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William L. Mills, M.D.
Back, Neck, and Spine

"My goal is not only to fix existing problems utilizing the latest and safest technology available, but also to educate and encourage my patients on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle."

Dr. Mills joined Coastal Orthopedics in 1991. He completed his bachelor of science degree in biology from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

After completing his degree in biology, he received his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Mills then finished an orthopedic residency at the same institution and a fellowship in spinal surgery at the South Texas Spinal Clinic in San Antonio, Texas.

When not seeing patients, Dr. Mills likes working out, golfing, snow skiing, and boating. He is also actively involved with Canine Angels, a nonprofit organization that rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to become service dogs for disabled veterans and first responders.

Dr. Mills is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Undergraduate

  • The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina, 1981

Medical School

  • University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Charleston, South Carolina, 1985

Residency, Orthopaedic

  • University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Charleston, South Carolina, 1990

Fellowship, Spinal Surgery

  • South Texas Spinal Clinic, San Antonio, Texas, 1991

Certification

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1993, 2013

Hospital Affiliations

  • Conway Medical Center
  • Carolina Bone and Joint Center

Team Affiliations

  • Conway High School
  • Carolina Forest High School
  • Aynor High School

Medical Interests

  • Vertebroplasty
  • Lumbar Decompression
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Cervical and Lumbar Fusion

Phone: (843) 347-7222

Office: Conway, South Carolina

"I was in need of a second opinion for my neck condition and was referred to Dr. Mills by a coworker. I drove 56 miles one way to see him. It was the best decision I have made in a long time. The staff was very courteous and helpful. All appointments that were scheduled for tests etc. were done while you were at the office by the friendly staff. These appointments were done within the week if not sooner. There was no waiting 3 weeks for a test and then 3 more weeks to see the doctor again. After the results were back, Dr. Mills said he could help me. I needed a C6 and C7 ACDF. I would say that this office has a really good relationship with the hospital (Conway Medical Center). Before surgery, Dr. Mills requires you go to a short class at the hospital. It took about 2 hours and this class served 2 purposes. One was that we spoke with a physical therapist and were explained what to expect the morning of the surgery and also what to expect during recovery. She also told us what we should do if we were experiencing problems after surgery. The second thing this meeting did was allowed us to get all preadmission test and labs done and meet with the anesthesiologist. They gave us a 3 ring binder with all sorts of information concerning my surgery and what to expect before and after the surgery. I had a copy of my labs, in hand, to take to my doctor when I left this meeting. This appointment to see my doc was also made by Dr. Mills' staff. My MD was impressed with the lab report and the notebook. My MD and his staff were amazed with the detail placed on my surgery by Dr. Mills. All I had to do from here was to show up the morning of surgery. After surgery, I had 2 follow up appointments within 6 weeks and had a clean bill of health. Dr. Mills genuinely cares for your well being. He knows how important it is for you to have relief and not suffer. If you are near Conway, or within a couple hours drive, it would be well worth your time and well being to see Dr. Mills." - Marvin P.

"My experience with Dr. Mills was amazing, before I had surgery and after. The operation stopped the terrible pains I had down my legs, aching and pain across my lumbar. I still have trouble with my right leg, and pain in the middle of my spine. I have arthritis in the spine and joint pain, but let me tell you, I do not walk crooked. Dr. Wilkins helped reassure me that there is no guarantee before surgery and was surprised of the amount of arthritis in my spine. I know I will still have joint and all the arthritis and pain, but it is nice to know from your physicians what's wrong and how they can help. Dr. Mills reassured me also what he can do for the surgery. Like they say, every little bit helps. With their help, it did for me. Thank You." - Mary Jean C.

"When I went to Dr. Mills, I had already been to another orthopedic doctor who told me there was nothing he could do for me until I got a lot worse. I had already been almost incapacitated for 8 months and that was no way to live. I tried pain management injections to no avail. Dr. Mills agreed to do surgery at Conway Hospital. The surgery was an outpatient procedure and I walked out of the hospital at least 50% better that same day. Dr. Mills told me that I had a bone spur and that was causing the pain as it impinged upon the sciatic nerve. He told me it would take 6 to 12 months to completely heal and it has now been five months and I am 98% healed with very little to no pain. I am confident that I will be completely healed in a few months and I could not be happier. When the surgery was initially scheduled, I asked his nurse, Angela, why Dr. Mills did not do minimally invasive surgery like you hear in TV advertisements and she said when you do minimally invasive, you may not be able to detect something that was not see during an x-ray or MRI and that was my case. My films only showed three bulging discs that were not serious enough to be causing so much pain. So I was so happy that Dr. Mills took the better option and that is why he found my bone spur. I will recommend Dr. Mills to anyone who has a back problem. I have the utmost confidence in his ability and his staff. Also, the entire Orthopedic office is the most efficient office I have ever seen. Thank you Dr. Mills and staff." - Rita W.

