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Back In Action

Sports Illustrated reported that U.S. professional golfer Tiger Woods underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) to treat lower back pain. According to the article, the procedure restores the height between vertebrae when a spinal disc has become damaged.

HSS spine surgeon Andrew A. Sama, MD, who did not treat Woods, explained that the surgery does not require cutting muscles in the back. "You can put a support in the most favorable area of the spine without having to deal with scar tissue near the nerves," he said.

"When you take away that movement [between the vertebrae] that was causing pain, the patient actually feels like he can move better," Dr. Sama added.

This article appeared in the March 26, 2018 print issue.