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May 31, 2000

First Lady Undergoes Successful Back Surgery

SPRINGFIELD - First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan is resting comfortably today following successful lower back surgery to relieve chronic pain caused by bone spurs and discs pressing against nerves in her spine.

The three-hour procedure was completed at Springfield's Memorial Medical Center by Dr. Brian Russell of the Orthopedic Center of Illinois. Governor Ryan accompanied Mrs. Ryan to the hospital for the surgery.

Several months ago, Mrs. Ryan's personal physician, Dr. David Ross of Springfield, recommended surgery to relieve pain in her back and legs. The procedure, known as a lumbar laminectomy, is common surgery that involves the removal of bone spurs and discs that press against nerves in the back.

Mrs. Ryan is expected to remain in the hospital for the next few days and her schedule of public events will be limited for several weeks. The First Lady is not expected to need further surgery, nor therapy, following today's operation.


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