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Melissa Gilbert maintains sober road to recovery after back surgery

08/11/2010 by Frances Watson

100722_otrc_photo_mgilbert2 Melissa Gilbert tells fans on her official Twitter page that she is making great strides in her recovery after having back surgery on July 22.

The former Little House on the Prairie actress - who is a recovering alcoholic and celebrates her six year sobriety on Wednesday - Tweeted, " A bit more pain free time each day. And just on Extra strength Tylenol!! "

Doctors replaced a disc and fused a vertebra in the actress' lower spine. The origin of her injury is unknown. Gilbert had been suffering with back pain for months. The estimated recovery time for such a procedure is said to be around six months. Gilbert hopes to return to work this fall, opting for less strenuous work while she's on the mend.

The self-described "sober alcoholic", who played Laura "Half Pint" Ingalls in the 1970s series Little House on the Prairieand her character's mother Caroline "Ma" Ingalls in a recent touring musical based on the show, is determined to keep a handle on her recovery especially when it comes to pain medication.

"I'm really careful about this stuff," Gilbert told People magazine. "I don't think you'll be seeing me getting arrested for driving under the influence of Percocet anytime soon."

Gilbert recently congratulated her younger half sister Sara Gilbert, whose mother adopted Melissa when she was a baby, for scoring her first daytime talk show, which is set to air on CBS in the fall.

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