"First of all, I want to recommend Coastal Orthopedics to everyone who may need to see an orthopedist. I have been seeing Dr. William Mills, for a while now. I  just had neck surgery last Tuesday, March 31st. From the time you enter their office, the employees are very understanding and considerate. The staff are well educated and very friendly. They make you feel as though you are important; not just another person. Well, back to the surgery, I was very nervous just like anyone would be. Dr. Mills and his staff were always there to answer all of my questions and make you well aware of what was going to happen. After I heal from my neck surgery, which will be about 6 weeks, do to the neck collar, I will be discussing my back with Dr. Mills. Just in case you were wondering why I am seeing Dr. Mills, it was due to an automobile accident. I want to thank Dr. Mills and his staff for everything they have done for me to get me back to a normal life." - Linda C.
"ACDF surgery-3 disks fused and a foramina canal opened up for my right arm and shoulder pain. Great job, everything went like clockwork and there were no surprises. Dr. Mills, Ms. Fu, and Ms. Angela were very up front and told me what to expect from the surgery and recovery. They lined me up with an MRI, x-rays, neck brace, soft collar, etc. The other staff at Coastal Orthopedics were very professional and helpful in preparing me for this operation. It has been three months since the operation and I feel so much better and my vertebrae are healing up just fine. And a quick shout out to the fine folks at Conway Medical Center for their great hospitality and service. I have managed to go almost 53 years without a surgery (well, Tonsillectomy as a child) and I could not be any happier with my surgical procedure experience with Dr. Mills and his fine staff. Yes I do recommend Coastal Orthopedics, Dr. Mills and his staff, and Conway Medical Center and I would do it again if needed!!" - Karen S.

"On November 20, 2014, I had an ALIF surgey preformed by Dr Mills. The care concern by everyone was fantastic. From the start of office visits to the day of surgery everyone was great. The care concern and true feelings of myself and family was their priority. Dr. Mills and Dr. Sasser were the best doctors that I have had dealings with. Both were straight forward direct and their talents in surgery are the best that I have encountered. I would recomend both doctors and the Conway Hospital to all." - Andrew C.

“In January 2014, Dr. Mills operated on my cervical spine. I had been in pain for months before learning what my neck problems were. It was not until an office consultation with Dr. Mills that I was told the pain and numbness down my arm could be corrected with surgery. Dr. Mills recommended an Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion. The most memorable thought I had at that moment was, “If someone rolled an operating table in here, I'd jump on it." That's how much I needed relief from the pain down my arm. Listening to Dr. Mills made me anxious for surgery. Never thought anyone would welcome surgery, but I did. Dr. Mills explained everything about the procedure; some areas in my neck required repair or replacement (from C2 to C6); there were problems with a bulging disc and degenerative vertebrae; and a more serious spinal cord and nerve were compressed outside the spinal column at a bulging disc. I went home knowing I found the right orthopedic surgeon for my problems. I was very happy about scheduling this surgery because I was confident I would wake up pain-free. Dr. Mills had explained the risks of this surgery, but I chose the pain-free version. It turned out, I was aware my pain was gone immediately after surgery. My thoughts again, "This is a miracle.” Thank you to Dr. Mills, your OR Team, and all the nurses and assistants. My family, my neighbors, my church friends, and a few strangers all know I had an excellent surgeon and a wonderful experience at Coastal Orthopedics. Thank you, Dr. Mills.” – J.T., via Vitals.com

"Having nursed my late husband through a particularly difficult back surgery, I was not looking forward to that option when I fractured two vertebras while working in the yard.  Over a period of 5 years, I tried nerve root blocks and epidurals with short-term to no success and a lot of frustration. I was informed that my problem was compounded by spinal stenosis, which created a progressively debilitating problem of its own. At age 75, and following my husband’s death, I decided I needed to do something to make myself more self-reliant, and was referred to Dr. William Mills by my primary physician. He and his staff pointed out a rather recent development in lower back procedure, ILIF, with a minimally invasive surgery, and a brief recovery. I entered the hospital on Thursday, and returned home, virtually pain-free on Saturday. Six months later, I'm so thrilled with my recovery and I'm back to doing Yoga and a little Zumba.  I've got my life back and only wish I'd done this much sooner. Thank you Dr. Mills and staff!" -- Carole D.

