An Update on Tiger Woods’ Spine Issues

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 17, 2020

Tiger Woods Back Pain

Tiger Woods was expected to play in The Players Championship last weekend, but he withdrew in the days leading up to the tournament citing back pain. For those unfamiliar with golf, this may not seem like all that big of a deal early in the season, but The Players Championship is often viewed as golf’s unofficial fifth major tournament. Does Tiger’s withdrawal from TPC indicate that he may be facing similar problems with future tournaments?

Tiger’s Troublesome Spine

It’s impossible to answer that question right now, but it certainly seems likely that both sentiments ring true about Woods’ withdrawal from TPC. Odds are he is interested in being as physically ready as possible for future tournaments without overstressing his spine. Given the choice between avoiding stressing his spine further and getting some practice in before future tournaments, Woods probably will err on the side of caution in hopes that his previous experience and skill make up for the missed practice time.

As for his spine, it will be very interesting to see if and how it holds up leading up to future tournaments. Woods has already undergone four surgeries on his spine alone, having gone under the knife for:

  • 2014 – Microdiscectomy to relieve a pinched nerve
  • 2015 – Microdiscectomy to remove a bone fragment causing nerve problems
  • 2015 – Decompression procedure to address lingering spinal discomfort
  • 2018 – Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion to help relieve problems caused by back spasms, sciatica and other sources of spine pain

Ahead of The Players Championship, Woods said that his “back is simply just not ready for play,” so while that may not suggest that another surgery is on the table, it’s a clear sign that he’s feeling the pain of numerous surgeries and previous spinal issues. Hopefully he is able to do what he needs to do to prepare for future tournaments.

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