Tiger Woods' ACL Surgery: FAQ
Woods to Get ACL Reconstruction and Expects to Miss the Rest of the PGA Season
June 18, 2008 -- On the heels of his U.S. Open victory, Tiger Woods today
bowed out of the rest of the PGA tour season to get ACL reconstruction surgery
on his left knee.
That's the same knee that had arthroscopic surgery
in April, as well as other operations in 1994 and 2002.
Woods also has a double stress fracture of his left tibia (shin bone) due to
intense rehabilitation and training before the U.S. Open, states Woods'
official web site.
As Woods battled his way to victory in a sudden-death playoff,
he could be seen wincing in pain. But his ACL injury dates back to last
year, when he tore his ACL while running at his Florida
Woods decided not to get ACL reconstruction at the time and to play through
the pain. He won five of his next six tournaments, then had arthroscopic
surgery on his left knee in April.
Did Woods push too hard in the U.S. Open? And what does his latest surgery
mean for his career? WebMD spoke with Allan Mishra, MD, and Patrick McCulloch,
MD, about that.
Mishra is a clinical assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Stanford
University Medical Center. McCulloch is an assistant professor of orthopaedic
surgery and sports medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Mishra and McCulloch aren't treating Woods.
Do you think the sudden-death playoff may have pushed his knee over its limits, or do you think that wasn't the deciding factor?
McCulloch: If a knee is painful and swollen, we generally recommend
cutting back on the activities. In his case, he didn't have the opportunity to
do that and in fact had to play more than expected. I think that when you
continue to play with a painful knee or a swollen knee, it tends to do you a
Mishra: I'm sure he wasn't happy about playing an extra 18 holes on
Monday and then having to go to the sudden-death playoffs; he certainly wasn't
counting on that. I don't know if it pushed him over the edge because he
already knew he had a torn ACL.
Do you think he tried to come back too fast after that arthroscopic surgery in April?
Mishra: No, I don't know for sure, but he knew what he had -- it
sounds like he knew he had an ACL tear and made a conscious decision not to get
it done and now he's going to have to do the bigger procedure, which actually
in the long run may be better for him.
McCulloch: It's hard to know what he had done [in April]. If he had a
meniscus tear and the torn part was removed, then typically we let patients
walk on it right away. They're off crutches in a few days, and they can usually
return to sports around the six-week mark. So his timing would have been
appropriate for that. In his case, it's different because he's had a torn
ligament as well, so he may have developed new problems or new injuries in the
knee related to that.