Woods’ Surgery for His Back Pain – What Was It?
Woods’ surgery, also known as ALIF surgery, is a minimally invasive back pain treatment approach. Tiger Woods has a long history of golfing injuries, ranging from the arm, knee to back pain. In 2010, Tiger Woods withdrew from the Players Championship Tournament.
Woods complained of back pain, and doctors thought that the discomfort was due to a bulging or herniated disc, but it was not confirmed. Later, Woods said that it was a neck problem that caused tingling sensations in his right side.
In August 2013, Tiger Woods dropped to his knees because of his back spasms. The pain was extremely severe, which caused him to withdraw from the tournament. In 2014, Tiger Woods had his first spinal surgery for a pinched nerve caused by a herniated disc. It was a microdiscectomy procedure that required the surgeon to remove the disc.
Moreover, Tiger Woods underwent his second surgery for a pinched nerve in 2015. It was a microdiscectomy surgery that involved removing a disc fragment, which was pinching a nerve in his spine. A month later, Woods underwent follow-up surgery to relieve discomfort in his spine. Woods announced that he would not participate in the PGA Tour.
What is Microdiscectomy?
Microdiscectomy surgery is performed for a bulging or herniated disc. It relieves pressure on the nerve root by removing the disc that causes the pain. During the surgery, the surgeon takes out a small part of the disc above the nerve root. Sometimes, the surgeon removes the disc material under the nerve root.
Microdiscectomy surgery is also known as micro-decompression. It is an effective back pain treatment for various spinal conditions, including golfing injuries that cause discomfort and pain in the spine. The procedure is also useful for relieving sciatica or radiculopathy.
Here at MINT, our neurosurgeons have years of experience performing microdiscectomy surgery with minimally invasive or endoscopic techniques. A minimally invasive microdiscectomy requires the surgeon to insert tubes into the spine to perform the procedure. Unlike open-back surgery that involves a large incision, endoscopic surgery involves making a tiny incision through which the devices are inserted.
Woods’ Surgery – ALIF Procedure
After undergoing two microdiscectomy surgeries and a follow-up procedure between 2014 and 2015, Woods had relieved back pain. However, two years later, in 2017, Woods complained of tingling sensations in his lower back and leg.
Tiger Woods took medications and performed physical therapy exercises to relieve back pain. However, the relief was temporary, meaning Woods had several episodes of pain over time, causing him to withdraw from major tournaments.
The champion golfer consulted Dr. Richard Guyer, an experienced surgeon, who advised Woods to undergo a minimally invasive ALIF surgery for lumbar spine pain. Tiger Woods agreed to have this surgery. Dr. Guyer performed the surgery, and during the procedure, he removed the degenerated disc between L5 and S1.
Dr. Guyer used inserted a bone graft material after removing the damaged disc. The bone graft material was secured with a special mesh cage, rods, and screws. Because Woods disc has become significantly narrowed, Dr. Guyer chose to perform ALIF surgery.
What is ALIF Surgery?
ALIF is a minimally invasive surgery performed to treat disc problems in the lumbar spine. Fusion lock two or more vertebral bones in the spine to stop pain motions and restore the normal alignment. The surgeon removes the disc by making an incision in the front of the patient’s belly.
The surgeon then places a bone graft material in the empty space to restore the height. That way, the patient relieves nerve pinching. During the rehabilitation period, the vertebral bones fuse into a single solid piece. During ALIF, the surgeon makes an incision in the front.
ALIF requires the vascular and spinal surgeon to work as a team. It means the vascular surgeon creates a path to the lumbar spine by moving the muscles and vessels to the legs. The spine surgeon then removes the degenerated disc and place the graft material or spacer in the empty space.
The spacer or graft restores the height between the bones, leading to correction of the curvature and relieving the pinched nerves. The spacer acts as a bridge between the two vertebrae. Sometimes, the surgeon uses a metal plate and screws to secure the graft, as in the case of Woods’ surgery.
ALIF at MINT, Plano, TX
The Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery of Texas (MINT) has experienced neurosurgeons who use state-of-the-art technological equipment or endoscopic tools to perform ALIF surgery. We have a 98% success rate for ALIF surgery.
Do you have golfing injuries that result in the lumbar spine? Are you looking for effective back pain treatment? Like Woods’ surgery, you can undergo ALIF surgery to relieve discomfort and pain. Contact MINT today to know your treatment options.