Spanish king to undergo Achilles tendon surgery: palace

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Spain's much-loved 73-year-old King Juan Carlos will undergo surgery on the Achilles tendon of his left foot next week, the royal palace said Thursday.

The operation, which comes three months after surgeons placed an artificial joint in his right knee June 3, will involve surturing the inflamed tendon, a spokesman for the royal palace said.

"It is a minor operation, he will not be kept in hospital but he will have to go through a long rehabilitation process that begins with a period of immobilization," the spokesman said.

The king will not go under general anaesthetic but will instead receive a local epidural pain-killer, he said.

The same surgical team that replaced the king's knee joint will carry out the tendon operation "in the first days of next week" at the San Jose Clinic in Madrid, he added.

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 successor since 1969.

AFter Franco's death, he 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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