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Chris Kattan Opens Up on His Health Struggles After ‘DWTS’ Stint

Chris Kattan Opens Up on His Health Struggles After ‘DWTS’ Stint
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Last night, Chris Kattan was booted off “Dancing with the Stars.”

After his elimination, he told Tom Bergeron, "I wish that my surgery and all that was noted before, but it wasn’t, and that’s okay. But I had an incredible, incredible time.”

Kattan was referring to his debilitating injury, which has bothered him for the past 20 years. Of his health battle, Chris told People magazine after his “Dancing with the Stars” stint, "I was doing a stunt and I knew something was wrong but I didn’t think it was serious. It wasn’t until, maybe, two days later — when my arm started to atrophy — that I got checked out and the doctor told me that I’d broken my neck.”

Following the accident, Kattan agreed to undergo a minor procedure to correct the problem. "I just couldn’t imagine a piece of a car or a machine or a piece of metal in my back. It just didn’t make sense to me, so I got what was called a noninvasive surgery from a gentleman that was [practicing Eastern medicine].”

Kattan had to go through physical therapy following the surgery, sharing, "My body had to learn to communicate with my nerves again. I wanted to go outside, but I was bedridden. The nurse was, like, ‘You can’t, you have to stay in bed.’ What really sucked is that I felt I couldn’t tell other people. I didn’t tell my agents, I didn’t tell my managers. I lied about what was really going on. I didn’t let them see me because I didn’t want my work to be affected.”

Though his doctors advised him to take it easy for six months, he went straight to work 60 days after the surgery, which aggravated his issues. Chris said, "The pain was still there. I was getting numbness in my fingers, my toes. The doctor said my blood was not reaching my nerve endings. I started developing very dry skin and my hands would start to bleed from it, the dry skin. People at work were, like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I let people judge me because I thought, ‘I need to just keep going.’”

Years later, Kattan agreed to undergo a more invasive surgery. "The doctor said I’d been so close to almost being paralyzed for the rest of my life. The rehabilitation process was really serious this time. I mean, the doctor put bolts in my back.”

Since he stayed mum on his health battle, many rumors were flying about him. "People were like, ‘What’s wrong with Kattan? He looks sick. He’s on drugs, look at him. What’s wrong? No wonder he’s not working.’ But I didn’t take their criticisms personally because I knew what the real answer was. But then they started comparing me to others. Like, ‘Why isn’t he working and Will Ferrell is? He left ‘SNL' and he’s not doing anything, what’s wrong with him?’ It was hard, but I just kept saying, ‘Okay, I got three months left. I got two months left. I’m going to get better.’”

Over the years, Chris would go through more surgeries, relying on painkillers to help him with his back issues.

After hiding his issues for years, he finally decided to come clean last week, due to the criticism on social media. He said, "It really opened my eyes. I think this is going to be the last time I ever hide any kind of ailment or problem that I have. It just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work in my favor at all. It just doesn’t.”

Last night, “Extra” special correspondent Chad Johnson caught up with some of the stars after Kattan’s elimination on “Dancing with the Stars.”

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