In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Tiger Woods announced that he underwent a successful operation on his back to relieve pain. Woods kept his statement short and sweet on his website.
“The surgery went well, and I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain,” Woods said. “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.”
“I would like to thank all the fans for staying in touch and their kind wishes,” Woods added. “The support I have received has never waned, and it really helps.”
According to the post on his website, Woods had an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion surgery at his L5/S1. His lower-back disc had become severely narrowed due to his previous back surgeries, causing him sciatica and severe pain in his back and leg. Woods’ surgeon, Dr. Richard Guyer, offered some insight into his recovery process.
“After he recovers from surgery, he will gradually begin his rehabilitation until he is completely healed,” Guyer said. “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.”
Whether this is reading too much into Woods’ statement or not, it’s pretty interesting that he mentioned golf third among his priorities. This is certainly not a criticism of any kind because he’s clearly focused on his kids, as he should be. But at 41 years old, you just wonder how much will power he has left in the tank to get back to playing competitive golf.
This latest back surgery is Woods’ fourth in the last three years. He’s played in just three tournaments in the last two years and more than likely will not be back in action this season. At the very least, hopefully Woods will be pain-free once he’s healed up.
The game can never be more important than that.
h/t: tigerwoods.com, espn.com, usatoday.com