Details on Tiger Woods’ Back Surgery
If you are looking for Tiger Woods’ back surgery details, then this article is for you. Tiger Wood underwent an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion in 2017. It is a minimally invasive back surgery that requires the surgeon to make an incision in the abdomen to approach the lumbar spine. Let’s dive into Tiger Woods back surgery details. Read on!
Tiger Woods’ Back Surgery Details
Tiger Woods had undergone a variety of surgeries throughout his golf career, including arm, knee, and back surgeries. In 2014, Woods withdrew from the Honda Classic Tournament because he complained of back pain. Although some doctors thought the pain might have been caused by a herniated disc, it was never confirmed.
Anyway, Woods consulted a few doctors who offer him conservative treatment options, such as pain medications and physical therapy. Woods started taking medications and attended physical therapy sessions for a few months. However, he had not benefited from these methods.
That’s why he underwent his first spine surgery in 2014. The surgery is known as microdiscectomy in which the surgeon removes the abnormal disc that presses the spinal cord or the nerve root. So, when it comes to Tiger Woods Back surgery details, he underwent a microdiscectomy operation. The surgeon removed the intervertebral disc that was causing pain in his back.
After the successful surgery and a nominal stay in the hospital, Tiger recovered and returned to the world of golf. However, in September 2015, he also felt pain in his back. The doctors said he was suffering from a pinched nerve due to a small disc fragment.
The interesting thing is that the pinched nerve was in the same location as the previous one. So, this was the reason the doctors advised him to undergo a second microdiscectomy surgery.
Although the second microdiscectomy was deemed successful, Tiger underwent another back operation just one month later. It was a follow-up procedure to relieve discomfort that pain in the lower back.
Tiger Woods Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion
Although both microdiscectomy surgeries and the follow-up procedure significantly relieve pain, Tiger Woods had another problem of a severely narrowed spinal disc. Over time, the narrowing of the disc caused sciatica, and pain started to run through his leg.
Because Tiger had undergone three surgeries in the past, his surgeon Dr. Richard Guyer recommended him ALIF, a minimally invasive back surgery, which has more benefits than other types of lumbar interbody fusion surgeries like XLIF and PLIF.
The ALIF surgery involves the surgeon removing the damaged or herniated disc in the spine. The surgeon then places a bone graft material between the vertebrae to fuse them. In Tiger’s case, he had pain due to a herniated disc in the L5 and S1 region. So, Dr. Guyer removed the disc and placed a cage in the area to fuse the two bones.
ALIF is a minimally invasive back surgery and a useful option for patients who have motion as the source of symptoms. The goal of the surgery is to restrict the movement in the spine and stop the painful sensations.
So, Tiger Woods’ surgeon proceeded with this approach by making a small incision in the front. Compared to the microdiscectomy surgery, the fusion operation, such as ALIF is a little more intensive. So, it takes a few months to fuse the vertebrae into a solid bone.
During the first few weeks after the procedure, patients are required to perform exercises like standing, sitting, and walking. These are known as rehabilitation exercises, which are useful to speed up the process of recovery.
Tiger Woods rested for 6 to 8 months and attended physical therapy sessions in an outpatient setting. The therapist would follow the instructions of his surgeons so that everything could go smoothly.
Minimally invasive back surgery at MINT
ALIF, PLIF, XLIF, TILIF, etc. are minimally invasive back surgery methods used at MINT to treat a wide range of spinal problems. MINT is a professional clinic in Plano, TX and to date, we have treated hundreds of patients by performing minimally invasive back surgeries.
Moreover, it is important to know that ALIF is much better than PLIF, although both have their advantages and disadvantages. ALIF requires the surgeon to approach the lumbar spine from the front. PLIF, on the other hand, requires the surgeon to reach the lumbar spine by making an incision in the back.
The anterior approach is better than the posterior one because it does not cause damages to the muscles and tissues surrounding the lumbar spine. Now that you know the Tiger Woods back surgery details, if you have back problems, you can contact MINT today!