Jennifer Grey Danced With Ruptured Disc

'DWTS' champion Jennifer Grey danced despite the pain of a ruptured disc.

ByABC News
November 24, 2010, 11:13 AM

Nov. 25, 2010— -- It was a long, painful road to the "Dancing With the Stars" Mirror Ball trophy for actress Jennifer Grey.

The night before her final dance with partner Derek Hough, Grey was hospitalized after rupturing a disc in her back.

"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 50-year-old actress. Grey's neck surgeon, Dr. Robert Bray, a neurologic spine surgeon and medical director of the D.I.S.C. Sports and Spine Center in Marina Del Rey, Calif., said the actress 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.

"She called me in the morning on the day of the finals and was in tears. She was in terrible pain," said Bray.

Grey received epidural steroid injections, which helped alleviate the pain, and she was able to walk. Bray said she desperately wanted to dance, but he wanted her to be very cautious.

Bray examined her before and after each dance. Her legs were strong, she was in no pain, and the dances were very short, so he was confident she was in no danger of doing any further damage.

"If it's not going to harm you, people are better off moving around than sitting around," said Bray.