Surgeons repair Spanish king's ruptured tendon

5th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spanish surgeons successfully repaired 73-year-old King Juan Carlos's ruptured Achilles tendon Monday, medical and palace officials said.

The popular monarch had surgery to the Achilles tendon of his left foot at the private USP San Jose hospital in Madrid and has returned to his Zarzuela palace on the outskirts of the capital, they said.

"The procedure was carried out successfully under epidural anaesthetic," the hospital said in a statement.

Surgeons repaired the tendon through open reconstruction surgery, strengthening it with a transplant from the king's own body and with plasma rich in growth factor, it said.

In typical open surgery, a surgeon makes a long incision along the back of the leg and sews the broken tendon back together. The ankle is often immobilized for up to three months afterwards.

"His majesty is feeling well at the Zarzuela palace, where he will continue his recovery," said the statement, signed by operating surgeon Angel Villamor and the palace's chief physician, Avelino Barros.

The king underwent surgery by the same team on June 3 to place an articifial joint in his right knee and he has since been seen in public relying on a crutch.

He will now embark on a "long programme of rehabilitation" and the heel will be temporarily immobilised, the palace had said earlier.

The king had a benign tumour removed from a lung in May 2010 when he was kept four days in hospital and then had 10 days' rest at a private Barcelona clinic.

In September last year the royal household said he had completely recovered from the lung operation and would not require further tests.

Born January 5, 1938, in Rome, Juan Carlos was proclaimed king November 22, 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco who had designated him as his successor since 1969.

After Franco's death, the king promised to rule for all Spaniards, signing a new constitution three years later and defending parliamentary democracy from an attempted right-wing military coup in 1981.

© 2011 AFP

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