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Jennifer Grey Divulges Never-Before-Seen Spinal X-Rays

10/4/2010 1:45pm EDT

Jennifer GreyJennifer Grey shocked TV viewers on Monday by revealing a never-before-seen X-ray from spinal surgery that saved her from permanent paralysis following her 1987 car crash.

The actress and her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick were involved in a head-on collision in Ireland that left the occupants of the other car, a mother and daughter, dead. The emotional trauma prompted the Dirty Dancing star to withdraw from the spotlight as she underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in her neck - but Grey discovered last year she hadn't received proper treatment.

While undergoing a check-up to make sure she was fit to make her comeback on TV competition Dancing with the Stars, doctors discovered her condition had become so degenerate even a minor fall could have resulted in "complete paralysis," according to her spinal surgeon Dr. Robert Bray. An operation to repair a damaged disk resulted in yet another health setback, as Bray discovered a cancerous lump in the star's neck - later removed in two separate surgeries.
The cancer-free actress appeared on Good Morning America, and revealed never-before-seen bone scans from the surgeries, one showing a titanium plate screwed into her neck to stabilize her spinal cord, and another revealing the enlarged thyroid that alerted doctors to the cancer scare.

Grey also uncovered scars left from the operations as she recalled her trauma. She remembered, "The collision was so intense that the ligaments were ripped from the back of my neck and I'd have a headache for four days and I could barely open my eyes because it would send my neck into spasm."

Jennifer Grey


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Photo Credits: PR Photos , American Broadcasting Companies