Tiger Woods likely looking at 'long road' to recovery after serious car accident, experts say

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Brendan Morrow
·2 min read
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Tiger Woods is "awake" and "responsive" after sustaining "significant" injuries in a serious car accident.

The golf legend was hospitalized Tuesday after being involved in a solo car accident, and a statement on his Twitter account Wednesday said he's "currently awake, responsive, and recovering" at the hospital.

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center's Dr. Anish Mahajan explained that Woods "suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery," during which "comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia." A "combination of screws and pins" was used to stabilize injuries to the bones of his foot and ankle, Mahajan also said.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta offered his reaction to this update on CNN, explaining that while Woods apparently not sustaining more life-threatening injuries was "some good news," he "may need further operations," and "it's probably going to be a long time, months, before you start to think about any sort of significant weight-bearings on" his leg.

"It's going to be a long road, and a very steady progression," Gupta said.

Emergency physician Dr. Jeremy Faust agreed that "it's going to be a long road for Mr. Woods." Dr. John Torres, NBC News medical correspondent, had a similar assessment on Today, explaining that the golfer is "going to get the usual post-recovery from a fracture," which will "take a few months." Torres added, though, that if Woods had to get his ankle fused or "had any big procedures done to that ankle that are going to limit mobility, that's going to take longer to recover," and "he truly might never get that mobility back that he had before."

On Good Morning America, ABC medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton also described this as a "major injury," and while noting "every patient is different," she said there "is the potential for this type of injury to have life-long manifestations."

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