Abby Lee Miller "could have died" had she not undergone emergency back surgery in the early hours of Tuesday, her surgeon tells ET.
The 51-year-old former Dance Moms star is currently in recovery following an unscheduled 5-hour surgery in Marina del Ray, California.
Following the procedure, Miller’s orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Hooman Melamed, shared that Miller had been suffering “extreme pain in her back, arms and neck area.”
Performing a CT scan, the doctor discovered a mass infection putting pressure on Miller’s spine. He rushed her into emergency surgery to remove the infected mass at around 1 a.m. PST on Tuesday
“She was paralyzed yesterday and could not move,” Dr. Melamed explained. “She could have died. Forget paralysis -- if she waited much longer she would’ve died from this.”
“Yesterday, Abby couldn’t move her toes or hands. Now she can slightly,” he added. “She is in recovery now.”
Dr. Melamed revealed that Miller may require another surgery, but for now she is recovering in hospital, where she will remain overnight and possibly for the rest of the week.
The cause of her infection is unknown; however, Miller had previously suffered from back issues.
Earlier this month, a source told ET that the reality star was admitted to a hospital in Long Beach, California, for a back condition, which she had been dealing with for some time.
The source added that she would need surgery to fix the problem.
Dr. Michael Russo, who performed Miller's gastric sleeve surgery last year, told ET that he believed Miller’s severe back pain stemmed from hypothyroidism, which occurred after she stopped taking one of her thyroid medications.
"Her hypothyroidism got so severe she had an assortment of symptoms. Most dramatic is severe muscle and bone pain in her back, shoulders, arms and legs," Dr. Russo shared. "When Abby first went to the ER, she was almost unable to move [her] arms and legs and was having trouble getting out of bed. She had numbing and tingling in her hands and feet. She couldn't even hold a spoon in her hand."
“If left untreated it's been reported people can become comatose," he added. "This is a serious medical concern."
Miller's spinal surgery comes less than a month after the 51-year-old dance instructor was released from the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville, California, where she served 259 days of a 366-day sentence after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud in June 2016.
Following her release, she was transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach for the remainder of her sentence.
See more on Miller below.
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