For anybody who is struggling with a decision about whether or not to undergo spinal fusion surgery, a recently-released video provides a compelling testimonial. It’s by none other than legendary golfer Tiger Woods, who famously struggled with spine pain.
The 7-minute video was shot as part of a promotion for the spine surgery practice that performed his procedure, but the details of what Woods endured prior to the surgery will be painfully familiar to anybody who has ever suffered from chronic back pain, and the progress and relief that he has experienced since the surgery will be all that most will need to move forward and have the surgery themselves if their physicians have recommended it.
Woods revealed the vulnerability and helplessness that he experienced prior to the final surgery that turned his life around. He begins by describing what a day in his life looked like.
“A day in the life would be very easy: I wouldn’t move,” he says. “It was only a few months in which I really hit my low point. That seemed to me like 30 years,” he said.
This description stands in start contrast to the stoic, “I’ll be back” type of answers that Woods provided to journalists for years. It reveals the depth of the agony he suffered on a daily basis. He recounts how his young children would bring their toys to him so that he could play with them, knowing that he was unable to come to them. He remembers trying to decide just how badly he wanted to satisfy his own needs. “It was hard to try and wrap my head around it. Can I get up to the refrigerator or am I not really that thirsty? That’s just how life was,” he says. He essentially never left his chair because is pain was “off the charts, very hard to deal with physically, emotionally, spiritually. It tested me more so than any other time in my life.”
Providing this open and honest description of his pain must have been challenging for the world-class athlete, and yet it likely will make a real difference for patients who are facing the same type of ordeal, having explored all the conservative approaches, and maybe even previous surgeries, and who are afraid of taking the big step of undergoing spinal fusion surgery. In Woods’ case, he thought that spinal fusion could mean the end of his career, but his pain was so overwhelming that he chose it to allow himself to return to a reasonable quality of life and be able to enjoy time with his family.
Today, Woods is able to do exactly that. He was able to stand, pain free, immediately after the surgery. Similar outcomes are possible for you too. For more information on spinal fusion and other remedies to chronic back pain, contact our spinal surgery practice in New Jersey today.