
ALIF vs. PLIF
The primary difference between ALIF and PLIF is that the former happens in the abdomen and the latter approach the spine from the lower back. The choice of going for ALIF or PLIF is decided by the surgeon based on the patient’s condition.
When it comes to success rate, there is not much difference between ALIF and PLIF. However, ALIF Tiger Woods was a 100% success. The reason why Dr. Guyer performed ALIF is that the PLIF is a bit riskier in terms of moving the spinal cord and vertebrae, which can be harmful to the patient.
ALIF vs. TLIF
Unlike ALIF that uses the anterior approach the reach the area of concern in the spine, TLIF is a back surgery that involves approaching the spine from the posterior. So, TLIF is somewhat similar to PLIF but completely different from ALIF.
The surgeon applies the hardware to the spine and aims to increase the rate of fusion. Our surgeon here at the Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas typically attach rods and screws to the vertebra and insert an interbody fusion spacer from one side of the spine into the disc space.
The bone graft material heals by itself and fuses the vertebra to develop a single, solid bone. However, the disadvantage of TLIF is incomplete removal of the disc that can cause injury to the nerve root. That’s the reason Dr. Guyer had chosen ALIF for Woods. So, if you want to undergo a successful surgery like ALIF Tiger Woods, contact us today.