‘LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE’ STAR MELISSA GILBERT, 59, UNDERWENT SPINAL SURGERY — FANS PRAY FOR HER HEALING

Melissa Gilbert recently took to Instagram to provide an intimate glimpse into her recent and fourth spinal surgery, sharing heartfelt images and a comprehensive update. Her post includes an explanation for the necessity of undergoing yet another procedure.

In a sincere Instagram post, Melissa Gilbert documented her journey through spinal surgery, revealing moments of vulnerability, resilience, and gratitude.

Renowned for her iconic role as Laura Ingalls Wilder in “Little House on the Prairie,” Gilbert has consistently been open about her health challenges, and this latest update was no exception.

The cherished actress shared several pictures in the post, commencing with a poignant pre-surgery moment, where Gilbert smiled while her sister’s youngest daughter applied makeup to her face.

Adorned in a loose dress with floral details, white gloves, and a fuchsia scarf elegantly draped around her neck, Gilbert posed for the camera. A silver tiara-like headband swept her hair away from her face, adding a touch of whimsy to the moment.

The subsequent image captured Gilbert in a hospital bed, clad in a hospital gown and a medical hair cover. Despite the challenging circumstances, her spirit remained undeniably high—smiling brightly with two thumbs up. Her surgical team, sharing in Gilbert’s positive energy, smiled alongside her.

As the surgery approached, a third photo depicted Gilbert still in her hospital bed, prepared to be wheeled into the operating room.

In a heartwarming display of support, the fourth picture showcased a bouquet of white roses from her husband, accompanied by a card tenderly stating, “I Love You My Wife!”

The subsequent photo revealed Gilbert post-operation, standing in her room with both hands raised in a gesture of triumph. Despite the visible bandage on her neck, her positive demeanor was apparent, reflecting her resilience and strength.

Gilbert’s subsequent pictures depicted emotionally charged reunions, where she was seen embracing her best friend in front of the Disc Surgery Center and later with her best friend and godson. The final picture provided a stark contrast to the earlier images—an X-ray taken post-operation.

The immediate and heartfelt outpouring of support from Gilbert’s social media followers included comments offering prayers, love, and wishes for a speedy recovery. Expressions like “Wow! Prayers for a speedy recovery!” and “Sending healing prayers” flooded her Instagram comments.

Other touching sentiments included, “Sending healing prayers,” “Love & prayers!” and “I hope you are pain-free in the near future.”

Gilbert has navigated a prolonged and challenging journey through spinal health issues, marked by multiple surgeries and persistent pain. Her ordeal began with the initial spinal fusion surgery in the early 2000s, a response to an injury.

Subsequent challenges included a second spinal surgery in 2010 after breaking her back and a third fusion surgery in 2016.

The necessity for the third surgery arose from two herniated discs resulting from injuries in 2012, notably a severe incident involving a collapsing balcony and a concussion during her time on “Dancing with the Stars.”

According to the actress, her health struggles stem from a “long history” of neck and spine issues, starting with the initial herniated disc fusion surgery.

Over time, nerve damage from these injuries led to numbness and shooting pains. In 2016, she described experiencing numbness in her right hand, shooting pains in her right arm, and numbness in her neck. Consequently, after years of care, she was referred to a neurosurgeon for another spinal surgery.

The third surgery proved unsuccessful, with Gilbert revealing, “It didn’t fuse, and so I had all of this pain, and apparently the hardware was boring holes in my vertebra above and below.”

This led to another surgery in 2020 with Dr. Robert Bray, the same surgeon who had performed her initial spinal surgery. The procedure involved removing old hardware, addressing bone spurs, and inserting an artificial disc, offering hope for a future free from spinal issues.

Following this surgery, Gilbert shared an Instagram update, describing it as “wildly successful.” Dr. Bray was able to provide her with a new artificial disc, alleviating the unbearable pain she had been experiencing.

While her recovery initially seemed promising, Gilbert started experiencing neck pain again several months later. Further examination revealed the need for another operation to replace a completely destroyed and flat artificial disc, as detailed in her latest post.

Throughout her health struggles, Gilbert consistently acknowledged the unwavering support of her husband, Timothy Busfield. In a previous post, she revealed that he stands by her side on “difficult” days.

Busfield, her third husband, shared similar experiences of heartache and healing, forming the bedrock of Gilbert’s resilience.

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