The Amazing Speed of Tiger Woods’ Recovery from Back Pain
Many fans think that Tiger Woods’ recovery after a successful ALIF surgery was a miracle. However, we, here at the Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas, believe that it was the ALIF approach and post-surgery rehabilitation process that made him win the 2019 Masters’ tournament.
Generally, ALIF is a minimally invasive surgery that requires the surgeon to approach the lumbar spine from the front. That’s what Dr. Richard Guyer did by approaching Tiger’s spine from the abdomen to preserve his muscles, tissues, ligaments, and nerves in the back.
ALIF is a surgery option for people who have disc problems in the lower back. It involves approaching the spine and placing the bone graft material between the two vertebrae. Then, the fusion locks two or more bones and transform it into a single, solid bone to stop painful sensations.
The surgeon makes an incision from the front that is in the lower abdomen to remove the disc. Although ALIF is one of the best surgical methods to treat the lower back pain, sciatic pain, Tiger Woods Recovery also involved the post-surgery rehabilitation process. Read on!
Tiger Woods Recovery After ALIF Surgery
Tiger Woods rested for several weeks before starting therapy and treatment after the successful ALIF surgery. ALIF recovery times are around ten months in which the patient returns to full day-to-day activity.
Dr. Richard Guyer performed the ALIF operation, and according to him, Tiger’s recovery from the surgery will put him in the rehabilitation process that will completely heal him. Once that was accomplished, the Woods geared the workouts that allowed him to return to golf and participate in major tournaments.
Because of previous surgeries, Tiger’s bottom lower-back disc became severely narrowed, which caused severe back/leg pain and sciatica. Conservative medication, which included limiting physical activity, injections, medications, and physical therapy, had failed as a sophisticated solution. That’s why Tiger opted for ALIF surgery.
Rehabilitation after the surgery is a slow process, and ALIF recovery times are different for each patient. However, Tiger woods rested for a few weeks and then started a physical therapy program that began six weeks after the ALIF surgery.
Tiger needed the delay to make sure the bone graft material has enough time to fuse. Woods attended various physical therapy sessions for 2-4 months, and that’s why he made a full recovery within six months.
ALIF recovery times for some patients are eight to ten months. However, Woods progressed faster due to an appropriate rehabilitation program under the guidance of qualified and experienced physical therapists.
The Recovery Process
At first, the health providers helped control Woods’ pain and inflammation. They used ice and electrical stimulations to achieve the Tiger Woods recovery goals. The therapist likewise used massage and other hands-on treatment techniques to ease spams and pain in his muscles.
Moreover, the therapists started adding active treatments, which included physical exercises to improve Woods’ heart and lung function. The exercises include short and slow walks, which helped him achieve momentum within a few months.
A team of physical therapists taught Woods’ specific exercise to tone and control his back muscles to stabilize his lumbar spine. They worked with him on how to perform certain activities safely. Generally, this form of treatment is known as body mechanics, which is used to develop new movement habits.
Within a few months, Woods helped himself to keep his back in safe positions while performing different exercises and day-to-day activities. The training involved positions Woods’ used while standing, sitting, lying, and walking. The therapist, in collaboration with Dr. Guyer, helped him work on his safe body mechanics with pulling, pushing, lifting, and carrying.
As Woods’s condition improved after the ALIF surgery, the therapists tailored a rehabilitative program to prepare him for a full recovery. Thus, he could go back and participate in competitive golf. Tiger was instructed to do tasks in new ways to keep his back safe and free of strains and painful sensations. That’s the reason ALIF recovery times for Woods was six months instead of ten months.
ALIF is one of the minimally invasive approaches used to treat a wide range of issues, such as disc degeneration, sciatic pain, instability, and deformities in the spinal curvature. It is a procedure in which the surgeon reaches the area of concern from the anterior to remove the disc in the lumbar spine.
Lastly, the successful ALIF surgery combined with Tiger Woods Recovery that involves rehabilitative techniques, such as physical therapy and medications, allowed him to recover fully.