How Bad Was Tiger Woods’ Back Pain?
Many people want to ask “How bad was Tiger Woods’ back pain?” Well, the simple answer to this question Woods back pain caused him to withdraw from several major tournaments between 2014 and 2017.
For instance, on April 1, 2014, Tiger announced that he would not participate in the Masters. Woods has back pain due to a pinched nerve. So, he underwent microdiscectomy surgery to relieve the pain.
The surgery was a success and Woods was able to get relief from the discomfort and painful sensations. Anyway, in today’s article, we will talk about “how bad was Tiger Woods back pain in detail. Read on!
Tiger Woods’ Back Pain
If you want to know “how bad was Tiger Woods back pain,” then it is important to understand what a pinched nerve is, what are back spasms, degenerated discs, and sciatic pain, etc.
A pinched nerve usually occurs when there is compression or too much pressure on the nerve by surrounding tissues. In certain situations, the tissue might be cartilage or bone. For example, this occurs in the case of a herniated disk, which compresses a nerve root.
Tiger Woods experienced worsening pain and spams in the back and that’s why he consulted his doctor. The severe pain in his back caused him to withdraw from the Honda Classic tournament.
So, in April 2014, Woods underwent a surgical procedure known as the microdiscectomy. It is a minimally invasive procedure, which requires the surgeon to make a tiny incision in the midline low back.
First, the surgeon lifts the erector spinae, which are muscles in the back. The surgeon does it to expose the lamina of the spine. Because these muscles typically run vertically, the surgeon can make them move out of the way.
A year later, in 2015, Tiger Woods underwent his second microdiscectomy surgery due to back pain. Only a month later in October 2015, Woods underwent follow-up surgery to further relieve pain and discomfort.
Both surgeries along with a follow-up surgery were successful. Tiger Woods had relieved from pain, discomfort, tingling, and numbness in his back. However, these surgeries affected his lumbar spine. The narrowing of the L5-S1 disc or joint in the lumbar spine caused pain in his lower back.
Also, this results in extreme sciatic pain in his legs. Since Tiger had already performed three surgeries, he wanted to follow the conservative treatment. It includes pain medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy exercises.
So, Woods started taking medications to relieve pain in his back and leg. Although these treatments provide him relief, it was temporary. Over time, Woods suffered from more severe pain and conservative treatments were not working at all.
Dr. Richard Guyer is a famous neurosurgeon who advised Woods to undergo lumbar interbody fusion surgery. Considering the condition of Woods, Dr. Guyer chose ALIF surgery.
Keep in mind that ALIF is a minimally invasive spine surgery that involves the removal of the vertebral disc in the lumbar spine to relieve pain. The procedure requires the surgeon to make a tiny incision in the abdominal area to approach the lumbar spine.
In Woods’ case, the L5-S1 joint was causing back pain and sciatic leg pain. That’s why the surgeon removed the vertebrae that led to the pain by placing a bone graft material. The interesting thing about the ALIF procedure is that the bone graft fuses the two vertebrae into a solid bone. However, the fusion process takes a few months. The surgery was performed in April 2017.
Is ALIF surgery right for back pain?
Before we tell you that, you need to know that after the surgery, it was time for Woods to undergo the long process of rehabilitation. It was essential for him to perform several basic exercises under the guidance of a physical therapist.
“How bad was Tiger Woods back pain?” Well, it was pretty bad, but with ALIF procedure and postoperative rehabilitation, Woods was able to overcome the problem. Anyway, let us talk about the significance of the ALIF procedure for back pain.
ALIF is useful because it follows an anterior approach. It means the surgeon will spare the muscles, tissues, ligaments, and nerves in the lumbar spine. In contrast, the posterior approach, such as PLIF would cause slight damages to the muscles. Thus, the patient would take more time to recover from surgery and pain.
If you have back pain, you can consult surgeons by visiting our clinic. During the Covid-19 pandemic, MINT has taken substantial efforts to improve its telehealth services. So, you can use videoconferencing to communicate with our surgeons and discuss your problem.
Again, if you have the same question “How bad was Tiger Woods back pain?” Yes, it was severe, but thanks to ALIF, he completely recovered from it and made a great comeback to win the Masters tournament in 2019.