‘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 fourth spinal surgery, sharing heartfelt images and a detailed update.

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

Gilbert, renowned for her iconic portrayal of Laura Ingalls Wilder in “Little House on the Prairie,” has been transparent about her health challenges, and this latest update was no exception.

The beloved actress shared several photographs in the post, commencing with a poignant pre-surgery moment where Gilbert sported a smile as her sister’s youngest daughter applied makeup to her face.

Clad in a loose dress adorned with delicate floral patterns, paired with white gloves and a vibrant fuchsia scarf gracefully draped around her neck, Gilbert radiated elegance.

A silver tiara-esque headband added a whimsical touch to the scene, capturing a moment of vulnerability amid the impending surgery.

Transitioning to the hospital setting, Gilbert’s resilience was evident as she lay in her hospital bed, attired in a standard-issue gown and medical hair cover. Despite the gravity of the situation, her spirits remained high, showcased by her beaming smile and dual thumbs-up gesture.

Her surgical team, mirroring Gilbert’s positive energy, smiled warmly alongside her, as captured in the accompanying snapshot.

As the surgery drew near, a third photo depicted Gilbert still in her hospital bed, prepared to be wheeled into the operating room. A touching display of support came in the form of a bouquet of white roses from her husband, accompanied by a tenderly worded card declaring, “I Love You My Wife!”

The subsequent image showcased Gilbert post-operation, standing triumphantly in her room with both hands raised. Despite the visible neck bandage, her positive demeanor shone through, reflecting her resilience and fortitude.

Gilbert’s subsequent photographs depicted emotional reunions, capturing heartfelt embraces with her best friend outside the Disc Surgery Center and later with her best friend and godson. The final image provided a striking contrast—a post-operative X-ray.

The flood of support from Gilbert’s social media followers was immediate and sincere, with comments pouring in, offering prayers, love, and hopes for a swift recovery.

Expressions such as “Wow! Prayers for a speedy recovery!” and “Sending healing prayers” populated the comment section, illustrating the outpouring of compassion and solidarity from her Instagram followers.

Other touching sentiments included “Sending healing prayers,” “Love & prayers!” and “I hope you are pain-free in the near future,” further underscoring the depth of support and well-wishes extended to Gilbert during her recovery journey.

Gilbert has endured a lengthy and challenging journey through spinal health issues, marked by multiple surgeries and persistent pain. It all began with her initial spinal fusion procedure in the early 2000s following an injury.

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

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

Attributing her health struggles to a “long history” of neck and spine issues, Gilbert recounted the progression from her first herniated disc fusion surgery.

Over time, nerve damage from these injuries manifested as numbness and shooting pains. In her own words from 2016, she described experiencing numbness in her right hand, shooting pains in her right arm, and numbness in her neck, prompting her neurologists to recommend another spinal surgery.

Gilbert later disclosed that her third surgery had not achieved the desired outcome, leading to continued pain exacerbated by hardware complications. This setback necessitated a subsequent operation in 2020 with Dr. Robert Bray, who had conducted her initial spinal procedure.

This latest intervention involved removing old hardware, addressing bone spurs, and implanting an artificial disc, offering prospects of relief from ongoing spinal issues.

Following this surgery, Gilbert provided an Instagram update, characterizing the procedure as “wildly successful,” with Dr. Bray successfully implanting a new artificial disc, thereby alleviating the intolerable pain she had been enduring.

Several weeks into her recovery, Gilbert reported positive progress, noting only mild discomfort and expressing gratitude for her husband’s supportive role in her healing journey.

However, recurring neck pain in recent months prompted the discovery that another surgery was necessary to replace a deteriorated artificial disc.

As detailed in her latest post, Gilbert’s need for disc replacement stemmed from the complete degradation and flattening of the affected disc, explaining the severity of her discomfort.

Throughout her health ordeal, Gilbert has consistently lauded the unwavering support of her husband, Timothy Busfield. In previous disclosures, Gilbert highlighted Busfield’s unwavering presence, particularly during challenging moments, underscoring the pivotal role their relationship plays in her resilience.