The Man Behind Tiger Woods’ Amazing Recovery in 2019
Dr. Richard Guyer was Tiger Woods back surgeon. Dr. Guyer was the surgeon who helped Woods to recover from his back discomfort and pain. Woods had previously undergone three back pain surgeries, including two microdiscectomy procedures and one follow-up surgery between 2014 and 2015.
Although microdiscectomy relieved his back pain for some time, the problem occurred again that caused Woods to withdraw from several major tournaments. After undergoing conservative treatments, including medications and physical therapy for quite some time, Woods’ back pain did not go away.
Woods was presented with several surgical options for his lower back pain. Dr. Richard Guyer, a renowned surgeon, discussed with him about anterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery, a minimally invasive surgical technique used to reconstruct his lumbar spine.
Dr. Guyer explained ALIF surgery’s benefits for removing the narrowed or damaged disc and fusing the two bones to stop motion between them. Woods agreed to undergo ALIF surgery to reconstruct his lumbar spine.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery
Because Woods had previously undergone three back surgeries a few years ago, it was not a good idea to follow the posterior approach. For instance, Dr. Guyer could have performed the posterior lumbar interbody fusion to remove the damaged disc and place the bone graft material for the fusion.
However, the posterior approach was not a good option considering the three previous surgeries, such as two microdiscectomy procedures and the follow-up surgery. The posterior approach or PLIF could have further damaged the lumbar spine due to the risk of retraction of muscles, tissues, and nerves in Woods’ spine.
That’s why Tiger Woods back surgeon offered him to undergo ALIF surgery, a minimally invasive surgery that involves making an incision in the front to reach the damaged disc in the spine.
The reason why Dr. Guyer chose ALIF was to spare the muscles, tissues, ligaments, and nerves in the back. He aimed to decrease the risk of neurological damage. Compared to microdiscectomy, PLIF, XLIF, and other approaches, ALIF is much more beneficial for relieving back pain, especially in people who have active lifestyles.
Tiger Woods Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery
Tiger Woods back surgeon, Dr. Richard Guyer, performed ALIF surgery in 2017 to reconstruct his lumbar spine. The surgery allowed Woods to come back in 2019 and win the Masters’ tournament.
As mentioned earlier, Woods had three previous surgeries to relieve his lumbar spine pain. His lumbar spine disc was severely narrowed that led to pain in his spine and leg. Conservative treatment options, such as medications and physical therapy, were not working.
Woods announced on his official website that he chose to undergo an ALIF surgery. It was a minimally invasive surgery that allowed DR. Guyer to remove the degenerated disc between L5 and S1.
Bear in mind that L5 is the last lumbar spine vertebra and S1 is the top of the sacrum that makes a triangular formation of vertebral bones in the pelvis. Dr. Guyer had successfully restored the appropriate alignment between the sacrum and the vertebra by fusing the two bones.
Because Dr. Guyer approached the joint from the front, he spared the lumbar spine’s muscles and nerves. The preservation of normal muscle and ligaments in the lower back has many benefits, particularly for Tiger Woods, because he has an active lifestyle.
ALIF allowed Tiger Woods back surgeon to restore normal alignment. Dr. Guyer placed the bone graft material between the damaged vertebrae. The material fixed the alignment by holding the two bones together.
The stability was achieved through an interbody device or mesh cage. Dr. Guyer used STALIF M-TI Anterior Lumbar Integrated Interbody Fusion implant. It is a high-quality and reliable implant.
After the surgery, Woods underwent a rehabilitation period in which he rested, exercised, and took medication under Dr. Guyer’s guidance. So, the man behind Tiger Woods successful surgery is Dr. Richard Guyer.
Minimally Invasive Surgery at MINT
ALIF is one of the most common surgical procedures for the surgeons of MINT. Our qualified and experienced surgeons use ALIF to reach the lumbar spine and remove the damaged disc. Unlike other techniques, ALIF is an excellent approach that leads to fewer complications. The biggest advantage of this type of surgery is reducing the risk of neurological damages.
A patient routinely is up and around a few hours after the surgery. It takes 3-6 months for the spacer or bone graft material to completely fuse the bones, the patient would need to avoid vigorous physical activity. However, it is recommended to undergo physical therapy and take the medication in the rehabilitation period.
MINT has a state-of-the-art facility with advanced tools and equipment to perform ALIF surgery successfully. Like Tiger Woods back surgeon, MINT has qualified surgeons with many years of experience, and our satisfaction rate is 99.9%. Contact us today!