Tiger Woods is at the beginning of a long road to recovery after the golfing legend suffered major leg injuries during a rollover crash Tuesday morning.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jaime Hernandez says Woods is just lucky to have survived the impact.
“After an injury like this, things are never the same,” said Hernandez. “All of this taken together is obviously a pretty severe injury and requires healing to different structures – bone, soft tissue, muscle, tendon, possibly nerves, so it’s a pretty severe injury.”
A statement posted on the golfer’s Twitter account says Woods is “responsive and recovering” after undergoing extensive surgery on his lower right leg and ankle.
It’s an injury that Hernandez says could have resulted in a lost limb.
“One of the problems with a significant crush injury to the leg is that there can be so much swelling that builds up from all of the trauma, that the swelling can actually prevent the blood from flowing into the leg and if that happens when the leg has no blood supply, it can die,” he said.
Now Dr. Hernandez says his leg injuries will require 6 months to a year of recovery.
After treating similar injuries, he believes the golfer will be able to walk again, but what about getting back to playing the sport he mastered?
“He has leg limitations, back limitations, but you know the mental side is a huge factor,” Hernandez said.