Melissa Gilbert Shares Health Update After 'Wildly Successful' Spinal Surgery

Melissa Gilbert has had four spinal surgeries 

Melissa Gilbert is celebrating after her recent spinal surgery — her fourth — turned out to be “wildly successful.”

Sharing a photo from the hospital, the former Little House on the Prairie star, 56, updated fans about her condition on Instagram Friday.

“Surgery was wildly successful!” she wrote. “Dr Bray was able to remove all the old hardware, shave off bone spurs causing numbness in my right hand and, and, and, he was able to give me the artificial disc!!!”

Gilbert continued, “So now I focus on recovery and remaining Covid free. Thank you all for your love, support and prayers. I send so much love back to you all. Happy Thanksgiving indeed!!! Love and love and love... MG #discsportandspine #artificial disc #grateful#blessed #loveiseverything”

The actress opened up about her surgeries in a post last week, sharing that she learned last year that her third spinal fusion surgery in 2016 had failed. Gilbert’s doctor determined in April that another surgery would be necessary.

Though she only had about six months to get the operation, the coronavirus pandemic complicated things, so she “waited as long as possible.”

“I’ve now reached the point where the pain is nearly constant and the fingers on my right hand are beginning to tingle,” Gilbert wrote last week, explaining why she scheduled the surgery for this past Thursday.

Gilbert, who played the role of Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie, then referenced her former character’s nickname.

“I’m channeling my inner Halfpint for this one,” she wrote. “The one who believes anything is possible. The one with courage and moxie to spare!! Everyone stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong. And if you have an extra prayer or two, please send them my way.”

In 2016, Gilbert opened up to PEOPLE about her “long history” of neck and spine issues. Her surgery that year was necessary due to two herniated discs in her spine as the result of two head and neck injuries she sustained in 2012.

First, she suffered whiplash and a concussion after a fall on Dancing with the Stars in April, and months later the balcony of a house she was renting in Studio City, California, collapsed over her head.

“I was standing under the back balcony talking to my kids and it detached from the house and it collapsed on my head,” she recalled at the time. “I ended up with a concussion and stitches in my head and it compressed two healthy discs in my neck.”

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