Vickery will now miss the rest of the RBS Six Nations, leaving Andy Robinson with a real headache.
With Julian White almost certain to be not fit for the match against Ireland in Dublin, England coach Robinson will have no specialist tighthead props left in his squad, and will have to gamble.
As if that wasn't enough, Olly Barkley also missed the game through injury – he was withdrawn an hour before kick-off with a calf strain.
Gloucester took the lead in sizzling fashion after 13 minutes, Terry Fanuloa working his way over after some tidy hands and footwork from Henry Paul, James Simpson-Daniel and Seti Kiole.
Bath did not lie down, and soon hit back with a try of their own, James Scaysbrook capitalising on a break from the line-out by Steve Borthwick. Malone's conversion gave Bath the lead.
Malone and Paul exchanged penalties after Vickery's departure, leaving bath 10-8 ahead at the break in a very even match.
The second half degenerated into a tense tactical affair, neither side giving themselves or their opposition enough space to forge any really threatening attacks.
Mefin Davies was yellow-carded for killing the ball, but Gloucester dug their heels in and stayed in touch. Paul and Malone swapped four further penalties leaving bath still with their noses in front at 16-14.
Paul then missed a long-range attempt with four minutes to go, which would have sent Gloucester into the lead. Brad Davies made no mistake with the drop goal four minutes later.
For Gloucester:Tries: FanuloaPens: Paul 3Drop goals: Davies
For Bath: Tries: ScaysbrookCons: MalonePens: Malone 3
Gloucester: 15 Jon Goodridge, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 James Simpson-Daniel, 12 Terry Fanolua, 11 Seti Kiole, 10 Henry Paul, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 James Forrester, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Adam Eustace, 3 Phil Vickery (c), 2 Mefin Davies, 1. Nick Wood Replacements: 16 Noel Curnier, 17 Terry Sigley, 18 Mark Cornwell, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 James Merriman, 21 Alex Page, 22 James Bailey
Bath: 15 Matt Perry, 14 Andy Williams, 13 Andy Higgins, 12 Ryan Davis, 11 Joe Maddock, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Nick Walshe, 8 Zak Feaunati, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Geraint Lewis, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Matt Stevens, Replacements: 16 Jon Humphreys, 17 Chris Loader, 18 Gareth Delve, 19 Rob Fidler, 20 Martyn Wood, 21 Tom Cheeseman, 22 Ryan Davis
Referee: Dave PearsonTouch judges: Andrew Pearce, Stuart TerheegeAssessor: Colin High