Tiger Woods finally answered a question about his health on Thursday when he announced on his website that he underwent another “successful” back surgery to relieve pain in his lower back and legs. The decision will undoubtedly put the 41-year-old on the on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
This marks the fourth time since April 2014 that Woods has been under the knife. His previous surgeries included two microdiscectomies and a “clean-up” procedure in the fall of 2014, which all led to a narrowed disc, sciatica and “severe” pain for which rehab and medications “failed as a permanent solution.” The surgery was performed at the Texas Back Institute by Dr. Richard Guyer.
“The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain,” the 14-time major 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. Guyer said Woods will “gradually begin his rehabilitation” after he recovers from surgery. “Once that’s accomplished, his workouts will be geared to allowing him to return to competitive golf.”
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 20, 2017
According to Bob Harig at ESPN, Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, described the procedure as “something dramatically different than he’s done in the past.”
“This is the best and only way to have a healthy, active lifestyle, be able to play with his kids, play golf and not be in pain,” Steinberg said.
“You can continue to try and do the band-aid approach, but if you want that healthy, active lifestyle, it was recommended that this is the way to go at this point and the doctor was very pleased with the result,” Steinberg explained. “Tiger kind of feels a weight off his shoulders as this is a path to recovery.”
He continued: “What we’re learning is a fusion is something that you do after you’ve tried just about everything else. He could have continued trying some of the other procedures. But with the knowledge Tiger got, this fusion was the path to the proper recovery that will allow him to do the things he wants to do.”
Updated story on Tiger needing another surgery, his fourth, with quotes from his agent. https://t.co/wo5r4ZHveq
— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) April 20, 2017
“The grueling pain he was having came when the nerve and disc were touching,” Steinberg said. “There were times where he would be OK, he could swing, he could hit the ball and walk. There was nothing touching the nerve.”
“(When the disc is touching the nerve), that’s when you go into these intense spasms that I don’t know how he was living with.”
Woods is expected to rest for “several weeks,” then begin therapy and treatment. The typical recovery time for patients to return to “full activity” is about six months.
Get well soon, Tiger.
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