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Tiger Undergoes Fourth Back Surgery With New Doctor

I suspect we are all heartened that Tiger did not go back to the doctor credited with the first three (ultimately unsuccessful) back surgeries and, according to, this time entrusted his back to Dr. Richard Guyer of the Texas Back Institute.

From the report:

"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," Guyer added.

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Reader Comments (56)

So they did a fusion? If so that will be a much longer recovery. Rods and screws etc.. Nothing like a micro if that's what he had before. Bright side is he will finally stop having problems at that disc level.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBt
could you imagine how messed up TW's back would be if his first 3 surgeries weren't so successful?
04.20.2017 | Unregistered Commentergary
Every one of his surgeries have been deemed successful so if I were him I wouldn't put much stock in that.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
Whack a mole! As an aside I watched the 3 part series on Jack and the look on the face of these pros when they see his records and are asked, "what is the most impressive thing?" For me it is an easy choice- longevity- 24 years between the first and last major victory- a top 5 at 58. I always think about that when another Tiger issue pops up. His last major was 9 years ago. Time flies.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
Griffin - They were successful surgeries - he survived.

Didn't Rocco Mediate have a fusion and it took him a few years to come back?
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt H.
Well at least they were being honest with us saying he was 'almost ready' to play in the masters. LOL
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Matt H,

Ha! I'm thinking Tiger is probably not thinking those earlier surgeries were that successful at this point even if he is still alive.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGriffin
The Texas Back Institute?
Next he will be going to some Caribbean Island for a magic potion.
He needs Dr Galea again for his magic potion. Actually some HGH might help his healing.
Time to move on. No more competitive golf for Tiger.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPitbull
Sounds like he should spend some time with other great athletes that struggled to retire but found a new chapter in their lives...
He has put his body thru so much golfing for so many years....the public gets it...we see great athletes retire...its ok.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPrairie Golfer
Bt: appears they did in fact do a fusion, entering from th back, just above the butt. I had this done a year ago, except two discs were removed, it sucks big time. Fusion is a big big procedure. And yea takes a long time to heal, if it ever really does. Texas Back Institute is a well known place, in Plano Texas, latterly 7 minute walk from my place. Good luck TW, whatever time frame he tells the public it's probably only a third right. He'll be lucky to play in 2018 at PGA tour s right, the previous 3 procedures were all said the be so so successful, really only time will tell.
Peyton Manning, Davis Love III, and Stacey Lewis had spinal fusion surgery. Lewis still plays professional golf.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGutta Percha
Re. Eldrick, that's nice. Guess the U.S. Open's a no.

Meanwhile, has anyone read much on the careers of golfers Merrick Bremner and Eric Axley?

Check 'em out on the Official World Golf Rankings.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSo?
Peyton Manning had this done but in the cervical area or neck. I think Dudley Hart had a lumbar fusion.
Yet more slurper dejection.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarky Mark
Nice to keep us informed but really I just don't want to hear anything else except "I'm done" or "im playing". I would think/hope someone in the Woods circle must be saying this has become a circus. I don't doubt the physical issues or his desire to return, just don't want the week by week updates.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKG
Ouch. Again, small sample size for me, but I never have known anyone that is better after back surgery. Seems like it never works. I would be curious if there if he could have prevented what he is going through by avoiding all the PED things he did. Also, many seem to avoid surgery with various stretching/flexibility regimens.

Thankfully, I have no experience with back issues. I pity all those who do. Not sure if the stretching/yoga crowd are just snake oil sellers. Would be interested in getting other's thoughts with back experience

Sadly, my prediction he was done after the 2008 shutdown was correct. He had gotten small from stopping the PEDs and the inevitable breakdown was coming similar to Bonds, et al. What a book that would be to see what all he took and when he stopped.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMJR
The Ghost -

Dudley is done. Good guy there as well; I wish he could still play.

