Abby Lee Miller Nearly Dies in Emergency Spinal Surgery

Abby Lee Miller Reportedly underwent emergency spinal cord surgery in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The former Dance Moms star was suffering from an infection in her spine, according to a report by Extra, which needed immediate surgery. She was treated by Orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Hooman Melamed of Marina del Rey, who said that Miller had been complaining about back pain for a couple of weeks.

Melamed only discovered the spinal infection during a recent MRI. If Miller hadn't been rushed into the operating room, the doctor said that she would likely have been paralyzed. She reportedly went into surgery at 1 a.m. on Tuesday.

Just a week before, Miller had been hospitalized for a thyroid condition, which her weight loss surgeon, Dr. Michael Russo, believed was responsible for her chronic back pain. Russo told Entertainment Tonight that the reality star suffers from hypothyroidism, which she had previously kept at bay with prescription medication.

"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 revealed. "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."

"Hypothyroidism can give you severe muscle cramping, weakness and pain. You can have severe difficulty moving your arms and legs. If left untreated it's been reported people can become comatose," he added. "This is a serious medical concern."

Apparently, Miller was suffering from the infection at the same time, though her thyroid condition had distracted Russo from it.

"The good news is we got it addressed quickly. She's already feeling better because we are supplementing her medications back in and she is on the road to recovery, but a lot of damage was done," he said. "An additional consequence of being off the medication is that hypothyroidism can cause weight gain. This almost undid part of her gastric sleeve surgery and caused her to gain a bit of weight back. But she is back on track and getting back to where she was in January."


Miller has been living in a halfway house since March 27, when she was released from prison. She served a 366-day sentence in Victorville federal prison. She was indicted in 2015 on 20 counts of bankruptcy fraud and concealment of bankruptcy assets.

Prosecutors claimed that Miller had hidden $755,000 in income from the goverment, and had also brought $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the country without reporting it. She was sentenced last may, and entered prison last July.