Fans of superstar Faith Hill may have noticed that she has not been in the spotlight as much over the past several years. Social media took note when traded her long blonde hair for a pixie and appeared to be in discomfort during recent performances. Some astute followers have noticed that she had a scar on the left side of her neck.
One reason for these changes, according to People magazine, is that she had neck surgery to repair damage from an injury she sustained several years ago. The magazine states that the 47-year-old performer underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in January 2015 and is currently undergoing physical therapy.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is a procedure that Dr. Rovner routinely performs. It is primarily used to treat vertebral disc herniation in the neck. The typical approach is to make an incision in the left side of the neck to reach the front side of the spine. This explains the presence of a scar on the singer’s neck.
While Ms. Hill has not publicly commented on the surgery, she did mention that she was fitted with a brace. A neck and back brace is typical after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery to support the neck and head while the spine and surrounding tissues heal. In many cases, a titanium plate will be attached with bone screws to further hold the spine and a constant position. It would not be surprising if Ms. Hill underwent another procedure at some later date to remove this hardware (i.e. plate and screws) once per cervical spine had healed.
Physical therapy is standard after such surgery, and it is quite encouraging that Ms. Hill is going through physical rehabilitation. Physical therapy is important after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion to strengthen the muscles of the spine and bolster the supporting structures that surround the bones of the spine.
While accounts about Faith Hill’s recovery are limited, initial reports suggest that she is doing quite well after the procedure and with physical therapy. We wish her the best of luck in her recovery and physical rehabilitation and look forward to her next album.