Buffon was forced off at half-time during the Azzurri's first-up 1-1 draw with Paraguay in their Group F clash, the stopper hurting himself while warming up for the second half.
It was initially thought that Buffon had tweaked the sciatic nerve but subsequent scans showed the Juventus man had suffered a herniated disc.
However, the 32-year-old will put off having an operation on his back in a desperate attempt to be fit for the remainder of Italy's South African campaign.
"I thought a lot about it," Buffon said. "But I have to think about myself before anything else."
"I will have an operation in Italy after the World Cup."
If Buffon is ruled out of Marcelo Lippi's squad prior to Italy's campaign finishing, it will be a major blow as the 'keeper was a major reason the Azzurri made the second round at Euro 2008, while his efforts were instrumental in the world champion's victory at Germany 2006.
Buffon has previously missed out on a major tournament when he was ruled out of Euro 2000, but the Azzurri found an excellent understudy in Francesco Toldo, whose penalty saves in a semi-final shoot-out against the Netherlands, helped Italy to the final of that competition.