Here’s what we know so far about Tiger Woods’ injuries



Tiger Woods suffered a smashed right leg and extensive injuries to his right foot in his nasty rollover crash outside of Los Angeles.

Doctors at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center described the golf great’s “significant orthopaedic injuries” in a statement released after his emergency surgery on Tuesday.

Woods, 45, is now facing a long road to recovery that includes lengthy physical therapy and more operations on his shattered leg, medical experts previously told The Post.

Here’s what we know so far about Woods’ injuries and what they mean:

Woods had “comminuted open fractures”

Dr. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA, said that Woods had “comminuted open fractures” to his right tibia and fibula, which are the bones directly under the knee.

“Comminuted” means the bones broke in more than two pieces and “open fractures,” or “compound fractures,” happen when a bone fragment pierces the skin.

Those types of fractures are generally more prone to infection and take longer to heal, according to experts.

To treat the breaks, doctors had to insert a metal rod into Woods’ shin bone, Mahajan said.

“He’s very fortunate to be alive,” said Dr. Kirk Campbell, sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon, Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Health. “It’s going to take several months to just walk.”

Tiger Woods' car after the crash on February 23, 2021.
Tiger Woods’ car after the crash on February 23, 2021.

Woods suffered injuries to right foot and ankle

In addition to the fractures in his lower right leg, Woods also had other severe injuries to the bones in his right foot and ankle, Mahajan said.

Those were treated by inserting a combination of screws in pins into the bones to stabilize the fractures.

Woods’ right leg was seriously swollen

The PGA legend had “trauma to the muscle and soft tissue” of his leg that required “surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.”

This means that his leg muscles swelled so much, surgeons had to cut open the tissue around them to relieve the pressure.

Dr. William Ricci, the chief of orthopedic trauma at Hospital for Special Surgery, described the condition as being similar to when “you break a twig in your hand, you feel that reverberation.”

Woods had to be pulled from the car's windshield.
Woods had to be pulled from the car’s windshield.

“The muscles around the bone get bruised and injured,” Ricci previously told The Post. “The muscle that gets bruised and injured swells — it’s like a sausage with the lining on it.”

In order to relieve the pressure, surgeons must cut the tissue around the muscle — which likely will require more surgeries down the road for Woods.

“It either takes multiple surgeries to get the skin closed over the muscle, or sometimes you need a skin graft to cover the muscle,” said Ricci.

Tiger Woods' car getting towed away after the accident.
Tiger Woods’ car getting towed away after the accident.
REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Will Woods recover?

Medical experts have told The Post that it could be a while before Woods even thinks about even walking again.

“You’re talking about the foot, ankle, leg, tibia,” said Dr. Andrew Brief, an orthopedist with the Ridgewood Orthopedic Group in New Jersey.

“It could conceivably be a challenge to walk properly, let alone return to professional sports.”

Tiger Woods' career could be in jeopardy following the crash.
Tiger Woods’ career could be in jeopardy following the crash.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ricci, of the Hospital for Special Surgery, estimated Woods will face a year of rehabilitation and physical therapy focused on restoring his mobility, range of motion and strengthening his calf, ankle and foot muscles.

“I don’t know Tiger Woods personally but everything I see and read about him, he’s a pretty motivated person,” said Ricci. “If anyone could [rebound,] it would be him but it’s going to be a battle.”


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