Abby Lee Miller undergoes emergency surgery to save her life

Abby Lee Miller "could have died" had she not undergone emergency back surgery in the early hours of Tuesday, her surgeon tells ET.

The 51-year-old former Dance Moms star is currently in recovery following an unscheduled 5-hour surgery in Marina del Ray, California.

Following the procedure, Miller’s orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Hooman Melamed, shared that Miller had been suffering “extreme pain in her back, arms and neck area.”

Performing a CT scan, the doctor discovered a mass infection putting pressure on Miller’s spine. He rushed her into emergency surgery to remove the infected mass at around 1 a.m. PST on Tuesday

“She was paralyzed yesterday and could not move,” Dr. Melamed explained. “She could have died. Forget paralysis -- if she waited much longer she would’ve died from this.”

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Abby Lee Miller from 'Dance Moms'
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Abby Lee Miller from 'Dance Moms'
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 11: Actress Abby Lee Miller attends the Teen Choice Awards 2013 at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 11, 2013 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Abby Lee Miller arrives at the Logo NewNowNext Awards 2013 held at The Fonda Theatre on April 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: TV personality Abby Lee Miller attends Chopard at 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party at West Hollywood Park on February 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Chopard)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 24: TV personality Abby Lee Miller attends the 3rd Annual Whispers From Children's Heats Foundation Legacy Charity Gala at Casa Del Mar on March 24, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 14: Abby Lee Miller is seen on May 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by GP/Star Max/GC Images)
Reality TV show star Abby Lee Miller leaves at the federal courthouse after pleading not guilty to federal charges in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania November 2, 2015. Miller pleaded not guilty in a Pennsylvania courthouse on Monday to concealing over $755,000 in income she is accused of earning while head instructor on "Dance Moms" and spinoff shows. REUTERS/Elizabeth Daley
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11: Actor Abby Lee Miller at Nickelodeon's 2017 Kids' Choice Awards at USC Galen Center on March 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MAY 30: Dance Instructor Abby Lee Miller attends the Abby Lee Dance Company LA's VIP Grand Opening at Abby Lee Dance Company LA on May 30, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 28: TV personality Abby Lee Miller attends Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 28: TV personalities/dancers JoJo Siwa, Maddie Ziegler, Kalani Hilliker, tv personality Abby Lee Miller and dancer/tv personality Mackenzie Ziegler, accept the Favorite Reality Show Award for 'Dance Moms' onsteage during Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/KCA2015/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: Abby Lee Miller and Maddie Ziegler arrives at the 2015 ASTRA Awards at the Star on March 12, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images)
CULVER CITY, CA - JUNE 14: Abby Lee Miller attends the Opening Night Party during the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival at Culver Studios on June 14, 2017 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24: TV personality/Choreographer Abby Lee Miller attends the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: (L - R) Shad Moss, Abby Lee Miller, Keshia Chante attends 106 & Park at BET studio on July 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: TV personality Abby Lee Miller visits 106 & Park at BET studio on July 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)
RIDGEWOOD, NJ - JULY 15: Abby Lee Miller signs copies Of Her Book 'Everything I Learned About Life, I Learned From Dance Class' at Bookends Bookstore on July 15, 2014 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Abby Lee Miller, The FOX Teen Choice Awards 2014 arrivals (Set B) at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. August 10, 2014. (Pictured: Abby Lee Miller)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 08: Dance Instructor Abby Lee Miller arrives at Marvel Universe LIVE! Age Of Heroes World Premiere Celebrity Red Carpet Event at Staples Center on July 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Feld Entertainment)
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“Yesterday, Abby couldn’t move her toes or hands. Now she can slightly,” he added. “She is in recovery now.”

Dr. Melamed revealed that Miller may require another surgery, but for now she is recovering in hospital, where she will remain overnight and possibly for the rest of the week.

The cause of her infection is unknown; however, Miller had previously suffered from back issues.

Earlier this month, a source told ET that the reality star was admitted to a hospital in Long Beach, California, for a back condition, which she had been dealing with for some time.

The source added that she would need surgery to fix the problem.

Dr. Michael Russo, who performed Miller's gastric sleeve surgery last year, told ET that he believed Miller’s severe back pain stemmed from hypothyroidism, which occurred after she stopped taking one of her thyroid medications.

"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 shared. "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."

“If left untreated it's been reported people can become comatose," he added. "This is a serious medical concern."

Miller's spinal surgery comes less than a month after the 51-year-old dance instructor was released from the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville, California, where she served 259 days of a 366-day sentence after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud in June 2016.

Following her release, she was transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach for the remainder of her sentence.

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