Monday, July 20, 2009

Pope’s Surgery Done With Dated Technique, La Stampa Says

By Lorenzo Totaro

July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Italian surgeons used an “out-of- date” technique to fix Pope Benedict XVI’s broken wrist last week, which may delay the pontiff’s full recovery, La Stampa reported, citing comments by Orfeo Soldati, head of the department of hand surgery at the Pellegrini Hospital in Naples.

“That technique is out of date; it was used until 15 years ago and it has been abandoned since,” La Stampa quoted Soldati, as saying. Had the pope “undergone a surgery to reconstruct the fracture” with the bones fragments fixed internally, “he may have regained control of the hand within one week.”

The pontiff had surgery on July 17 in Aosta, in the Italian Alps, after falling in his holiday chalet and breaking his wrist. The doctors “realigned the fractured fragments and fastened them through osteosynthesis, using a local anesthetic then applying a cast”, the Holy See said in a July 17 statement. Benedict will need at least “30-40 days” to recover, Soldati told La Stampa.

“Let’s hope it will be a complete success,” the 82-year- old pope, pointing to the cast on his right wrist, said before reciting prayers yesterday in Romano Canavese, in the northwestern Piedmont region. The injury will slow the pope’s work on the second part of his book, “Jesus of Nazareth,” news agency Ansa reported yesterday, citing the Vatican’s secretary of state, Tarcisio Bertone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at

Last Updated: July 20, 2009 05:54 EDT


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