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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.


  • 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


  • 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

Phone: (843) 347-7222

Office: Conway, South Carolina

"I fell 25 years ago down a 30 ft air conditioning shaft and did damage to my whole spine at the age of 38. I have suffered with the pain and have been unable to work since. Meds didn't help, except to take the edge off the pain. Doctors would look at my MRIs and just tell me my back was a mess and there was nothing they could do. I basically became a hermit due to the pain and was unable to stand, sit, or walk for any length of time. My wife and I came to visit some friends in Conway this past winter because the cold made me so much worse in Michigan. He had XLIF surgery 10 months before and the change was amazing. He had no pain, except when he would overdo it out in his wood working shop on a project and that was rare. Oh, I didn't tell you he is 84 yrs old. Before the surgery, he wasn't able to go out there for more than a few minutes. Anyway, he kept telling us to try and go see Dr. Mills, so we finally did. We are now thanking God everyday for our friends pushing us to go see him. Dr. Mills preformed XLIF surgery on my lumbar spine and I was up walking the halls the next day and in less pain than I had been in in 25 years. You are a miracle man, Dr. Mills, and we are so thankful to you for giving me back my life. I still have 1, maybe 2, more surgeries for him to fix my neck and possibly an area in the TSpine, but I am so looking forward to them so that hopefully with Dr. Watson's help also, I can finally be off all pain meds. Between Dr. MIlls skill and procedure and Dr. Watson helping to control the rest of the pain, my wife feels she has a new husband. We can go for walks together, socialize with friends, go camping, and other things I have hurt too bad to do in years. It is amazing to have a life again.Thank you, Dr. Mills for giving me my life back. I can't wait to come back in October for my neck surgery. God bless you and your staff." - Don H.

"After having to wait many months to see a doctor regarding a back problem due to circumstances beyond my control, I was finally able to be seen by Dr. Mills and his staff. The physical and emotional relief from pain began right away. I began a series of medicinal/spinal blocks from Dr. Erin Watson and physical therapy treatments to see if that would solve my problem. Unfortunately, I ultimately had to have surgery. But again, they all made it so easy for me before, during, and after surgery. All of my post-op visits went extremely well. Even when I experienced some pain and had to be seen,  Shan Fu, P.A., was able to get me in and address all of my needs and concerns. I did a lot of research before having surgery because the thought of having back surgery is pretty intimidating, but I feel very fortunate to have been treated by the team at Dr. Mills office. Every team member, from the receptionist to the nursing staff to the administrators, always went above and beyond to help. I would not hesitate to send anyone there for help or if I have any issues in the future I know right where I'm going. Thank you all so very much for everything." - Mike H

"I first saw Dr. Mills for an aching back in 2013. I had x-rays done and showed no signs of problems. In 2014, I had an MRI taken, which showed spinal stenosis and a herniated disc at L5/S1. At first, I did not want surgery, so I got second opinions from other doctors who pulled my chain and tried to make the situation out to be less severe than it really was. I lived in constant pain for 5+ years and it seemed that no conservative treatment options were working for me. I then decided to have Dr. Mills complete my surgery that he recommended, which was an ALIF procedure at the L5/S1 level. Up until my surgery date, I was absolutely terrified. I had massive panic attacks and anxiety. On the day of my surgery, I went in to CMC and the nurses took really good care of me and my anxiety and eased my mind. The next thing I remembered was waking up in recovery. I started feeling a LOT better! The pain I had been going through for many years was GONE! Dr. Mills, being the excellent doctor he is, FIXED MY PROBLEM! I am now 1 week post-op while writing this and I feel amazing considering what I had done to my body a little over 1 week ago today. I am able to walk and do my daily activities, but with some major restrictions to make sure I do not reinjure my back or anything. Of course, I still have surgical related pain, but that will heal. What is amazing is the fact that the pain I had experienced for so many years, pain I thought I'd have for rest of my life, is gone! THANKS DR. MILLS! I would recommend this amazing doctor to ANYONE who is going through back pain. Trust me when I tell you Dr. Mills can and WILL solve the problem if you just take his advice and trust his judgement. I did, and I tell you now, I would do it a hundred times over again because I know the results would be just as amazing as this time! Once again, I want to personally say THANK YOU to Dr. Mills and his amazing staff at Coastal Orthopedics for fixing the problem with my spine. You and your staff are literally lifesavers! Now, I will be able to be the daddy and husband I've so longed to be for so many years once I completely heal from the surgery. Thanks Coastal Orthopedics!" - Timothy S.

"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