As with most injuries and corrective procedures, back surgery being no exception, time will tell how successful the recovery will be. Although Tiger Woods recently underwent a microdiscectomy, it is too early for anyone to be certain about his future professional playing prospects.
Fortunately the outcome for these procedures in similar circumstance is usually very good. Fellow pro-golfer Graham DeLaet was reported in Golf Digest to have made a full recovery from a similar procedure for a herniated disc that was causing him back, buttock and leg pain.
Tiger has been battling back and leg pain, due to an impinged nerve, for months. According to an announcement on Tiger’s website, he underwent the microdiscectomy earlier in the week and expressed regret that he would miss the Masters Tournament in Augusta. It also appears unlikely that he will be able to participate this season in the remaining of the big four golf championship tournaments.
A back surgery expert interviewed for the story in Golf Digest reported that this type of minimally invasive procedure typically requires a three to four month recovery. He noted that while this sort of injury can improve with time, many professional athletes prefer to undergo this procedure since approximately 90 per cent of them are able to get back to their top level of performance. Quite impressive!
While it may be a while again before we get to see golf’s great Tiger dominating the greens on TV again, it is likely he will be working out intensely in rehabilitation. According to the back surgery specialist interviewed by Golf Digest, rehabilitation begins gradually and progress in to a more demanding stage before athletes can return to play.
North American Spine’s AccuraScope procedure is especially designed to optimize miscrodiscectomy procedures, since it can treat disc herniations at multiple levels. Although pre-operative diagnostic testing can reveal a lot of information, the surgeon is able to get the most accurate assessment once the procedure is underway. This helps prevent the need for multiple procedures associated with failed back surgery.
Surely we will miss seeing Tiger teeing off at the upcoming tournaments. No doubt he will make a complete recovery and will be delighting us again with mastering the links as only Tiger can!