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Queen recovers after knee surgery

The queen with daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex on Christmas Day
The queen with daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex on Christmas Day

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LONDON, England -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has had a successful operation to remove a torn cartilage from her right knee, according to Buckingham Palace.

There was no cause for concern and that the 76-year-old monarch was expected to be "fully active again within a few weeks," it added.

The 45-minute minor operation, carried out under general anaesthetic, came after the queen twisted her knee while walking on uneven ground during a visit to Newmarket racecourse in Suffolk, eastern England, before Christmas. She had been using a walking stick for some of the time since then.

The surgery was performed by the queen's orthopaedic surgeon Roger Vickers on Monday morning at the King Edward VII Hospital in central London. The palace said it went very well and the queen was expected to leave hospital on Tuesday morning.

The palace said Vickers was assisted by Adrian Fairbank. The anaesthetist was Dr. Robert Linton and the queen's physician, Dr. Richard Thompson, was in attendance.

The queen will rest at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, eastern England, over the next two weeks, the palace said, and will then resume a limited programme of engagements until she has made a full recovery.

Queen Elizabeth has enjoyed good health for much of her life and has only rarely cancelled official commitments due to illness.

In January 1994, she broke her left wrist when her horse tripped during a ride at Sandringham. This was the first time the queen, a keen and experienced horsewoman, had fallen for many years.

But she got back on the horse and returned to Sandringham House unaware that she had sustained anything more than a bruise. The break was not diagnosed until almost 24 hours later.

In March 1993, the queen's youngest son Prince Edward stood in for her at several engagements because she had flu.

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