Tiger Woods undergoes fourth back surgery, out at least another six months

Tiger Woods revealed on Thursday that he has undergone yet another back surgery. This is his fourth in the last 40 months, and it was performed to alleviate pain he was having in his back and leg.

Due to previous herniations and three surgeries, Woods' bottom lower-back disc severely narrowed, causing sciatica and severe back and leg pain. Conservative therapy, which included rehabilitation, medications, limiting activities and injections, failed as a permanent solution, and Woods opted to have surgery. 

The procedure was a minimally invasive Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (MIS ALIF) at L5/S1. The surgery entailed removing the damaged disc and re-elevating the collapsed disc space to normal levels. This allows the one vertebrae to heal to the other. The goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerve and to give the nerve the best chance of healing. 

Woods had not played competitively since the beginning of February when he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic. He missed his third Masters in four years at the beginning of April.

"The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain," Woods said in a statement. "When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long."   

The timetable for his return is around six months, according to Woods' website, though he will begin rehab in a matter of weeks.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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