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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 8

Withdrawn 'Dancing with the Stars' celeb Nancy O'Dell has surgery

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/23/2009 

Nancy O'Dell won't be dancing any time soon, however she is on the road to recovery.

The Access Hollywood co-anchor underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Friday after suffering a torn meniscus in two places in her knee while rehearsing for Dancing with the Stars' currently airing eighth season, from which she was forced to withdraw.

"Surgery on my knee is done and over with and it went well!  I am so happy as I am ready to start rehabbing my knee and get it back to normal!" O'Dell wrote Saturday on her Access Hollywood blog.

O'Dell said she was given a choice by the surgeon and anesthesiologist to either be completely put under or only numbed from the waist down and she chose the latter -- meaning she was able to watch the entire surgery on a monitor.

"When the surgeon first went in and saw the inside of my knee on the monitor, he said and I quote, 'You really SHREDDED your meniscus!' Shredded wasn't the word I wanted to hear," wrote O'Dell.

"I knew it was a large tear based on the doctor reading the MRI, but it was ripped up even more than the MRI depicted.  I saw it myself... the meniscus was pretty torn up... kind of looked like a snow globe inside my knee. Can you believe it all started from a salsa move!"

O'Dell added the surgery itself only took "about an hour" before she spent several hours in recovery and was released.

"I was able to head home, albeit on crutches, but I was glad the procedure went so well and it was outpatient surgery," she wrote.  "I was pretty woozy and sleepy yesterday from the anesthesia and pain medicine. I only had a little bit of pain yesterday and today, it hasn't been bad at all. I can only walk using crutches right now and have to stay in bed mostly."

Now comes the hard part as O'Dell is facing more than a month of rehab -- however she's optimistic.

"I've already started leg exercises today per doctor's orders and will see a physical therapist this week. After about 6 weeks of rehab, the doctor tells me my knee will be back to the way it was before the injury," she wrote. "All in all, not too bad."

O'Dell's withdrawal from Dancing with the Stars eighth season was announced four days before its debut, and she was subsequently replaced by jilted The Bachelor bachelorette Melissa Rycroft.

Despite being unable to compete in the show's eighth season, O'Dell is hopeful that she'll be able to participate in the ninth season next fall.

"I had a great surgeon and everything went smoothly.  I'm planning on my recovery being the same so I can dance again next season, I hope," she wrote.

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