Abby Lee Miller Reveals She Shattered Her Leg, Talks Being Wheelchair-Bound for 5 Years (Exclusive)

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Abby Lee Miller can't catch a break. The Dance Moms alum spoke with ET's Denny Directo and revealed she once again shattered her tibia and fibula.

The 57-year-old opened up about that "freak" accident as well as what life has been like being confined to a wheelchair. She's also coming up on almost five years since her life-saving spinal cord surgery and being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is what landed her in the wheelchair. 

For Miller, it feels like it was just yesterday when doctors told her about the life-changing diagnosis. And ever since, life's had its fair share of challenges, even if the public's not privy to them.

Miller, who spoke to ET from her dermatologist, Dr. Mariano Brusso's, office in Beverly Hills, said the most recent injury to her right leg was a "tragic freak accident" after her chair slammed her into a wall. She says it's the first time that's ever happened, shattering the bottom of her tib fib. She had previously broken the top part of her tib fib.

Following intense chemo sessions to treat her cancer, Miller is more prone to broken bones as they become brittle due to the chemo. So far, she's broken four bones, and all to the same right leg. It's a setback, she says, to her ability to walk again.

"I just wanna walk," she tells ET. "I was walking on 11 flights. I did, you know, I walked onto 11 flights. I take the chair down to the bridge and then step onto the flight and walk on. And then this happened, so it set me back."

Despite the broken leg, Miller's sense of humor remains intact.

"It's like bionic now," she says of her leg. "It's like I can leap buildings in a single bound."

But living in Los Angeles, where the town's always abuzz, has come with challenges for Miller, who for so long had always been on the go, and at a moment's notice. She says when the public sees her out and about, it may seem like everything's going smoothly, but behind closed doors, the simplest tasks can be an uphill battle.

"The getting out of bed and all your bathroom things and stuff that people don’t like to really talk about," she explains. "When they see me out and I’m in makeup, my hair's done, I’m moving, I’m grooving, they’re like, 'She’s great. She’s fine.' They don’t really see what happens before that."

The public doesn't see the amount of work it takes to prepare for the day.

"I hate that I'm, like, slow moving," she says. "It takes me a while to do things."

Miller attends physical and occupational therapy multiple times a week, and she has a caregiver/housekeeper who comes once a week to help.

"I live alone, yes. I have a caregiving/housekeeper that comes once a week and she's fabulous," Miller says. "But that's it. Otherwise, I'm on my own. So, when I see something in that closet that's way up high or way in the back, I'm like, 'Ugh, God.'"

Miller, whose multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Hampton Inn & Suites remains ongoing, continues staying busy -- from teaching dance lessons to children all over the world (via Zoom) to taking up charity work. She's also partnered with Chef Bruno Serato and Caterina's Club, an organization that provides warm meals and affordable housing assistance to homeless and low-income families throughout Southern California.

But while she's passionate about her work with that organization, her health remains the top priority. While at her dermatologist's office, Miller underwent a PET scan, which she says she gets every four months. It's a necessity, considering past health issues and the fact her mom had skin cancer. 

Thing is, Miller loves basking in the sun, so it's going to be difficult getting her inside to find cover.

"It's my peace. I like to swim in the pool -- not the ocean, I don't like sand up my butt -- but I like to swim in the pool. I do aquatic exercises. I love it. It's my place. I feel normal," she says. "I don't feel paralyzed. I feel normal in the pool. I can walk across the pool. I can balance. I swim. I love it, and I sit on the steps and I read a book in the pool and I get sun." 

As for any future procedures coming up, Miller could only push up her breasts to signal what's next on the cosmetic surgery agenda.

"Just a lift and a reduction," she says. "I was supposed to have it a long time ago and they didn't do it because they were afraid to operate again."


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