For the fourth time, Tiger Woods has undergone back surgery, this time to alleviate ongoing pain in his leg and his back.
In a statement posted on his website Thursday, Woods revealed that after previous herniations and three surgeries, a disc in his lower back had narrowed severely causing sciatica and severe pain in his back and his leg.
The surgery, called a minimally invasive anterior lumbar interbody fusion, was performed after other treatment measures had not successfully eliminated the pain, the statement said.
The procedure involves removing the damaged disc and re-elevating the collapsed disc space to normal levels, allowing one vertebrae to heal to another.
“The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain,” Woods said on his website. “When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long.”
Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute performed the surgery.
“After he recovers from surgery, he will gradually begin his rehabilitation until he is completely healed,” Guyer said in the statement. “Once that’s accomplished, his workouts will be geared to allowing him to return to competitive golf.
“If you are going to have single-level fusion, the bottom level is the best place for it to occur. Some individuals are born with one less vertebrae, which would be similar to someone who had a single-level fusion.”
On average, patients undergoing this procedure are able to return to full activity in approximately six months, the statement said.
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