Britain's Prince Philip has hand surgery
Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip has had surgery to cure a problem with his left hand, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday, in the latest health problem to hit the British royals.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 89 on Thursday, had the operation to treat Carpal tunnel syndrome -- a condition that causes pain, numbness and a burning sensation in the hand and fingers.
The right-handed prince has cancelled engagements to recover from Monday's surgery.
The operation was planned in advance but it is not known how long he had been suffering.
"The Duke of Edinburgh has had a minor operation on his left hand to treat Carpal tunnel syndrome," the monarch's official residence said in a statement, adding that he had reduced his engagements to help the recovery of his hand.
"It was day surgery. It was a short operation and he did not stay in hospital overnight," it added.
Prince Philip scrapped a dinner engagement in London on Monday but is expected to visit the 2012 Olympics site in east London as planned on Friday.
The prince -- who remains very active despite his age -- held audiences at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday and will hold more on Wednesday along with a series of minor engagements.
In April he suffered a "minor" ankle injury in a carriage driving accident. He was forced to miss engagements last year due to a back injury also sustained while carriage driving, a sport at which he has represented Britain.
It is the lastest health problem to hit the royals in recent weeks.
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, is to take three days off next week in a bid to fight off a persistent chest infection.
His wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has a cast removed from a broken left leg two weeks ago.
The British royal family rarely take time off ill.
© 2010 AFP