Spanish king has successful hip operation: palace

24 ноября 2012, 19:04
Spain's 74-year-old King Juan Carlos had successful hip replacement surgery late Friday, the royal palace said, after two operations on the other hip caused by a fall during a controversial African elephant-hunting safari, AFP reports.

"The operation, which lasted 90 minutes, was carried out under general anaesthetic and was completely satisfactory," the palace said in a statement.

The left hip replacement surgery was needed because the king had been suffering from arthritis, the statement said. The Spanish monarch was kept in hospital overnight for observation and doctors will decide how much longer he needs to stay.

"Today I am definitely going into the workshop," the king joked to reporters as he entered the San Jose hospital in Madrid on Friday evening.

The monarch first revealed the need for the operation during a Spain-Latin America summit in Cadiz, southern Spain, last week.

"The doctors told me to go straight to the operating table but I preferred to delay the operation for a week to be able to be with you, my Iberian-American brothers," he said.

It was the sixth operation in two years for the king.

On April 14, Madrid surgeons reconstructed his right hip and inserted an artificial joint after the king fell over during a safari vacation in Botswana, breaking the bone in three places.

Later the same month, they operated again after he dislocated the same joint.

Though widely respected for his role in steering the country to democracy after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975, the king was harshly criticised for his Botswana hunting trip.

Many were angered by the extravagance of the holiday, at a time when millions of Spaniards are suffering in the recession.

The fact that he was hunting big game despite being honorary president of the Spanish branch of the wildlife charity WWF was also criticised.

The king made an unprecedented apology April 18 for taking the luxury hunting trip. "I am sorry. I made a mistake and it won't happen again," he said as television cameras recorded his exit from hospital on crutches.

The king had a benign tumour removed from a lung in May 2010. In June 2011 he was given an artificial right knee joint and three months later he had a torn Achilles tendon repaired.

In November 2011, the king wore sunglasses during official ceremonies. Palace officials said he had collided with a door.

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