A Look Into Tiger Woods’ Spine Problems
Tiger Woods’ spine problems caused him to withdraw from several major tournaments. His back problem disappointed his fans in the U.S and other countries of the world. To treat his back pain, he underwent four surgeries, including minimally invasive surgery (ALIF) in 2017, which was a huge success.
The Lumbar interbody Fusion he underwent in 2017 allowed him to fully recover from back pain. He made a great comeback in the 2019 Masters’ Tournament and won it in style. Minimally invasive back surgery is a unique procedure that requires the surgeon to make a small incision in the front or back to reach the degenerated disc or area of concern.
Tiger Woods’ Spine Problems
In 2014, Tiger Woods complained of back spasms and pain in his lower back. The doctors diagnosed his condition and said that Tiger was suffering from pain due to a pinched nerve. So, he underwent his first spine surgery to treat his pinched nerve on March 31, 2014.
A year later, Tiger Woods underwent another surgery. It was a micro-discectomy procedure. Although the surgery provided him relief from pain, Tiger Woods’ spine problems continued because one month later, he felt discomfort in his back. So, he went for another spine procedure to overcome discomfort and pain in his back.
Tiger Woods Minimally Invasive Back Surgery
Low back pain is a common spinal condition, which means anyone can suffer from it at some point in their life. Tiger Woods underwent various surgeries, and a few of them were minimally invasive procedures to avoid pain in his lumbar spine.
However, open back surgery, MIS, and conservative treatment options didn’t do well for him. That’s why in 2017, he underwent a unique MIS surgery called the anterior lumbar interbody fusion.
In general, spinal fusion is a minimally invasive approach that allows the surgeon to treat issues with the lumbar vertebrae. In simple words, these are small-size bones in your spine. It is like the ‘welding’ process, which involves the fusion of two vertebrae into a solid bone.
Besides, research shows that pain due to the motion of the lumbar spine can be troublesome, especially for people with an active lifestyle. That’s why the degenerated disc caused Tiger Woods Spine Problems.
So, when motion causes back pain, experts at MINT recommend spinal fusion surgery, which is a minimally invasive back surgery to overcome this issue. This type of procedure involves making a small incision to approach the area of concern.
Lumbar interbody Fusion
Therefore are different types of lumbar interbody fusion surgeries, such as TLIF, PLIF, ALIF, and others. Because Tiger had previously undergone back surgeries, the surgeon decided to follow the anterior approach.
Tiger had issues with L5, the last lumbar vertebrae, and the S1, which is the top of the sacrum. Woods underwent lumbar interbody fusion from the anterior to relieve his debilitating pain, which was caused by the degenerative disc in his lumbar spine.
I was Woods’ fourth spine surgery, and he decided to undergo this procedure because all other treatment options had been failed. The surgeon “Dr. Richard Guyer” decided to perform the surgery from the anterior, and that’s why the surgery went successful.
So, Dr. Richard Guyer made a small incision in the front to approach the L5/S1 vertebrae in the lower spine. He removed the degenerated disc and place the bone graft material in its place. A high-quality mesh cage was used to hold the bone graft material.
Keep in mind that a minimally invasive approach, especially ALIF has over 95% success rate. Anyway, the bone graft material fused the L5 and S1 in his lower lumbar spine. Tiger spent six months in the rehabilitation period in which he regularly took the prescribed medications that strengthen his back.
At the same time, he had regular physical therapy sessions where a qualified outpatient therapist would teach Tiger to perform several exercises. The physical therapy combined with back pain medications allowed Tiger to successfully complete his rehabilitation period.
So, it is no surprise to tell you that he came back in 2019 to participate in the Masters’ tournament. Not only was it a proud moment for the champion golfer, but it was a happy moment for his fans all around the world.
Contact MINT for Minimally Invasive Back Surgery
ALIF successfully treated Tiger Woods’ spine problems. ALIF is a minimally invasive approach that enables our surgeon to approach the lumbar spine from the front or abdomen to spare the muscles, ligaments, and tissues.
Thus, they are protected from damages. Lastly, if you want to overcome your back pain like Tiger Woods’ spine problems, contact MINT today and schedule an appointment with our surgeon.