Renowned Golfer Tiger Woods was involved in a one-car rollover accident early Tuesday morning near Los Angeles.
This accident happened due to the SUV he was driving crossing over the median line, resulting in his vehicle hitting a curb, tree, and lastly landing off the road on its side. After Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Carlos Gonzalez and first responders arrived, they reported that Woods sustained injuries as well as having to use the jaws of life to pull him from his vehicle.
“Jaws of Life”
This incident could have been much worse.
Thanks to Woods wearing his seatbelt and his airbags working properly, he was able to survive this accident which otherwise had the potential to be fatal.
When first responders and the sheriff deputy Carlos Gonzalez arrived, they reported that Woods seemed calm and aware. Currently, it is being assumed that he seemed calm due to a rush of adrenaline and possibly being in shock.
Woods remained calm and coherent while first responders worked on removing him from the vehicle as safely as possible and without adding onto any injuries from the initial incident. This included using a combination of an axe and pry bar.
Before being transported to a hospital, Woods was placed in a neck collar and on a stretcher or backboard as he had serious injuries to both of his legs.
How it Happened
It is not believed that Woods had an intention to actively injure himself or roll his vehicle.
At the time the first responders arrived, Woods was responsive and able to answer their questions and showed no signs of being impaired.
The road the accident occurred on, Hawthorne Boulevard, is known by locals as a dangerous curve with many accidents in its history. Many of these accidents can be accounted for by high speeds and the curve of the road as a bad combination.
During an update, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva explained how this may have occurred.
“At the time it [Woods’ vehicle] crossed the center divider, to the point that it rested, was several hundred feet away, so obviously that indicates they were going at a relatively greater speed than normal.”
Since arriving at the hospital Tuesday morning, Woods has been in stable condition. His team also took the lead on his twitter to provide some relief to fans and friends.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 24, 2021
In the past day, Woods has had an emergency surgery to assist in correcting and fixing comminuted fractures to his tibia and fibula with rods. Along with this, screws and pins were also placed into Woods’ foot.
Woods also suffered from a compound fracture- this occurs when the bone breaks and breaks through the layers of muscle and skin which is a high risk of infection.
NBC news senior medical correspondent Doctor John Torres explains some of what this all means.
“Comminuted means instead of one clean fracture there’s multiple fractures throughout, so when they go in surgically they have to figure out how to get all those fractures back together.”
Most notably with what has raised questions from the statement from Woods’ team is the comment about releasing pressure which has many asking what it could possibly mean.
“There’s a condition called compartment syndrome and when that leg part gets swollen enough, that swelling creates pressure that can cut down on circulation, it can cause nerve damage. If that pressure doesn’t get released quickly – and by quickly, I mean within an hour or so – it can cause permanent damage, it can even lead to amputation.”
At the moment, Everyone is hopeful that Woods will be able to walk again-and be able to play again eventually.
Looking Back on Other Injuries
The golf star has had many injuries in his past including multiple back surgeries.
Between 2008-2010, Woods took several months off to deal with two stress fractures in one of his tibias. He also dealt with a reconstructive surgery on one of his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)’s and to assist in recovering some of the tissues and cartilage around the knee.
In 2010, Woods was rumored to have been dealing with a bulging disc in his neck causing strain to his shoulders and back while golfing.
During the Spring and Summer of 2011, Woods handled another injury to his previously reconstructed ACL and also sustained damage to his Achilles tendon. Despite being a good sport about the injuries, growing concerns led to him spraining his Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL).
In 2013, Woods sprained his elbow at a nationals tournament, ruling him out of being able to participate that year in order to focus on recovery.
During this year, he also suffered from back spasms making it difficult to play.
These muscle spasms in his back have carried on through the years making it strenuous to the game, and adding a multitude of stress. In 2014, Woods had a back surgery to correct pinched nerves to help spasms from continuing. Just a few months later he attempted to participate in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational but came to a quick ending after injuring his back again and being driven off of the course.
2015 led to a rocky year of injuries and trial and error to return to playing golf.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 19, 2015
In February 2015 during the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods played 11 holes before leaving due to injuring his back again. He later regarded this as his “glutes just shutting off”.
Months later after not qualifying for the PGA tour, Woods scheduled a microdiscectomy surgery and stated he wouldn’t be able to participate in any upcoming events through the end of that year in order to focus on recovery. Just a few short weeks after this surgery, Woods had an additional procedure to relieve stress in his back.
After many months of rehabilitation for his back injuries, in late 2016 Woods returned to the golf scene to the Safeway Open golf tournament. At this time Woods also lined himself for other upcoming tournaments with high hopes.
In 2017, Woods shortly left a tournament due to having back spasms again. Just two months later in April, Woods had a surgery to remove a damaged disc from his back to help relieve pain and discomfort.
In September, Woods was given clearance by his doctors to continue on with golf. He was concerned that he may never play professionally again at this time due to the numerous surgeries and issues from the sport. A month later his team announces that he will be returning to the professional golf scene starting with the Hero World Challenge in November 2017.
Making Progress pic.twitter.com/I3MZhJ74kI
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) October 15, 2017
After an insane comeback and a year without any serious injuries, in 2019 took a pass on the Arnold Palmer Invitational due to some strain in his neck. A week later, Woods came back and ready for the challenges which led to claiming another major title during The Masters in Spring of 2019.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 15, 2019
During the Summer and Fall of 2019 Woods limited his movement due to back pain as well as a surgery to repair cartilage in his knee.
Before the pandemic hit the US at full force, Woods sat out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2020 due to continuing back pain and stiffness.
His fifth and final back surgery related to golf was in December 2020, specifically a microdiscectomy to remove a plate that was causing strain.