"Hello!

First I would like to say, I love Coastal Orthopedics! They have been fantastic in all categories of care with not only myself, but my children, whom have had injuries as well.  Although their injuries were minor and temporary, one with a jammed thumb and one with a fractured forearm, they could be seen immediately and with exceptional care. The staff was extremely friendly and played with my children, which made them very comfortable in what was originally a scary experience! 

My experience with Coastal Orthopedics could not have come any sooner! I'm an 18-year hairdresser/barber and I own my own business alone. Having said that, I never though in my wildest dream that at 35 years old, I would be having immediate unexpected neck surgery. On April 1st, 2013, I awoke to not being able to lift my head, neck, or left arm. After many doctor visits, a couple of ER visits, 2 pain injections by my doctor, and numerous chiropractic visits, while all were requesting an MRI, my insurance company kept denying me because I had not been in an "accident!” Really? By the end of the month, I was ready to die. I was in so much pain. I was living off of pain meds, couldn't work, drive, or even function as a wife or mother. It was awful! That's when someone recommended me to Coastal Orthopedics! When calling, I was able to see Dr. Mills the next day. After coming in and meeting Dr. Mills and explaining my ordeal, he immediately requested and got me approved for an MRI! The next day, he called me with my results, explaining to me that not only did I have one of the worst herniated bulging discs, C 5/6  in someone's neck that he had ever seen, but that my nerve in my left arm that goes from my spine to my thumb was being severely pinched/entangled somewhat in these discs. He didn't know how I was even functioning! I explained I wasn't really without lots and lots of pain, muscle and nerve meds, I wouldn't have survived the pain. I was unbearable! I had immediate surgery 2 days later. There was no question, "do I want surgery.” It was, “when should I be there?”  I was completely miserable! April 30th was my surgery day and I wouldn’t say it was painless, but my arm was immediately relieved. I was sore from the trauma from waiting so long but immediate relief! After a few weeks of recovery and several weeks of physical therapy, I was a million times better! Back to work (after 2 months of my business being closed!) and normal again!

 

January 18th. I awoke again to not being able to lift my arm, except this time, it was my right arm, my dominant arm.  I thought I must have slept on it but as the day went on, it was worse and worse. I messaged Dr. Mills’ physician assistant, which is the most wonderful, helpful, medical provider I've ever met. She is always ready to help and offers me encouragement, advice, and care anytime I call or message her. She quickly returned my call and told me to come in first thing the following business day. Monday morning, I saw Dr Mills. With my history and symptoms, I was able to have an MRI right away and found out that again, I had the same problem! This time, it was C 6/7 and my right arm nerve being severely pinched! We couldn't believe it!! So here we go again, out of work, surgery, recovery, and therapy! Dr. Mills explained that sometimes C 5/6, and C 6/7 are affected by each other and when one is bad the other overcompensates. Usually it doesn't happen this soon but with my career and kind of work, it could happen. My surgery was January 24th and this time, because I was more aware of recovery and what to expect, it was a little easier to handle. Dr. Mills, his physician assistant, and the nurse Angela have all been fantastic!! I'm recovering now. The care and checkups have all been very encouraging! I will always use Coastal Orthopedics for all of our needs! I'm so thankful for them and all of their wonderful staff!!" -- Jamie A.     

"No one likes to have to go to doctors or have to have surgery.  I have never ever come across a better doctor than Dr. Mills, his entire office staff, and his surgical staff.  He is a wonderful doctor, who truly cares about his patients, and gives each and every one of his patients the individual care that they need.  I would recommend Dr. Mills to anyone and everyone who is having back problems.  I couldn't walk for almost 6 months and was in severe pain due to bone on bone friction in my low back. The day after surgery, I no longer had back pain and it is wonderful to feel that I can be productive again and live my life.  No amount of thank you's can express how I feel about Dr. Mills giving me my life back.  God bless you, your entire staff, surgical team, and Coastal Orthopedics.  My wife and I would never go anywhere else with back problems. Dr. Mills  "has your back" (literally.)" -- Steve O.

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