Woods has 4th back surgery; likely to miss majors this year
"He had consulted with a number of top people that had recommended this was the way to go if he wanted a clear and final path," Steinberg said. "Everything he had done in the past was a temporary fix, so to speak. At that point, they thought there were other alternatives than fusion."Steinberg said they were advised fusion surgery was the best option if Woods wanted an active lifestyle and was willing to sit out the rest of the season.
"He should be better than he's been in the past five years," Steinberg said. "He's pretty encouraged."The surgery was described as "anterior lumbar interbody fusion" at the L-5 and S-1 of his spine. It was performed by Richard Guyer of the institute's Center for Disc Replacement, and involved removing the damaged disc and lifting the collapsed disc space to normal levels.
"After he recovers from surgery, he will gradually begin his rehabilitation until he is completely healed," Guyer said on the website. "Once that's accomplished, his workouts will be geared to allowing him to return to competitive golf."Guyer said the bottom of the spine is the best place for single-level fusion to occur.
Woods' first surgery in 2014 was in Park City, Utah, by neurosurgeon Charles Rich, who also did the second operation. This is the first time Woods has gone to the Texas Back Institute.
Woods was to begin therapy and treatment after several weeks of rest.
He won his 79th PGA Tour event in August 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. Three weeks later, he was in contention late in the final round at the Barclays when he dropped to his knees after experiencing what he described as back spasms.
Woods is exempt for life at the Masters and PGA Championship, and until he is 60 at the British Open. He has a 10-year exemption for the U.S. Open from his 2008 victory at Torrey Pines, which was his 14th and last major. He had reconstructive knee surgery a week later.
He has started just 19 events worldwide since that first back surgery, and he has completed 72 holes in just nine of them. His best finish was a tie for 10th in the Wyndham Championship in August 2015, a month before his second back surgery.
With so many injuries and inactivity, Woods now is No. 788 in the world ranking.