Spanish king breaks hip in fall: palace

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Spanish King Juan Carlos had urgent surgery to replace his hip Saturday after he fractured it in a fall during a private visit to Botswana, the royal palace said. The 74-year-old king “had a surgical operation on his hip this morning at USP San Jose Hospital in Madrid” after returning from the unannounced trip, the palace said in a statement. Spanish media said the king had been hunting elephants in the southern African country, but the royal palace would not confirm this. It said Juan Carlos suffered an “accidental fall” in Botswana. “Juan Carlos had suffered a fracture of his right hip in three places, linked to arthritis,” it added. “A reconstruction of the parts of the fracture was carried out and a hip implant was installed.” A palace spokesman said a surgeon operated on the king immediately on his return to Madrid overnight. Spanish newspapers said Juan Carlos is a keen huntsman and has frequently visited Botswana, whose vast game reserves are considered prime elephant-hunting destinations.