Tiger? Toast. I doubt he puts a peg in the ground in competitive play.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHardy Greaves
Ghost: How has your fusion progressed? Will you golf eventually? I have been dealing with an L5-S1 herniation for years. I'm 47 now. I play golf but I usually have a couple of episodes a year where I have to rest and take a prednisone pack. Not had to have surgery. Had a Neuro consult last year. Surgeon thought there was a decent chance that the disc would stabilize and dry up essentially as I age and may possibly avoid surgery longterm. Problem is that if I ever had to go that route, a fusion would be the only real option because there won't be much left of the disc. Good luck to you. Thanks for the info.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBt
Clearly this was planned last minute as an excuse for hitting a ball in the water at his course opening TWO days ago.

If your back is bad enough to need a fusion, it is clearly bad enough that you shouldn't be swinging a golf club. And yet, Tiger couldn't bring himself back out of taking those swings lest he give away anything.

This is a very strange person.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
I would have to believe that Tiger has been in a fair amount of pain to explain this latest surgery. His team can say what they wish, but I doubt he's really thinking about playing the Tour again and more about having some semblence of a normal life in his 40s. Given the normal recovery time for fusion coupled with his disdain for playing poorly, at best his playing days are a long way away I think.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPops
The # of comments for a Tiger Woods back surgery announcement has gone down at least 15-20 with each surgery.

Lexi moving her ball 1/4 inch waaaay beats TW's surgery #4.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn C
Long term back sufferer here. Have had a couple of back surgeries and refuse to have fusion even though I suffer constantly. Why? Because every credible surgeon tells me that fusion at a "young" age (me 50) in nearly always leads to deterioration at the next lunar disc level up or down, as the torque is transferred/ magnified from the locked down joint. So it ends up being two or three level fusions and multiple highly invasive surgeries. Now imagine a tour player ?

I suspect Tiger will need some professional counseling to understand that his goal should be to lead a somewhat normal life in a low pain environment, not participate in high impact sports -much less, golf.
More Tiger drama. My daughter was a police officer and more of a Navy Seal than Tiger ever hoped to be. She had multi-level spinal fusion, torn Laburnum and more. Continues to find ways to increase the drama and trying to make the world feel as if the end is near. His end is near ... or past near. Payback for the attitude he exhibited when healthy.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered Commentertourimage
Bt-I had two level fusion Jan 2016. I played golf since 6 yrs old thru D1 in college, i.e. Ton of golf, it takes a toll. I am playin golf yes, started about 4 months after surgery, more like a bucket of balls a few times a week. I did go to Scotland last July played 4 days in a row, walking. The pain I had in my back is gone, so it was worth it. For me, the two discs were just shot, not much left. L4-5 5-s1 discs. I am having nerve pain in my legs, neuropathy, pain that wasn't there before the procedure. I'm 48. I really had no choice on this one. Happy to answer any questions, actually helps me to talk about it, my surgeon says it takes twice as long to heal mentally for this as physically. Send me an email if you want,

It yea, I can play all the golf I want, just don't have the energy at 48 as I did at 23 obviously. Looking forward to getting going this season.
A successful surgery is when the doctor gets paid.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDon
I'm a teaching pro and I had a fusion at C6-7 four years ago.
I didn't know I had a problem till I lost 70 percent of the strength in my left arm because the disc was compressing the spinal chord. 3 days after the MRI diagnosis, it was operated on. No choice or within 6 months, I wouldn't be walking, let alone playing golf. Was also told that the two discs above would probably need attention in the future.

I was hitting balls within 2 months and playing 2 weeks after that.
Aside from the inevitable post-op discomfort, it was pretty fuss free. My range of movement is fine and no pain or problems since.
2 weeks ago and follow up MRI shows the other discs are doing fine.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
"[The Masters] probably wouldn't have been the best place for Tiger to start the year out after this most recent setback, and I think we should probably look, maybe something just after the Players Championship." When asked about Tiger's prospects for playing the U.S. Open in June, Begay added, "Oh, it's a definite possibility. That's probably the event that's circled on his calendar."

