Transcript for How Tiger Woods recovered to win 2019 Masters
We are back with a closer look at what Tiger Woods did to overcome and winning the masters. Amy is here and tiger had to battle back from multiple surgeries. He certainly did. Good morning, everyone. Tiger Woods actually underwent four back surgeries over a three-year period and many thought that would mean the end of his career and guess what, he proved them all wrong. The return to glory. Reporter: Tigerds reclaiming his place on top and winning the masters, his first major in 11 years. And this morning, questions about how the 43-year-old returned to fighting form to secure his fifth masters title rediscovering his abilities on the golf course almost by accident. A couple years ago I could barely walk. I couldn't sit. I couldn't lay down. I really couldn't do much of anything. The procedure on my back which gave me a chance at having a normal life but then all of a sudden I realized I could swing a golf club again. Reporter: That procedure an anterior lumbar interbody fusion performed in April 2017 credited with once again making tiger roar. The procedure was a minimally invasive surgery entailing removing the damaged disc and reelevating the collapsed disc space to normal levels that allows the one vertebrae to heal to the other. The goal T relieve the pressure on the nerve and to give the nerve the best chance of healing. You could avoid damaging any of the muscles in the posterior parts of the back of your lumbar spine. Something that's probably very important for somebody like a golfer. Reporter: It's been a long road back foroods who has a well-documented history of injuries related to his back, knees, shoulders and feet. According to woods' official website previous disc herniations and previous surgeries caused sciatica and severe back and leg pain but on April 19th, 2017, woods opted for the surgery that his agent mark Steinburg once described as dramatically different. Undergoing the anterior lumbar interbody fusion. The surgery was about quality of life because I didn't have much. I've been in bed for about two years. Reporter: Now it appears he's well on his way to writing a new chapter in a storied career. I think the kids are starting to understand, you know, how much this game means to me and prior to this comeback they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain. Basically all they remember, luckily that's no longer the case and I can do this again. And so, you know, creating new memories for them and just very special. So woods is now just three wins away from tying jack Nicklaus for the most majors in golf history, can he pull it off at what many consider an advanced age. It's not a good idea to count Tiger Woods out, Michael. Definitely not, Amy, thanks. We're joined by Dr. Jennifer Ashton. Good morning. Doc, could you explain more about the back problem? It's called degenerative disc disease and this basically speaking to smien surgeons will happen to almost all of us as we age. This he say think of it like gray hair or wrinkles and if you think of the disc like this jelly doughnut it gets dehydrated and flattened then you have bone on bone and it's not just a compression of nerves in the area but there's inflammatory mediators that get involved and this causes extreme pain and then that affects quality of life. This surgery, it was life changing for tiger. Yeah. Why did he wait so long? You know, we have a saying in surgery a good surgeon knows when to cut and a great surgeon knows when not to. The fact in speaking to experts this was an anterior approach or this alif is done in a reoperation or revision scenario and there were multiple operations and that could fusion could have occurred from the back so they go in from the when fusion surgeries don't work it's because that bone hasn't sealed with the adjacent bone and that is incredibly common. In general back surgery should be a last resort for treating back pain. You don't just run to the operating room. They always say let it be the last resort. Don't do it unless you have to. Who is the ideal candidate? Any type of elective surgery you want to have good health in the general patient and, again, for this anterior approach someone without previous abdominal surgery because general surgeons or vascular surgeons usually do the first half then the spine neurosurgeons or or the 350edic surgeon does that part so you don't like to go through scar things like physical therapy, rehab, you know, surgery, steroid injections, some complimentary therapies. Those are the mainstays before you go to the operating room. Being an athlete I know there's a lot of rehab involved with tiger that most don't do after surgery. Just because you have surgery like tiger doesn't mean your game will be like tiger's. You're on candid camera.
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