19:24 PM

After surgery, medical experts predict a long and difficult recovery for Tiger Woods

The Washington Post reports on Tiger Woods’ orthopedic trauma injuries after his involvement in a single-car crash. According to the hospital where Woods underwent surgery, he sustained open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula that required a rod to fix, and had screws and pins implanted in his foot and ankle bones. Experts including David L. Helfet, MD, orthopedic trauma surgeon at HSS, who did not treat Woods, discuss what his treatment and recovery might entail.

Because of the “open” nature of Woods’s fractures, sometimes also called compound fractures, the risk of infection is significant and the likelihood of additional surgeries is high. “This is not a one-surgery [condition]. This is a multiple-surgery [condition],” explained Dr. Helfet. With an open fracture, he said, protocols call for multiple debridements — the removal of dead, damaged or infected tissue. Additionally, Woods “may need soft-tissue procedures, maybe a skin graft. He may need multiple, additional procedures to stabilize the bone perfectly, to restore the length, alignment and rotation of the leg,” noted Dr. Helfet.

“The risk of an injury like this is not necessarily lifesaving; it’s limb-saving. And the sooner you get the patient into … a trauma center, the better,” noted Dr. Helfet. “ … To get one of these injuries healed — the bone healed, the soft tissues recovered, [and] assuming there’s no nerve and artery damage and the muscle is recoverable, you’re talking about, until he can walk and put weight on his leg and actually have function, two to three months, at least."

“Golf,” added Dr. Helfet, “is immaterial.”

Read the full article at Washingtonpost.com. This article also appeared in print on February 25, 2021.

Additional coverage: Newsmax TV’s “Wake Up America” during the 7am news hour on February 25, 2021. Watch the segment online at Newsmaxtv.com (appearing from 01:18:18-01:26:35).