The model, who was injured during a recent ski trip, is "feeling a million times better"

By Stephen M. Silverman Liza Hamm
February 28, 2007 03:55 PM

Christie Brinkley underwent an emergency operation on her back Tuesday night for an injury incurred during a recent ski trip with her children.

“She needed surgery, and thank God she got it,” the 53-year-old model’s rep, Fran Curtis, tells PEOPLE. “She sounds great. She’s feeling a million times better.”

According to another statement, “The surgery was successful, and she will be out of the hospital Friday.”

There is no word on the exact nature of Brinkley’s injury, but her rep says that it had worsened in the last few days.

The biggest inconvenience caused by the surgery: Brinkley will have to miss a performance by her daughter Alexa Ray Joel, 21, on Wednesday night at the Mercury Lounge in Lower Manhattan.

“I wish that my mom could be there for the show but the most important thing right now is for her to get well,” said Alexa Ray, whose father is Brinkley’s former husband Billy Joel.

“As Christie noted right before the surgery, ‘I would break my back to help my daughter, but I didn’t mean it literally,’ ” said the statement.