Greg Norman Has Successful Back Surgery At The University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
News Release from Great White Shark Enterprises, Inc.
JUPITER, Fla., March 22, 2005 — After exhausting all non-surgical options to relieve back pain that has bothered Greg Norman for several years, the two-time British Open champion decided that an operation was the best course of action.
“I had a simple choice,” Norman said. “Either retire from the game of golf or seek any and all available means to help relieve the pain that has kept me from performing at a level that suits my standards and at the same time improves the quality of my life.”
Norman underwent a micro-surgical partial discectomy and decompression of the L4-L5 nerve roots to his thigh and foot today at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Joseph Maroon, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, performed the operation, which took 90 minutes.
“Everything went exactly as planned,” said Dr. Maroon. “Due to Greg’s high level of physical fitness and commitment to rehabilitation, we are confident he will make a full recovery.”
Dr. Maroon has been the team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1977 and has done extensive research and teaching in the area of concussions and other head injuries in athletes and neurocognitive testing of professional athletes.
Norman’s injury is common among professional athletes, especially golfers. The micro-surgical discectomy relieved pressure on the nerve and should free him of some discomfort.
Norman is scheduled to return home Wednesday and will begin rehabilitation and physical therapy immediately thereafter. He hopes to resume his playing schedule within three months. “My desire remains the same, and that is to return to competition as soon as possible,” Norman said.
Norman serves as a senior advisor and plays an ambassadorial role for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – Center for Sports Medicine. He has worked extensively with Dr. Scott Lephart in the biomechanics lab to develop golf-specific programs.