Discectomy Pain

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The Back Surgeries of Tiger Woods

In a previous post I listed the seven most famous professional athletes  to undergo back surgery, and as a followed up I’d like to shine a spotlight on the struggles of Tiger Woods, and his recovery from the crippling backpain that has sidelined his illustrious career.

Here’s a timeline of the spine procedures he has undergone:

April 2014 Back surgery No. 1: Woods undergoes his first back microdiscectomy to repair a pinched nerve that forces him to miss the 2014 Masters.

September 2015 — Back surgery No. 2: After playing in the Wyndham Championship, Woods undergoes his second microdiscectomy to remove a disc fragment that was pinching his nerve. “I’ve been told I can make a full recovery, and I have no doubt that I will.” Woods is forced to miss the Frys.com Open, Bridgestone America’s Golf Cup and his own Hero World Challenge.

October 2015 Back surgery No. 3: Woods has a follow up surgery to his September microdiscectomy. From all accounts the minor procedure is a success.

April 2017 —  Back surgery No. 4:  Woods withdraws from the Dubai Desert Classic in February and announces that he will undergo spinal fusion surgery in April leaving  doubts he will compete in the 2017 Masters. The surgery involved removing the damaged disc and re-elevating the collapsed disc space to normal levels. This allows the one vertebrae to heal to the other. The goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerve and to give the nerve the best chance of healing.

May 2017: Woods is arrested in Jupiter, Fla., on suspicion of driving under the influence. In a statement, Woods says alcohol was not involved and he had “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.”  It’s reported that Woods had 5 active drugs in his system upon his arrest.  “The report, prepared by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, says Woods, 41, had THC, the active ingredient for marijuana; as well as the painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the anxiety and sleep drug Xanax; and the anti-insomnia drug Ambien in his system when he was arrested at 2 a.m. on May 29 about 15 miles from his home in Jupiter”.

July 2017: Woods tweets that he “recently completed an out of state private intensive program,” as he continues to seek professional help following his arrest for DUI on May 29. “I will continue to tackle this going forward with my doctors, family and friends,” the statement continues. “I am so very thankful for all the support I’ve received.”
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