Gov. Corbett Recuperating after Successful Surgery

Pittsburgh – Governor Tom Corbett underwent successful back surgery this morning at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The surgery, performed by orthopaedic spinal specialist Dr. Mark A. Fye and orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Patrick J. DeMeo, was considered to be routine for the treatment of spinal stenosis.

The surgeons described the procedure as successful and said Corbett was resting comfortably. Corbett’s wife, Susan, was at the hospital during the procedure.

In accordance with articles of the state constitution, Lt. Gov. James Cawley was acting governor while Corbett was under general anesthesia. Corbett was awake and alert by 10:30 a.m. and physicians cleared him to resume the powers and duties of his office.

After spending one or two nights in the hospital, Corbett will recuperate for a few days at his home in suburban Pittsburgh. Doctors expect Corbett will return to Harrisburg within the week.

The governor suffered from spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal cord, which results in a compression of nerves, leading to persistent pain and decreased physical activity. The most common cause of spinal stenosis is the natural aging process. Left untreated, the physicians told Corbett it could lead to permanent damage.

Corbett, 61, underwent a series of medical tests in preparation for the surgery and was otherwise considered to be in excellent health.

Both Fye and DeMeo are board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, on staff at Allegheny General Hospital, as well as assistant professors of orthopaedic surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine. The two are also in practice with the Allegheny Orthopaedic Associates of Pittsburgh.

Fye is director of the hospital’s Division of Spinal Surgery and co-director of the division of Orthopaedic Spine Trauma. A graduate of Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Fye completed both his internship and residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, as well as a fellowship at the University Hospitals of Cleveland.

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