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At 59, Melissa Gilbert Says She Was in ‘Such Pain’ Before Surgery

At 59, Melissa Gilbert Says She Was in ‘Such Pain’ Before Surgery
  • Melissa Gilbert shared a moving health update with fans.

  • The Little House on the Prairie star shared why she had surgery last week after experiencing “so much pain.”

  • Fans wished her a speedy recovery.


Mid-life expectedly comes with more frequent doctor visits, and at 59, Melissa Gilbert continues to be open about hers. She’s shared about colonoscopy prep and emergency hospitalizations—and now, the Little House on the Prairie star is revealing why she had surgery last week.

Gilbert underwent neck surgery after experiencing “so much pain,” she wrote on Instagram. One photo in the carousel pictured an X-ray of her cervical spine. “Well, it happened again,” she wrote, explaining that neck pain started “several months ago,” and turned out to be a deteriorated disc at the connection between her C4 and C5 vertebrae.

The surgery gave her an artificial disc where hers was “completely obliterated,” she wrote. “Flattened. Bone on bone. No wonder I was in such pain!” she added.

This marks Gilbert’s third neck surgery of this nature, she explained—you can spot the two other artificial discs in the aforementioned X-ray. So, needless to say, she had recovery mastered going in. “Now I recover and OH! I’m likely to be a bit taller!! Bonus!!!” she wrote. She hopes to be mostly recovered for a festival appearance next month. According to John Hopkin’s Medicine, full recovery is expected by four to six weeks post-op.

Other photos from Gilbert’s post pictured her getting rolled into the operating room, resting and watching TV, and spending time with family. “A huge thank you to all who have helped me during this adventure,” she wrote. “And a special shout out to my baby sister @thesaragilbert for letting me recuperate at her beautiful home. Sending you all so much love and gratitude. You're all a bunch of true life savers!!!”

Fans and followers sent Gilbert all the well wishes. “Get well soon and I hope this is the last one!” one person commented. “You have been through so much!!! Very grateful for your good care,” another added. “Heal fast you mighty soul ❤️,” someone else wrote.

So far, she does appear to be robustly on the mend. In a follow-up post, she said she’s already almost pain-free. “I’m healing really well,” she wrote. “It’s been five days!!!!”

We’re happy to see the star is experiencing a speedy recovery!

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