Tiger Woods’ Surgeon for His Back Problems
ALIF stands for anterior lumbar interbody fusion. It is a surgical technique used to treat lumbar spine discomfort, pain, and sciatica. Surgeons also perform this surgery to treat problems like painful disc degeneration, spinal instability, imbalance, deformity, and spondylolisthesis.
Tiger Woods Surgeon
Before we tell you about how his surgeon performed anterior lumbar interbody fusion to treat Woods’ back pain, let us talk about the surgeon.
Dr. Richard Guyer is also the co-director of the Center for Disc Replacement. He is a board-certified surgeon who has done extensive research in sports back pain.
Tiger Woods had previously undergone two microdiscectomy surgeries and follow-up surgery. Tiger Woods Surgeon performed these surgeries when he complained of back pain in 2014-2015.
Although he had some relief from his sports back pain, Woods complained of back spasms and sciatica in January 2017. The severe back pain caused him to withdraw from several major tournaments.
Tiger Woods had almost lost hope and wanted to retire from golf. Fortunately, he found a renowned neurosurgeon and an award-winning doctor. Woods discussed his sports back pain issue with Dr. Guyer.
The surgeon suggested Woods undergo ALIF surgery and he explained to Woods that undergoing other procedures than ALIF could damage his strong and thick spinal muscles.
Moreover, the surgeon told Woods that he was not a suitable candidate for other spinal surgeries. It is because he has previously undergone surgeries that followed the posterior approach. Performing the discectomy procedure or any other interbody fusion surgery could have further complicated the problems.
That’s why Dr. Guyer performed ALIF surgery, which involved removing the damaged disc between L5 and S1 in Woods’ spine. The surgeon then placed a bone graft material in the space to fuse the two vertebrae.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion
ALIF is a surgery performed at MINT to treat a wide range of spinal conditions. The surgery involves the fusion of two or more vertebrae in the lumbar spine to stop the pain and correct their alignment.
Here at MINT, our surgeons make a small incision in the patient’s abdomen while performing ALIF. Approaching the lumbar spine from the front is beneficial in many ways. For instance, it prevents making further incisions in the back, unlike the PLIF technique.
ALIF also spares muscles, tissues, and nerves in the lumbar spine. It does not cause any damage to the ligaments in the spine, which leads to faster recovery. Besides, ALIF is a procedure that leads to less blood loss, less pain, and shorter hospital stay.
Like Tiger Back Surgeon, MINT surgeons also perform ALIF surgery to repair damaged discs and realign vertebrae. The primary goal of the surgery is to treat sport back pain. Here at MINT, Dr. Scot Kutz is a board-certified neurosurgeon who has performed hundreds of spinal surgeries, including ALIF. MINT success rate is 98%, unlike other spine institutes in Plano, TX.
During ALIF, a tiny incision is made in the abdomen. At MINT, our vascular surgeon and neurosurgeon work as a team. Our vascular surgeon clears the path to the lumbar spine by moving aside vessels.
The neurosurgeon then removes the disc and fills the empty space with a bone graft. In Tiger’s case, the instrument or device used was STALIF M-Ti bone graft. The spacer or the bone graft material is helpful in restoring the height between the two vertebrae.
The bone graft material is also useful in correcting spinal curvatures and relieving pinched nerves. The spacer or graft bridges the two vertebrae that fuse into a single bone. The graft is secured with screws.
Advantages of ALIF Surgery at MINT
ALIF surgery is performed to treat scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. It is a well-tolerated procedure for sports back pain. Like Tiger Woods surgeon, board-certified surgeons at MINT can perform this procedure effectively and reliably. As a result, the patient does not feel any pain.
Compared to open back surgeries and other fusion procedures, ALIF provides a wide range of benefits, such as:
- A smaller incision
- Less blood loss
- Less scaring
- Anterior approach
- No damage to muscles
- No damage to nerves
- Increased accuracy
- Reduced risk of complications
- Less pain
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery period
Like Tiger Woods Surgeon, our MINT surgeons are highly qualified, professional, and skilled in performing various spinal surgeries to treat sports back pain. Contact us today!