Stephen M. Silverman
June 08, 1998 12:00 AM

Former President Ronald Reagan, who turns 90 on Feb. 6, is “back to himself” after what is being described by doctors as an easy (and relatively brief 65-minute) operation to repair a broken right hip on Saturday. Physicians at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., inserted a V-shaped pin into the ex-chief executive’s hip joint, which was reportedly fractured when Reagan fell at his Pacific Palisades home on Friday. “We’re very happy with the outcome of the surgery,” orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Ehrhart said at a Saturday press conference. He said that Reagan’s wife, Nancy, was at her husband’s side throughout most of the ordeal, and that Reagan is expected to go home in a week to 10 days. According to NBC News, Ehrhart was requested by the Reagan family not to discuss the ex-president’s Alzheimer’s condition. Reagan had disclosed in 1994 in a letter to the American public that he suffered from the debilitating disease. The former president was also said to be sitting up in a chair on Monday and eating ice cream (his favorite dessert), signs that he was on the mend. Maureen Reagan, 60, Reagan’s daughter from his first marriage (to actress Jane Wyman), is also in St. John’s Hospital, being treated for a malignant melanoma. Her stepmother Nancy had said last week that the family is praying for her.

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