Gabby Douglas Is Finally on the Road to Recovery


Gabby Douglas says she is on the mend. (Photo: Getty Images)

We now know why this member of the Final (Fiercest) Five didn’t attend Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards with the rest of her winning teammates.

That night, the 20-year-old gymnast tweeted a photo of herself lying in bed with what appeared to be a pack on the right side of her lower face.


Photo: Facebook

The two days later, the first African-American all-around Olympic gold medalist shared an update with her fans on Facebook about a “prior injury that caused a cyst to grow on a bone” inside her mouth. Ouch!

“Yes, there’s a cyst called a traumatic bone cyst,” Michael Singer, a dentist who practices at the Randolph Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Randolph, N.J., tells Yahoo Beauty.

Bella Hadid Shares Photo of Her ‘Everyday’ Struggle With Lyme Disease

Singer explained it’s not a traditional cyst “in the true sense because a cyst has an epithelial lining [a closed sac in the body that contains a liquid or semi-solid substance]. It actually looks quite ominous in an X-ray, but in reality, it’s missing a bone inside the jaw itself, which is caused by trauma.”

While it’s not a life-threatening condition, he warns that “having a void inside your jaw could cause a potential weakness in the jaw, where it could break if not taken care of.”

Standard treatment for this condition involves a procedure where an incision is made inside the mouth “by shredding or scraping the cyst” to stimulate the release of blood. “Once that happens, the body should repair itself over time.” And depending on the size of the cyst — “it can be quite large” — a patient may need to be hospitalized due to their level of discomfort.

Selena Gomez Reveals She’s Taking a Break to Deal With Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks Caused by Lupus

In many cases, the post-surgery swelling should subside within one to two weeks, and “significant bone growth” should happen anywhere from six weeks to three months following the procedure.

“She’ll probably be able to resume activity after a week or so,” adds Singer. “But if [her doctors] feel that the lesion is too big, they would tell her not to do any activity until the jawbone is uniform because of risk of fracture.”


Let’s keep in touch! Follow Yahoo Beauty on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.