Mayor Menino resting comfortably after surgery for broken leg

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is resting comfortably after surgery this morning to repair a bone in his right leg, fractured near the ankle in a fall Friday, his spokeswoman said.

There were no complications with the surgery, which lasted less than an hour, according to a statement from Dr. Mitchel B. Harris and Dr. Michael J. Weaver, orthopedic surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The procedure included the placement of a plate and screws to repair the spiral fracture of Menino’s right fibula, the smaller of the leg’s two long bones, the doctors said.

The mayor will wear a walking boot and use crutches for “the next couple of months,’’ the doctors said, but is expected to fully recover.


Menino’s press secretary, Dot Joyce, said shortly after 1 p.m. that the 70-year-old mayor was conscious and alert, resting in his bed in a single room at the hospital with his ankle elevated. Friends and family had been able to visit him since the surgery, she said.

“He’s trying to be jovial and make jokes with the nurses,’’ Joyce said. “He’s himself. He’s doing great.’’

Joyce said Menino would be released “not today, but soon,’’ and that he would take his recovery “one day at a time.’’ The surgery, she said, went smoothly.

“It was really a simple procedure,’’ Joyce said. “The doctors were very happy. It actually took less time than they thought it would.’’

It is unlikely, though, that Menino will be able to return immediately to his modest Cape-style home in the Readville section of Hyde Park. Menino moved back into the home only three weeks ago after a period of recovery from other health issues.

“He’ll most likely need to go to the Parkman House for a little while,’’ Joyce said, referring to the city-owned Greek Revival mansion on Beacon Hill where Menino stayed from December to late March.

Unlike Menino’s Readville home, the Parkman House is equipped with an elevator, making it easier for the mayor to get around.


Menino had been scheduled to spend this morning at the annual opening day event for the Swan Boats in the Boston Public Garden Lagoon. Instead, his wife, Angela Menino attended and took the first boat ride with kindergarten students from Ellis Mendell Elementary School in Roxbury and Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan.

Lyn Paget, whose family has operated the Swan Boats since 1877, said Menino was missed, but she was glad his wife could be there.

“This is the first time in the whole 20 years he’s been mayor that he’s missed opening day,’’ she said. “It’s wonderful that Mrs. Menino was able to attend. She obviously has other things on her mind today.’’

Paget described Menino as “champion of green spaces’’ and someone who appreciates the city’s history.

“He respects those important traditions that are a big part of Boston’s character. We hope he’ll come down for a ride later this summer,’’ she said.

Paget wished Menino a speedy recovery and said he will have “lifetime free rides’’ on the Swan Boats.

Menino was visiting the Lee School in Dorchester to see an art exhibition for Autism Awareness Month Friday when he twisted his ankle and fell.

The five-term mayor has walked with a cane, sometimes haltingly, since his release from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in December following a lengthy stay at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

He was initially hospitalized last October after cutting short a vacation to Italy with his wife. Diagnosed with a blood clot, and later with a severe respiratory infection, Menino sustained a compression fracture in a spinal vertebra while in the hospital, prolonging his stay.


In November, just as he was being transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Menino’s doctors announced that he had been diagnosed in with Type 2 diabetes. He moved into the Parkman House just before Christmas, as he continued physical therapy to rebuild strength lost in his legs during the long hospitalization.

Long known for his visibility at neighborhood events and one-on-one interactions with city residents, Menino announced last month that he would not seek reelection to a sixth term in November because his health prevented him from being as active as he had in the past.

“I am back to a mayor schedule, but not a Menino schedule,’’ he said at the announcement on March 28.

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