17:07 PM

Tiger Woods' historic return from 8 knee and back surgeries

NBCNews.com reports on Tiger Woods’ recovery and return to professional golf following 8 knee and back surgeries.

Physician-journalist Shamard Charles, MD spoke to Todd J. Albert, MD, spine surgeon and surgeon-in-chief at HSS who did not treat Woods, but discussed degenerative conditions affecting the knee and back, Woods’ most recent procedure [Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)], and misconceptions about spine surgery.

Dr. Albert noted, “His [Woods’] genetics might be such that he had some early degeneration of his cartilage in his knee that caused him to change his swing mechanics and exacerbated the degenerative cartilage in his back. In other words, his knee degeneration and his disk degeneration may be related.” With regard to Woods’ ALIF procedure, Dr. Albert cited, “The idea is to reduce motion at the level that is causing him most pain. In essence by repairing that vertebrae you are taking that sick motion out of the matrix where he was repeatedly injuring himself. It was the right procedure for him. He is also an amazing athlete with great determination.”

Dr. Albert concluded stating many fusions have been done when more conventional methods such as physical therapy, yoga and Pilates could be used to increase core strength. “The only indications for a surgery like this are for cases of proven instability, multiple failed disk operations that have resulted in collapse, or repeated failures of conventional therapies.”

Read the full article at NBCNews.com.