Ruby Rose, the star of the upcoming film Batwoman, and whose previous roles include a stint on the hit show Orange is the New Black, revealed on Instagram that she had recently undergone cervical spine surgery.
The surgery was meant to address intense pain and numbness caused by two badly damaged cervical discs that were compressing her spinal cord and had put her at risk for paralysis. The 33-year-old actress has a history of back problems, and exacerbated those problems when she injured herself while performing stunts.
The surgery has garnered a great deal of attention after she posted graphic video of the procedure on Instagram.
When interviewed about having chosen to record and publicize the operation, she said that she wanted the public to be aware that actors are people too, and hoped to dispel unrealistic expectations about celebrities.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Rose said:
“I wanted to talk about it because Hollywood — and the world at large, I guess — we always try to make out like everything is effortless and everything is about kind of being perfect and being a certain way. I think in Hollywood it’s sort of like you’re meant to be young and beautiful and strong and good at all these different things. And it’s kind of like, we’re also human beings. And I wanted to embrace the fact that, yeah, no, I have a Pez dispenser scar.”
In addition to the Instagram video, a less graphic depiction of the video is also available for the public to see on YouTube.
In a series of interviews, she explained that her symptoms were getting extremely bad. She was in constant pain and had no feeling in her arms.
“A couple of months ago, I was told I needed an emergency surgery or I was risking becoming paralyzed,” she said. “I had herniated two discs doing stunts, and they were close to severing my spinal [cord].”
On the YouTube video, her surgeon explains that she had two discs that were badly compressing her spinal cord and that he needed to remove several large fragments that were compressing the spinal cord and insert two artificial discs. The surgical incision was made in the front of her throat.
Beyond her goal of sharing that celebs suffer the same aches, illnesses and injuries as their fans, Rose also related how frightened she had been beforehand, saying that the thought of the procedure was “terrifying”. Her physician’s pre-surgical informed consent speech included the possibility of paralysis from the surgery, but she also knew that doing nothing presented an even greater chance of that outcome, along with a certainty of living in constant pain.
Ruby Rose’s condition was the result of an injury, but even before playing the part of Batwoman she’d had bouts of serious spine pain.
If you too suffer from chronic pain and would like to know your options, contact our New Jersey spine specialty practice today to set up an appointment.