After years of battling crippling back pain, Tiger Woods is back with a Masters win. The ride to overcome his injuries is a tough one, but it is all worth it.
Woods' journey from being on top to rock bottom and now at the pinnacle again is a colorful ride. With numerous injuries and advancing age, it is not surprising for people to think that the six-time Masters champion is about to bid the golf world goodbye anytime soon.
Woods silenced all doubters when he showcased his grit and talent as if it was 1997 all over again at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 13.
"This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, it's something I'll never, ever forget," Woods said.
Back Injury Timeline And Treatments That Led To Recovery
Woods was crippled by knee problems early in his career. He had to undergo surgeries and medical treatments for those conditions. The most striking about his health, however, are his back injuries. It was so painful that Woods had to make heartbreaking decisions to quit tournaments.
In March 2014, Woods experienced the first symptoms of back problems. He withdrew from the Honda Classic. In April of that year, he announced that he will undergo a procedure called microdiscectomy due to a pinched nerve on his back. He had the same surgery in September 2015 again.
Microdiscectomy is a procedure that entails removing damaged spinal disc using a thin tube with a camera. This requires a surgeon to make a cut on the skin to introduce the tube.
In October 2015, Woods underwent another operation in the hopes of relieving discomfort. He went to the Dr. Richard Guyer, the same surgeon who performed his past two procedures.
In February 2017, he complained of back spasms, promoting him to quit the second round of Dubai Desert Classic. Woods then resorted to rehabilitation, medications, and limited activity, but nothing seemed to work.
Two months later, in April 2017, Woods underwent lower right back fusion surgery, for which he was so optimistic about. For this procedure, he was advised to rest for a couple of weeks before he starts therapy.
Guyer said that after Woods recovers from this surgery, rehabilitative interventions will slowly commence until complete healing is achieved. The next step would have to be training him to return to competitive golf.
Heart Of A Champion
The day Woods had been waiting for finally arrived. He knew he can win again and that it was just a matter of time. Fans screamed as he achieved victory once again.
Aside from the numerous medical and surgical procedures that Woods underwent, his tenacity and resilience may have held a valuable key to his recovery.
"You never give up," Woods said. "That's a given. You always fight."
For him, giving up is not an option. Challenges are present all the time, but people should keep on fighting and getting through.