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Governor Corbett to Undergo Back Surgery on May 16

News for Immediate Release

May 13, 2011

Governor Corbett to Undergo Back Surgery on May 16

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett will undergo back surgery for treatment of spinal stenosis on Monday morning, May 16, at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The surgery, to be performed by orthopaedic spinal specialist Dr. Mark A. Fye and orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Patrick J. DeMeo, is considered to be a routine procedure, but will require Corbett to stay in the hospital one or two days.

Corbett expects to resume his duties by Tuesday, while recuperating at his home in Shaler Township, and return to Harrisburg by the end of the week.

A media briefing is planned for around mid-day Monday at the hospital with an update on Corbett’s condition, as well as a report from the surgeons.

During the time when the governor is under general anesthesia, Lt. Gov. James Cawley will be “acting governor,’’  in accordance with articles of the state constitution, until Corbett is able to resume the powers and duties of the office.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, resulting in a compression of nerves, which leads to persistent pain and decreased physical activity. The most common cause of spinal stenosis is the natural aging process. Left untreated, it can lead to permanent damage.

Corbett, 61, who recently underwent a series of medical tests in preparation for the surgery, is otherwise considered to be in excellent health.

Both Fye and DeMeo are board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. They are both on staff at Allegheny General Hospital as well as assistant professors of orthopaedic surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Fye is director of the hospital’s Division of Spinal Surgery and co-director of the division of Orthopaedic Spine Trauma. A graduate of Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Fye completed both his internship and residency at Yale University School of Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital, as well as a spine fellowship at the University Hospitals of Cleveland.

DeMeo is chairman of the West Penn Allegheny Health System Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Institute. Also a specialist in sports medicine, DeMeo is director of the hospital’s Division of Sports Medicine and medical director of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.

A graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine, DeMeo completed his internship and residency at the State University of New York, a second residency at Ohio State University Medical Center and a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.

Members of the media will be notified of a specific time and location for the briefing on Monday. The hospital is located at 320 E. North Ave., Pittsburgh.

Media contact:  Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116

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