Tiger Woods’ ALIF Surgery – The Story
Tiger Woods’ ALIF surgery was a successful procedure that allowed him to relieve back pain. Dr. Richard Guyer performed the surgery in 2017. ALIF is a minimally invasive surgery for back pain that requires the neurosurgeon to approach the spine from the front.
The procedure involves making a small incision in the belly or the abdomen to reach the area of concern. The surgeon removes the damaged disc in the lumbar spine and places a bone graft material, which fuses the two vertebrae into a single, solid bone. Compared to the traditional open-back and minimally invasive surgeries like PLIF, XLIF, LLIF, etc. ALIF is considered a sports injuries surgery.
The procedure is preferred over other minimally invasive techniques for back pain because it allows the surgeon to spare the muscles, ligaments, tissues, and nerves in the spine. Dr. Guyer selected ALIF because it is beneficial for people with an active lifestyle. Because Tiger Woods is an athlete, it was necessary to preserve his back muscles and tissues.
History of Tiger Woods Back Surgeries
Undoubtedly, Tiger Woods is one of the best players in professional golf. He has won many tournaments throughout his career. However, Woods had also withdrawn from some major tournaments due to back pain.
In March 2014, Tiger Woods complained of back pain for the first time, which caused him to withdraw from the Honda Classic. He also missed the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament due to his severe back pain.
In April 2014, Woods announced that he would miss the Masters after undergoing a back surgery known as the microdiscectomy. The surgery was performed to treat a pinched nerve in his back.
Although he returned to the Quicken Loans National Tournament, but could not perform well. Again, the reason was none other than his severe back pain caused by a pinched nerve.
In September 2015, the 14-time world champion failed to perform well in three major tournaments. Tiger underwent a second microdiscectomy procedure to relieve his back pain.
A month later, in October 2015, Tiger returned to the same surgeon who performed the two microdiscectomy surgeries. This time, he underwent follow-up surgery to ease his spinal discomfort and pain.
Tiger Woods’ ALIF Surgery
Woods had undergone three back surgeries in the past to treat his back pain. However, in February 2017, he complained of pain in his back and leg. The lower back pain and sciatic pain in his leg were due to the herniated disc. The doctor prescribed him a few medications and instructed him to take physical therapy sessions regularly.
However, the conservative treatments didn’t help him to relieve his back pain. That’s why he consulted Dr. Richard Guyer, a renowned neurosurgeon who came up with sports injuries surgery solution known as the Anterior Lumbar interbody Fusion or ALIF.
Dr. Guyer performed the ALIF surgery, a minimally invasive technique used to approach the lumbar spine from the front. The procedure involved the surgeon to remove a degenerated disc between L5 and S1.
Keep in mind that L5 is the last vertebra in the lumbar spine, and S1 is the top of the sacrum, which arranges the bones of the pelvis in the triangular formation. Dr. Guyer was able to restore the proper alignment between the L5 vertebra and S1 sacrum. The surgeon then fuses the bones using a high-quality bone graft material.
Because the surgeon approached the joint from the front, it allowed him to spare the muscles and tissues in Woods’ back. The preservation of normal muscles, ligaments, and tissues was beneficial for Tiger Woods. The famous athlete underwent a long rehabilitation program under the guidance of Dr. Guyer.
Tiger Woods’ ALIF surgery is a successful example for people who don’t want to undergo surgery and rely on conservative treatment options. ALIF is an effective surgery for back pain and one of the most reliable options for people with active lifestyles.
ALIF Surgery for Back Pain at MINT
Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas (MINT) is a reputable surgery center with experienced, qualified, and skilled neurosurgeons. Our surgeons have performed hundreds of MIS procedures, including ALIF, PLIF, XLIF, and LLIF.
Our surgeons use high-quality tools and equipment to perform minimally invasive surgery. Surgeons at MINT discourage open-back surgery because it has higher blood loss risks as the surgeon cuts a large portion of the back muscle.
Making a large incision also exposes the patient to the risk of infections, which lead to persistent pain. On the other hand, Tiger Woods’ ALIF surgery is minimally invasive, safe, and reliable. Contact MINT today!