Tiger Woods Spinal Fusion Back Surgery Explained
Tiger Woods back surgery that took place in April 2017 was his first spinal fusion. The process entails the removal of one or more discs from your spine and fusing two vertebrae.
Tiger Woods chose spinal fusion surgery, an invasive operation, instead of more conservative options due to the benefits the procedure offers.
Notably, although it seemed like there were many risks involved, Tiger underwent the fusion, aware of the risks and weighed them against his current situation before choosing to go forward with it.
After the surgery, Tiger experienced much-intended relief and improvement in his condition.
Why Did Woods Choose Anterior Lumbar Fusion Over Other Surgical Procedures?
Before the spinal fusion surgery, Tiger Woods had been having lower-back issues for over three years, and previous surgeries had failed. All the three surgeries he had had did not help relieve the pain in the long term. To alleviate the back pain and for the long term, Tiger Woods surgeon recommended spinal fusion.
Tiger went ahead with the fusion surgery rather than trying other treatment procedures which had failed. He preferred the fusion surgical procedure because other spine surgical procedures had failed.
Tiger Woods, having suffered from back pain for many years, knew spinal fusion would provide him with more immediate and lasting relief.
Notably, a few days after the surgery, Woods announced that he felt better than he had in years, which was considered a successful treatment option by Tiger’s team.
The Effects of Surgeries on Tiger Woods’ Golf Career.
Barely two weeks after his lumbar fusion surgery, Tiger said that he felt better than he had in years. The spinal fusion surgery, and Tiger’s fourth surgery, made Tiger experience significant improvement in his health.
Before this fourth surgery, Tiger had had three previous surgeries that had not impacted the overall Tiger’s wellness. After undergoing the surgeries, he still experienced pain.
Therefore, despite the known risks of surgeries, it made sense for Tiger to choose what honestly seemed like a practical solution for his fourth surgery.
Notably, despite all the success in most surgical procedures, there are still no guarantees when undergoing any spinal surgery. Nobody can predict if the positive impact of the surgeries will last in the long term.
Will Tiger Woods Resume His Active Life Again?
In a recent interview, Woods indicated that he is still in a lot of pain, and there are no guarantees whether he will be resuming his golf career soon.
His 2017 fusion surgery offered him much-needed relief, and he was able to resume his professional golf in 2018. However, in December 2019, he complained of back pain and underwent another surgery.
In February 2021, even before he had fully recovered from his fifth surgery, Tiger had a car crash. Therefore, although the spine surgeries have positively impacted Tigers’ wellness, it’s not clear how soon he is likely to resume his career after the car crash.
However, there is still hope that Tiger Woods will resume his professional golf once he is fully recovered.
Reasons You May Require anterior Spine Fusion Surgery
Spine fusion surgery is highly recommended when other surgical procedures have failed to provide a solution. The process is a less invasive operation, and it does not involve the moving of muscles or ligaments to get access to the affected area of the spine.
Usually, your spine is made of 33 vertebrae. During the surgery, the surgeons access the affected area via small incisions or through keyhole surgery. They then drill two holes in either side of your vertebrae’s disc space where it has been damaged by degeneration or injury.
Once the surgeons remove the damaged vertebrae, they insert an artificial piece made from a metal alloy and fuse two bones making the entire spinal area stiff and restricted. The inserted artificial piece acts as a spacer and prevents movement between the bones. The patient experiences less mobility than before the procedure was done.
Importantly, to carry out the process without the patient feeling the pain, surgeons first inject a numbing anesthetic into your back.
After the surgery, you may require physical therapy, rehabilitation, medication for pain relief, and bed rest. You must follow recovery recommendations as directed; otherwise, there can be consequences such as infection or even death.
If you have been experiencing back pain and other surgical interventions have failed, you can try spine fusion surgery.
Your spine surgeon at Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas will likely recommend the anterior spine fusion surgery, Tiger Woods back surgery which offered him a long-term solution for his back pain.