Tiger Woods Spine Surgery: His Recovery and a Remarkable Return

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Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas offers world-class spinal fusion techniques that have helped hundreds of patients recover from back pain and spinal injury.

How Tiger Woods Rediscovered Life With Spinal Fusion

The name Tiger Woods has been synonymous with professional golfing ever since his first championship in 1997, and only those living under a rock do not know that name. Even after experiencing several injuries to his neck, legs, and wrists, he still went on to win several championships, never missing a single Masters Tournament. Until 2014, that is.

Tiger had to miss the 2014 Masters Tournament due to a severe back problem. Though he was able to play in the next years’ tournament, tying for seventh place, he did not make the cut for other championships because of lower back pain.

The years 2015 through 2017 were not favorable for Tiger as he had to undergo two more back surgeries. In a 2016 interview, Tiger stated:

“I’m absolutely making progress, and I’m really happy with how far I’ve come, but I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf.”

Little did Tiger Woods know that his 2017 surgery paved the way to an almost miraculous recovery that allowed him to win the Masters Tournament this 2019.

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Be Pain-Free. Enjoy Life Again!

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How Minimally Invasive Spine Fusion Surgery Changed Tiger Woods’ Life

World-renowned American professional golfer, Tiger Woods, underwent Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion in 2017 to alleviate back and leg pain. According to Centinel Spine, the provider of his spinal instrumentation, the procedure was an L5/S1 lumbar vertebrae fusion using Centinel Spine’s STALIF M-Ti™ fusion implant.

The New York Times referred to the world-renowned golfer’s astounding recovery as “[Winning] the Back Surgery Lottery.” The procedure is called Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) and is the most complex surgical procedure Tiger has ever undergone.

(The New York Times Quote)

“The idea behind spinal fusion is to remove a disk — a ring of fibers filled with a nerve-cushioning jelly that joins adjacent spine bones — and fuse the spine together, a procedure that almost inevitably means trading flexibility for stability and, the patient hopes, an existence with less pain.”

ALIF is only one of five different types of lumbar interbody fusion. Compared to Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF), where the problem areas are accessed through the back, ALIF is done through the abdomen.

This technique is considered to be a complicated spinal fusion procedure but has the highest chance of success and recovery rate. Under trusted and skilled hands, Tiger Woods did not win the “back surgery lottery” with mere luck.

After six months of recovery time, Tiger was able to return to competitive golf and subsequently gain the biggest jump in the world rankings in his career.

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Pain Does NOT Have to Be Permanent!

According to Tiger:

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I did a lot of research into the various spinal surgical procedures available to me and was convinced that surgery through an anterior approach represented the best option.

After I determined that the anterior approach surgery was the right option for me, I relied on my spine surgeon to direct me to the right implant solution for my back. He trusted the Centinel Spine product and the results speak for themselves. I have regained my life, and playing golf again at this level, is just an added bonus. My surgery has had a profound impact on me and my family, and I thank my surgeon and the technology provided by Centinel Spine.

– Tiger Woods
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