George W Bush has partial knee replacement

President George W. Bush lifts his bicycle before taking a mountain bike ride in Beltsville in the US. Image: VOA
President George W. Bush lifts his bicycle before taking a mountain bike ride in Beltsville in the US. Image: VOA

Former US President George W. Bush has undergone surgery for a partial replacement of his left knee, six weeks after having a similar procedure on his right knee, according to his spokesman.

The outpatient procedure was conducted on Saturday at Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago by Dr Richard Berger of Midwest Orthopaedics, who had worked on Bush's right knee in late May.

Read: Man froze off 'hated' right leg

Bush, who turned 68 a week ago, is an active mountain biker and golfer. He has also taken up painting since returning to his home state of Texas after leaving the presidency in early 2009.

"President and Mrs Bush are on their way back to Dallas this morning," said Bush spokesman Freddy Ford. "He's looking forward to getting back on his mountain bike in a few weeks."

The former president has always been a passionate runner and golfer, but knee pain put a stop to his normal jogging routine. An MRI was performed after the president suffered a minor muscle tear in his right calf.

He also suffered from aching knees which forced him to abandon his running routine. When taking his annual physical, they suspected he had a meniscus tear.

Read: Doctors with vested interests order more knee MRIs

What is the meniscus?

The meniscus of the knee are two pads of tissue which serve to diffuse friction in the knee joint between the lower leg and the thigh.  They are often torn while playing sports, lifting heavy objects and in older people, worn menisci are easier to tear. 

The symptoms of a meniscal tear can include slight to moderate pain, swelling and sometimes your knees can feel wobbly.

Doctors may recommend a temporary knee brace or physical therapy but in serious cases people may need surgery.

The following are also beneficial

- Weight control: moderate loss in weight can reduce pressure on the joints.

- Cross training: striking a balance between various exercise can reduce impact on same joints over and over again.

Read more:

Strengthening hip muscles may ease PAD calf pain

Injections may boost knee surgery success

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