Tiger Woods’ Back Pain Surgery
Tiger Woods’ Back Pain Surgery was a minimally invasive procedure that followed an anterior approach. Unlike Woods’ previous discectomies that followed a posterior approach, he underwent ALIF surgery in 2017 with an anterior approach.
Dr. Richard Guyer performed the surgery to remove the damaged disc between Woods’ lumbar spine’s L5 and S1. Once removed, Dr. Guyer placed a bone graft spacer or material and secured it with a cage, screws, and rods. Read on!
Tiger Woods’ Back Pain Surgery
Tiger Woods’ back pain surgery, also known as ALIF, was a minimally invasive procedure performed by Dr. Richard Guyer, allowing the champion golfer to relive golfing back pain and come back to the Masters’ tournament. Woods’ won the tournament in 2019.
Woods had previously undergone back pain surgeries. However, those procedures followed a posterior approach. Although discectomies relieved pain in his back, Woods’ discs had narrowed, leading to lumbar spine and leg pain.
Tiger underwent conservative treatments, such as medications and physical therapy. However, these treatments failed to relieve his chronic pain. That’s why Tiger Woods consulted Dr. Richard Guyer, who recommended him to undergo ALIF surgery.
Woods underwent ALIF surgery in 2017. Dr. Guyer performed the surgery to remove the degenerated disc between L5 and S1 in his lumbar spine. Because Dr. Guyer followed an anterior approach, he managed to spare the delicate muscles and soft tissues in his back.
ALIF surgery allowed Dr. Richard Guyer to restore Woods’ spine’s normal alignment by placing a bone graft material between L5 and S1. The graft material was secured with a cage, screws, and rods sectored alignment and fused the two bones during the rehabilitation period.
Why is ALIF an Innovative Approach?
ALIF is a sophisticated procedure that treats a wide range of problems, including golfing back pain. It is a common but effective procedure for MINT neurosurgeons who choose an innovative route to reach the affected vertebrae in the lumbar spine.
During the surgery, our neurosurgeon and vascular surgeon work collaboratively to get the job done accurately. Our vascular surgeon moves away muscles and blood vessels to clear a path for the neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon then uses specialized tools to reach the lumbar spine and remove the damaged disc.
After closing the incision, our health team closely monitors the patient. Besides, a patient is up in a few hours after the surgery. Remember, the bone graft material takes about six months to fuse the vertebrae, meaning you will have to undergo physical therapy, take medications, and avoid strenuous activity.
Benefits of ALIF Surgery for Golfing Back Pain
ALIF surgery is a unique approach and a highly effective treatment option for people with active lifestyles. It allows the surgeon to use a large spacer, providing more support to the spinal’s discs. That’s the reason Tiger Woods’ back pain surgery was successful.
It follows an anterior approach, and the surgeon uses advanced, cutting-edge instrumentation to improve the symptoms and relieve pain in the lumbar spine. Smaller incisions mean less blood loss, less scarring, less pain, and faster recovery times.
Because ALIF surgery follows an anterior approach, it does not damage the spine’s strong and thick posterior muscles. The anterior placement of bone graft material is more effective than the posterior approach.
Likewise, there is no manipulation of the nerves in the lumbar spine, leading to reduced chances of permanent damage. Besides, the fusion location allows for natural spinal compression, leading to increased healing and faster recovery.
Besides, minimally invasive procedures, such as ALIF, performed by our MINT neurosurgeons allow for less pain, shorter hospital stays, improved spinal alignment, and faster recovery.
Soft-tissue injuries and mechanical issues are the most causes of lumbar spine pain, including golfing back pain. Such injuries can damage your intervertebral discs, compress your spinal nerve roots, and lead to improper spinal joints movement. A torn or pulled muscle/ligament can also cause severe back pain.
Common treatment options for lower back pain are medications, such as NSAIDs, narcotics, antidepressants, and epidural steroid injections. Research shows that physical therapy can also relieve back pain. However, when these treatments fail to relieve your lower back pain, you may need to undergo back pain surgery.
MINT is a reputable neurosurgery clinic in Plano, TX, with qualified, licensed, and skilled neurosurgeons. Our neurosurgeons have years of experience performing golfing back pain surgeries, including ALIF, to restore spinal alignment and relieve pain.
Our professional surgeon, Dr. Scott Kutz, is an expert in numerous spinal surgeries to treat structural instabilities, scoliosis, degenerated disc disease, and spondylolisthesis. Contact MINT today to discuss your surgery options or undergo a successful procedure like Tiger Woods’ back pain surgery.