Kate Ward
July 14, 2010 AT 04:20 PM EDT

Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert, who spent the past few months on the road touring with a stage version of the TV hit, will undergo surgery July 22 for a “broken back,” the actress told People. During the procedure, doctors will “replace a disc with a plastic implant and fuse a vertebra in her lower spine.” Gilbert will fully recover six months after the surgery. It’s not clear how Gilbert suffered the injury, but she told People she had felt pain during the tour, which finished in early July. “I would balk and fight it and say, ‘I’ve got to do the show,'” she said. “I thought doing a musical at 46 playing a woman in her late 20s, early 30s was amazing enough. But doing with a broken back buys me a little more street cred.”

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