Melissa Gilbert says she is scheduled to undergo surgery for a broken back later this month.
Gilbert, 46, recently wrapped the stage musical tour of “Little House on the Prairie” in which she played the character of Ma. She had starred as Laura in the television series of the same name in the 1970s and 1980s.
The actress said she suffered back pain during the production of the musical, but didn’t consult a neurosurgeon until the show had ended.
“He came in and said, ‘Your back is broken, and it has been for months,’” Gilbert told People.com. “I sort of was in shock for a while. … I thought doing a musical at 46, playing a woman in her late 20s, early 30s was amazing enough. But doing it with a broken back buys me a little more street cred.”
The Web site said Gilbert is to undergo surgery July 22 to replace a disc with a plastic implant and fuse a vertebra in her lower spine.
How Gilbert sustained the injury was not reported.