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Former President Bush Undergoes Hip Replacement SurgeryAired December 5, 2000 - 1:36 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: For the first time in weeks, George W. Bush's attention may not be completely focused on Florida -- this morning, his thoughts, most likely, were with his father. Former president George Bush underwent hip surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
CNN medical correspondent Rhonda Rowland is here to tell us about the procedure and how the former president is doing.
RHONDA ROWLAND, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, and as you may recall, the former president is not the first Bush to undergo hip replacement surgery -- wife Barbara had the procedure three years ago. So far it appears former president Bush's surgery also went well.
A statement released by the Mayo Clinic says his left hip was replaced. The surgery was completed about five hours ago and went as expected. The former president is resting comfortably and should remain in the hospital for about five days.
The hospital has not released information about what caused his hip trouble, but the most common cause is osteoarthritis -- that is, wear and tear on the joint. In this surgery, doctors removed the diseased bone and replaced it with ball and socket-shaped replacement parts. The goal, of course, is to restore normal movement and relieve pain. Without surgery patients can become quite handicapped and suffer a great deal of pain -- Lou.
WATERS: Osteoarthritis -- can you prevent that?
ROWLAND: No, this is something that typically happens with age. It's very common in older people and it just happens where the joints start rubbing against each other, and that's what happened. And it affected, apparently, one side of his hip. It's possible it could eventually affect the other; but it's a very common situation.
WATERS: This is quite a common procedure, we understand. I have a couple of friends whom I play golf with who have had hip replacement surgery, and they operate like their old selves after this procedure.
ROWLAND: Exactly; they do very well. This surgery is done about 160,000 times a year, and most of the cases are between the ages of 60 and 80, and these hips can go for another 10 or 15 years and patients, pretty much, can return to their previous activities. And, Lou, you may have heard that the former president was playing tennis this weekend with Regis Philbin, and we also have some video of him doing some other activities -- of him doing some sky diving, that he did three years ago. You can see him right here.
WATERS: So will he be able to be a skydiver after this operation?
ROWLAND: Well, he has said that, four years from now, when he turns 80 he wants to do this.
WATERS: Well he's very light on his feet when he hits the ground.
ROWLAND: Well, if he lands lightly again, it's possible he could do this. I don't know what his doctors will advise, because typically patients have to give up jogging and high-impact sports. But if he has another easy landing, perhaps he could pull this off.
WATERS: So once you have this done, it lasts?
ROWLAND: Ten or 15 years, so he could go quite a long time with this new hip.
WATERS: OK, and we hope he doesn't need another one.
ROWLAND: That's right.
WATERS: OK, Rhonda Rowland.
And for more health news, click on our Web site, that's cnn.com/health -- you probably know that address by heart by now. It's produced in conjunction with WebMD, incidentally.
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