Friday, July 17, 2009

Pope fractures wrist, undergoes surgery; reported "in good condition."

Pope Benedict XVI fractured his right wrist in a fall Friday morning, but was released from the hospital after undergoing successful surgery. From the New York Times:
“It’s nothing serious,” the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a telephone interview. He said doctors had ruled out that Benedict had been taken ill before falling.

Doctors operated on the pope’s wrist for about 20 minutes, Reuters reported. Father Lombardi called the operation “not difficult.” He said that doctors had inserted pins to help the pope’s wrist heal, using local anesthetic.

He added that the pope would have to wear a cast for about a month. News reports showed Benedict leaving the clinic smiling and waving with his left hand.

In a statement released by the Vatican, the pope’s private physician, Patrizio Polisca, said that Benedict was “in good condition.”

More details from Catholic News Service:
Father Lombardi told reporters that the pope simply slipped and fell in the bathroom, ruling out any illness or medical condition as the cause of the accident. ... And, he said, the pope walked to the car and into the hospital on his own two feet.

The spokesman said the procedure to repair the pope's wrist lasted about half an hour and was carried out by the head of the hospital's orthopedic section along with another orthopedic surgeon and two anesthesiologists, who also were trained in resuscitation.

Before the procedure began, Father Lombardi told reporters that, despite having already fallen and injured his wrist, "in the morning the Holy Father celebrated Mass and had breakfast, then was accompanied to the hospital in Aosta" for X-rays and a general checkup.


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