Gaglianone did not play in Wisconsin's 30-6 victory against Michigan State on Saturday as a result of the injury. School officials noted that his condition appeared to worsen this week, leading to the need for a surgical procedure.
"You're disappointed for Rafael because of all the work he's put in and how well he was playing," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said in a release. "From a football perspective, I've appreciated the way the other guys in that unit have responded this week."
Gaglianone, a junior, had been in the midst of a stellar season. He connected on a Big Ten-best seven field goals in eight attempts and was 10-for-10 on extra point tries. He has held the Badgers' field goal role since his freshman season in 2014, when he made 19 of 22 field goals. Gaglianone missed spring practice in 2015 while recovering from a similar back injury.
"Unfortunately this isn't his first experience with something like this," Chryst said. "But we've seen that Raf is going to do everything he can to get back on the field as soon as he can."
Senior Andrew Endicott will replace Gaglianone. Endicott missed an extra point attempt last week against Michigan State but made a 41-yard field goal on the first attempt of his college career.
School officials noted Gaglianone, who played in only three games this season, will be eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver with the NCAA to seek another year of competition.