Politician with Hip Replacements – Politicians are not immune from issues with their hips. Many have very athletic pasts and may have served or been injured in wars. These stories of men and women who served in government positions are often unique and interesting.
Current Secretary of State John Kerry had hip replacement surgery in 2009 and 2010. He was 66 at the time
He fractured his right leg in a bicycle accident in June of 2015. Kerry hit a curb and fell off his bike while cycling in the Alps. His biking was not overly aggressive as he was only moving slowly when the accident occurred. Unfortunately, due to his hip replacement surgery, his femur was weakened, resulting in the fracture from the fall. Kerry is likely to never be able to ride a bike again.
One orthopedic surgeon noted that falling off a bike after a hip replacement puts a person at extremely high risk for a femoral fracture. In fact, there is a 250% increase for these individuals over someone without the surgery. Breaking a bone around a hip joint replacement weakens the bone so much that it may never heal normally.
Kerry was a former Senator from Massachusetts and was a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was unsuccessful in his bid for U.S. President in 2004, losing to George W. Bush.
Kerry also served in the Vietnam war, where he was injured and awarded several combat metals including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush, father of George W. Bush and Jeb Bush received his hip left hip replaced in 2000, and his right hip in 2007 at the Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota. He was 82 at the time.
Bush was the 41st President of the U.S. from 1989 – 1993, and served under Ronald Reagan as Vice President from 1981 – 1989. He also served as the former director of the CIA, and was a Congressman and ambassador.
An additional Bush family fact is that his wife and former first lady, had hip replacement surgery in 1997.
William Cohen was U.S. Secretary of State between 1997 and 2001, under former president Bill Clinton. He was also known as one of the first Republican’s to vote for the impeachment of former President Richard Nixon. He also served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Maine.
Cohen was a Basketball star on the Bowdoin College basketball team from 1960 – 1961 where his aggressive basketball style resulted in two broken jaws, one cracked collarbone and three broken ribs of his opponents.
Cohen received one hip replacement at New York Hospital for Special Surgery shortly after his left his post as U.S. Secretary of State. He walked on to the set off CNN and was interviewed by Lou Dobbs just four days after his surgery.
Former U.S. Kansas Senator, from1969-1996, Bob Dole received his hip replacement in 2004 at the age of 71. The blood thinners from the operation likely caused his brain bleeding which resulted in partial paralysis of his (good) left arm.
Dole was partially paralyzed in his right arm and shoulder after suffering a battle wound from German machine gun fire during WWII. His recovery was extremely slow. He was decorated three time receiving two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with combat Valor.
Dole had a very long political career and is also known as the running mate of Gerald Ford in the 1976 Presidential Election, where they narrowly lost to Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. He also ran for President and was the Republican nominee in the 1996 election, losing to Bill Clinton.
Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004) was the 40th President of the United States and served between 1981 and 1989. Mr. Reagan had a long career after he graduated from Eureka College in 1932. He worked as a sports caster on various local radio stations.
When he moved to Hollywood in 1937 where he started his acting career. He was President of the Screen Actors Guild twice.
He was elected as governor of California in 1966 and unsuccessfully ran for U.S. President in 1968 and 1976. He was successful in his bid for President in 1980, beating out the second term run of Jimmy Carter.
He was known for supply-side economics called ‘Reaganomics’ and sometimes known for his stance against then Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev. Some credit him for the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, which happened after he was president.
In 2001 Mr. Reagan received a right hip replacement in Bel-Air California after a simple fall in his home. He was 89. The surgery included the addition of a metal bone plate and screws. Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at the time, which likely complicated his recovery and added to confusion post-surgery.
Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900 – 2002), had her right hip replaced in November of 1995 at King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, London, England. At the time she was 95. She was considered to be one of the oldest people on record to have hip replacement surgery. According to her grandson Prince Charles, she took up dancing again after the operation
Queen Elizabeth I, or the Queen Mother as she is referred to, later broke her left hip in a fall in 1998 and had hip replacement surgery immediately following that injury. Again the operation took place at King Edward VII Hospital.
After that surgery, the Queen Mother’s health continued to deteriorate until her death in 2002 at the age of 101.
Queen Elizabeth I, was the mother of the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. Her husband was the King George VI who reigned from 1936 until he died in 1952.
Joseph Kernan was the 48th Governor of Indiana (2003 – 2005) and previously Indiana Lt. Governor and Mayor of South Bend Indiana.
Joe received the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Purple Hearts after his plane was shot down in Vietnam. He was held as prisoner in Hanoi for a eleven months.
Joseph Kernan dealt with hip pain in his 40’s due to osteoarthritis. He managed and lived with the pain for eight years. After the pain started affecting his sleep, had his right hip replacement in 1996. His left hip was replaced in August 2010 after he prepared for the surgery with physical therapy. It was believed his recovery was faster due to the pre-surgery physical therapy.
Politicians with Hip Replacements – Heidi Heitkamp
Heidi Heitkamp, the 28th U.S. Senator from Bismarck North Dakota had successful hip replacement surgery in August 2015. She suffered from osteoarthritis which caused the deterioration of her hip. She was 59 at the time of surgery. It was reported she was carrying out her Senatorial duties just days after her surgery
Heitkamp is also a breast cancer survivor from the early 2000’s.
Prior to serving as Senator, Heitkamp served as North Dakota Attorney General from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that, she served as an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency from 1980 – 1981.
Senator Heitkamp belongs to the Bicameral Congressional Arthritis Caucus, which raised awareness of arthritis and supports ways members of Congress can address it.
Conclusion and Thanks for Reading
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Consider reading my other blog posts on famous people who had hip replacements.
Resources Used In This Post
Huffington Post: John Kerry Undergoing Second Hip Replacement Surgery
Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Health, Fitness and Nutrition : John Kerry Hip Replacements and Fractures
NCAA.org – The Official Site of the NCAA: William Cohen: Former U.S. Secretary of Defense – a lifetime of service
CNN.com – Transcripts: Lou Dobbs July 10, 2001
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Gerald Ford
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Bob Dole
A Nation in Motion: Hip Replacement – Joe Kernan
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Joe E. Kernan
The Independent: Health: Crucial days in Queen Mother’s fight for mobility
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Queen Elizabeth The Queen
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Heidi Heitkamp
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: George H. W. Bush –