4 athletes who have undergone lumbar fusions


While surgeons often find that patients are leary of single-level lumbar fusions, expressing concerns about their range of motion or athletic ability being restricted, several major athletes have undergone the procedure, some of whom returned to play after recovering. 

Here are four professional athletes who have undergone lumbar fusions:

1. World Wrestling Entertainment star Adam Scherr had a one-level cervical spine fusion at Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Ala., but he assured fans he would return to the ring on his Instagram page. 

2. Oakland Athletics pitcher Drew Rucinski had a spinal decompression and L5 to S1 spinal fusion performed by Robert Watkins, MD, ending his 2023 season. 

3. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Nate Quarry, who suffers from degenerative disc disease, underwent the XLIF procedure created by NuVasive in 2006, which allowed him to get back into the fighting ring following the fusion. 

4. In 2017, professional golfer Tiger Woods underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion performed by Richard Guyer, MD, of Plano-based Texas Back Institute. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers