LOS ANGELES – California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken leg and was expected to make a full recovery, officials said.
But he probably will be on crutches for his second inauguration.
Schwarzenegger, 59, fractured his right femur last weekend while skiing with his family in Sun Valley, Idaho.
He underwent a 90-minute operation in which cables and screws were used to wire the two main fragments of the thigh bone back together.
"Following the surgery, the governor was awake, alert and talking in the recovery room," said Dr. Kevin Ehrhart, an orthopedic surgeon who performed the non-emergency procedure at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica.
"He is now fully coherent, and I have cleared him to resume his duties as governor," Ehrhart said in a statement issued by the governor's office.
While the governor was under general anesthesia during the operation, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante served as acting governor.
Schwarzenegger was to remain hospitalized for three days. His full recovery will take about eight weeks, the surgeon said.
"I expect the governor to fully recover. The governor is not in a cast and will use crutches to walk while his leg heals," he said.
Schwarzenegger's office has said he would not delay his second inauguration, scheduled for Jan. 5.
"When we checked Arnold into the hospital on Christmas night, he was looking forward to his surgery," Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, said Tuesday in a statement. "He has been in good spirits. He asked when he could get back to work, and he's looking forward to his inauguration next week.
"Our children and I are grateful for everyone's support and prayers."
The fracture is the governor's third medical problem in just over a year.
He spent several hours at a University of California, Davis, hospital last December with a rapid heartbeat after coming down with stomach flu.
In January, Schwarzenegger needed 15 stitches to repair his cut lip after colliding with a car while riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle
The Sun Valley Resort, a favorite skiing destination for celebrities, includes a short ski trail named "Arnold's Run" after Schwarzenegger. The trail is categorized as a black diamond, or most difficult, for its challenging terrain.
The name and level of difficulty of the trail the governor was skiing when his accident occurred have not released.