Jennifer Grey’s Struggle with Chronic Neck Pain

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Playing Jennifer Grey’s Health Struggle

Actress Jennifer Grey is best known for her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman in the classic film Dirty Dancing, as well as her triumphant victory in season 11 of Dancing with the Stars. She joins The Doctors to reveal how an injury she sustained during a car accident led to more than 30 years of constant and sometimes debilitating neck pain. 

Jennifer says that when she was approached to appear on DWTS, she visited her doctor to learn whether she was well enough to participate in the physically challenging contest. Her physician, Dr. Robert Bray Jr., advised that her neck was in the worst condition he’d ever seen and she needed a fusion surgery in order to avoid serious and permanent health consequences, including potential quadriplegia. 

“I thought, I can’t deal with another surgery,” Jennifer says about receiving the news. “Is this the time I’m not going to recover? Is this the time I’m not going to wake up? And then I just surrendered.”

After recovering from the fusion surgery, Jennifer competed and took top prize on Dancing with the Stars. Unfortunately, her impressive footwork took a toll on her fragile spine, and she suffered a ruptured disc during one of her final performances. Jennifer describes it as the worst pain she has ever experienced. 

“It was worse than childbirth,” she says.

Dr. Bray explains that Jennifer suffered a severe collapse of the discs in her neck, which required an additional surgery to fix.

See how Jennifer is doing post-surgery, and hear Dr. Bray’s prognosis for her future:


“I felt better the same day,” Jennifer says.