Saudi king to undergo back surgery

October 11, 2011 - 6:20 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The official Saudi news agency says the kingdom's aging ruler will undergo back surgery in the U.S. for the third time in a year.

The Saudi Press Agency said late Tuesday the 86-year-old King Abdullah will have surgery to stabilize a vertebra in his spine in the coming days. The agency did not give a date for the operation.

Abdullah had two back surgeries late last year in New York City to treat a herniated disc and a blood clot pressing on nerves in his back, according to official explanations. The decision on further surgery followed a medical examination.

Before he left for treatment in the United States in November 2010, Abdullah temporarily handed control of the kingdom over to Crown Prince Sultan, his 85-year-old half brother.