(LOS ANGELES) -- Dancing with the Stars champ Jennifer Grey is headed from the dance floor to the operating room because of a ruptured disc in her lower back. Dr. Robert Bray, Grey's neurologic spine surgeon and medical director of the DISC Sports and Spine Center in Marina Del Rey, Calif., said he would perform a microdiscectomy on the 50-year-old actress later this week. The surgery involves removing a very large disc fragment that broke off, and then repairing the hole in the disc.
"The disc fragment is about 17 millimeters, which is very large," said Bray. "It won't get better and will get progressively worse. She's starting to feel some weakness, so it's the only option."
Grey ruptured her disc the night before her final dance with partner Derek Hough and was briefly hospitalized.
"I did not think I was going to be able to dance," Grey told Good Morning America after the show's finale.
The injury was yet another painful event in a year that had already taken its physical toll on the actress. Bray said she had four neck surgeries this year. One of these surgeries involved inserting a plate in her neck, while she had other surgeries to remove a cancerous thyroid. Grey suffered a severe neck injury after a serious car accident in 1987, and has suffered from chronic pain ever since.
"Her head was falling off forward. She had a 30-degree angulation of her neck," said Bray.
Bray said the night before the final round of dancing, Grey ruptured a disc in her lower back.
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