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While Dance Moms personality Abby Lee Miller has no shortage of problems at the moment, her latest concern might be her most critical to date. On Tuesday at 1 AM, the reality TV star underwent emergency surgery on her spinal cord. Miller had been complaining about back problems for a couple of weeks -- at least -- and it was eventually determined that she had an unusual and very strange infection on her spine that left her paralyzed from the neck down. If they didn't operate on her soon, Abby Lee Miller had the risk of being paralyzed permanently. Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, the orthopedic spine surgeon who treated Miller, helped explain what happened to Abby Lee Miller during this health scare ordeal. Here's what the surgeon said.
Over the next two days, her condition started deteriorating. Not just her pain, but her weakness started getting worse. In the span of 24 hours, which was something that I have not seen, her condition rapidly deteriorated. She was completely paralyzed from the neck down.
Dr. Hooman M. Melamed told People that Abby Lee Miller first experiencing neck pains and weakness in her arm before they needed to operate on the reality TV star. Melamed claims he wanted to transfer Miller to another hospital after her blood pressure was bottoming out, but he felt that if he tried to take her to another hospital in her growingly worrisome condition, there was a very good chance she might not have survived. In fact, if they didn't operate on her immediately, the surgeon claims Abby Lee Miller could have died. Here's how Dr. Melamed explained it further.
We did a CT and we saw what appeared to be an infection that had spread from the bottom of her neck all the way to the lower part of her back... which is extremely unusual. If we didn't do something, she was going to die. Her blood pressure was bottoming out. She was not doing well.
Extra was the first to report on this health ordeal. Abby Lee Miller went into surgery for nearly five hours for a multi-level laminectomy at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital, and it required an 18-inch incision on her back. Dr. Hooman M. Melamed had to remove the back part of several vertebrae to back to relieve the pressure on her spinal cord. The surgeon claims he has "no idea" what caused Abby Lee's health to deteriorate so rapidly over the course of a couple days. And it wasn't the only recent health problem that has plagued Miller. A week before the spine surgery took place, Miller was hospitalized for a thyroid condition.
As for Abby Lee Miller's condition since the surgery, it's unclear how she's doing. While recovering in the ICU since the surgery, Abby Lee has begun to feel more sensation. As for whether or not she'll be able to walk again, Dr. Hooman M. Melamed claims it depends on how the reality TV star recovers in the days and weeks to come. But he isn't thinking bleak. Here's how he explained Abby Lee Miller's current condition since her emergency surgery.
She's made some recovery in 24 hours, which is better than no recovery. Nobody wants to end up thinking they're going to be paralyzed for the rest of their life. That's a reality that's facing all of these patients going into it. All you can do is pray and, as a surgeon, you maximize everything you can for the spinal cord to recover itself. I am hopeful... I think she's a little bit more optimistic now because she's feeling like she can move her arms, she has more sensation, she can feel her body now, she can feel her private area. That gives everybody hope.
We'll keep you posted on any additional updates that arrive on Abby Lee Miller's condition. In the meantime, we wish the Dance Moms figurehead a quick recovery.