What were Tiger ‘s injuries?
It appears from the statement his injuries were confined to his right lower leg. This may appear surprising to many who have seen the footage of the accident and heard that his vehicle rolled over.
However, it is common these days to have people admitted after bad car accidents with only injuries to their lower leg. This is because of seat belts, airbags and vehicle construction. These have done a lot to prevent the previously common facial injuries (from windscreens and steering wheels) and head, chest and abdominal injuries.
The statement says he had “comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula”.
The fact that it was a bad fracture, however, means it might be harder to get it to heal and that it might take longer.
“Open” fractures mean the skin overlying the broken bone was broken. The main concern is that having an open fracture increases the risk of infection. However, given Woods remained in the vehicle (he had to be broken out of it with special equipment), there is unlikely to be any dirt or highly contaminated material involved.
How did doctors treat his injuries?
The tibia and fibula are the two bones that link the knee to the ankle, the tibia being the much larger, main bone. His tibia and fibula were “stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia”.
It is routine to treat fractures like this with a rod inserted inside the bone from top to bottom to line it up. The rod only needs to go into the tibia because the fibular usually follows the tibia into alignment, as the two bones are connected.
Will he recover?
The interesting thing about Woods’ injuries is that, while the “open” and “comminuted” fractures of the tibia and fibula sound very bad, if he can avoid the early problem of infection, these injuries on their own do not necessarily mean that he will have any permanent problems.
Once healed, the leg can potentially be just as straight and strong as it was before. Muscles can be strengthened and skin and bones usually heal.