Norman has cut back on his golf the last two years because of recurring back pain. He played seven times on the PGA Tour last year, but never broke par and made only one cut.
He had to withdraw earlier this month from the Dubai Desert Classic.
'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 my quality of life.'
Norman had the 90-minute operation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Joseph Maroon, the neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1977, said Norman is expected to make a full recovery.
Norman turned 50 in February and was expected to play in the Senior PGA Championship in late May at Laurel Valley.
'My desire remains the same, and that is to return to competition as soon as possible,' Norman said.
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