MADRID (AP) — King Juan Carlos of Spain successfully underwent surgery for herniated discs in his lower spine at a Madrid hospital on Sunday, the royal palace said.
The operation took about three hours and "proved entirely satisfactory," the palace said. It was the 75-year-old's fourth operation in 12 months, and the 12th time he has undergone surgery during his lifetime.
Neurosurgeon Manuel de la Torre, who performed the operation, told reporters that it would take between two and six months for the king to recover. The head of state would likely remain in the hospital for around a week, he said, adding that two of the king's spinal segments had been involved.
On his arrival at the La Merced clinic, the monarch lowered his passenger-side car window and said, "Here I am again," to journalists and television cameras gathered outside.
Juan Carlos had hip surgery last November and has suffered several other health issues in the past two years, including needing knee surgery and the removal of a benign lung tumor.