-Notah Begay, Soothsayer - 12 days ago
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterNRH
Send him a blonde for his recovery.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBill
The surgeries are a cover for a lost golf game. Yes, I do think Tiger is less than truthful about this whole back thing. When he plays well (which is rare) like the Bahamas -- back is fine. As soon as the golf game and confidence go south, here comes the back pain.
Turns out he wasn't mentally strong at all.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDrew Scott
retire already, so sick of the drama.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul
metro 18....can empathize . Had lost left arm strength, arm speed, and the inability to rotate left forearm (C5)......thought is was a shoulder issue (again). Orthopedic surgeon (who has operated on my left shoulder) sent me to neurosurgeon...MRI revealed 4 herniated discs (C-2, C-3, C-4, C-5)...was told similar story as your's...if not addressed ASAP, a small trip-and-fall incident, or a minor fender-bender, etc., could have serious consequences and result in permanent and irreversible damage. Same as you, was informed there are no nonsurgical treatments available for myelopathy from external compression.

Had 4-level ACDF ( anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) surgery at Duke on March 3 of last year, stayed over-night before being released; experienced virtually zero post-op pain or discomfort other than the "collar" for about a week. Was elated to play 9-holes of golf 6 weeks to the day post op......immediate relief, regained full strength in left arm, and had a fairly simple and painless recovery. Hope your continued to have successful recovery and return to golf is as favorable as what I have experienced.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPro From Dover

Would you please put a filter into my account settings so I never read another TW injury/comeback story?


04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFescue
Thanks Pro.
Almost the exact same story. I was referred by my orthopedic surgeon who had operated on my right rotator cuff. I was told the same thing as I left the neuro's office "Do not fall over. Do not have a fender bender!!" Scared the bejeezus out of me at the time.
Almost 5 years later and all good.
I posted the above because of the negativity in some posts about spinal surgery and disc fusion in particular.
Our stories show that it is often the only way and not as dark as many may paint it.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
Drama is all that this camp has left to keep him in the news.

PED's and HGH are great while you're using them. Not so great on the body after you stop. I guess the tour's drug testing really put a clamp on Tiger's pursuit of Jack's record. It seems that he hasn't been the same since.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
Jupiter. When you swing a golf club with any sort of acumen - you are putting 7 times your body weight load on your spine.
Do that for 30 years or more and as often as any golf professional has done and if you haven't got a problem with your spine - then you got more than lucky.
Your PED's/HGH replay has got boring and it is not relevant.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
Does anybody doubt that Mark Steinberg and Sean Spicer are related?
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPasaplayer
Good to hear Dover: The cervical area is a different animal vs lumbar.

Glad you're doing well. It's a tough deal.
Well, it's just obvious as the day is long that Tiger took HGH or some other designer steriod that the geniuses at and around Stanford athletics/World Gym were cooking up back int he late 90s when Tiger was there. A huge percentage of the US Olympic teamm particularly in the steriod sports" (swimming, track & field) go to Stanford. And, of course, Burlingame and World Gym were the Ground Zero of the baseball steriod scandal - Canseco, McGuire, Bonds, Giombi. Without question, a world-wide celebrity superstar like Tiger knew ALL these people, hung with them, picked their brains, knew all their trainers, the whole schmear. That's just how it works in ANY athletic department, let alone the Stanford athletic department - which was and remains a generation or so ahead of everybody else in terms of medicine the latest techniques. They have to be.

There's simply no way in the world that he WASN'T exposed to the stuff there.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterShivas
@Metro... thanks for reading and the feedback.

I've been golfing for 30 years with what I trust most would consider a less than perfect swing. My back is fine. I'm just very lucky I guess... and for the record I've never done HGH or PED's. So I've never had to worry about what would happen to my body when I stopped.

So others can mention PED's and HGH in their posts but when I do you attack? I guess you don't see an correlation between Tiger's downfall and the tour's drug testing? You don't have any suspicions regarding his relationship with an unlicensed Canadian Dr? It seems that a lot of folks just want to keep their head in the sand on this one. I'm sure that Lance Armstrong is innocent too. He must have been pressured into his confession. That Oprah... she really has a way of getting people to say what she wants them to say.
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
"Does anybody doubt that Mark Steinberg and Sean Spicer are related?"

That's a given.

Question is, who plays Steiny and Shack on Saturday Night Live?
04.21.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSo?

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