Kerry has hip surgery to address chronic pain

BOSTON | U.S. Sen. John Kerry and his daughter Vanessa are sporting his-and-her crutches.

The Massachusetts Democrat had surgery last week on his right hip to address chronic pain and flexibility problems.

The surgery was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Kerry was discharged after five days.

“It’s the accumulation of 65 years of hockey, lacrosse, skiing, marathon-running, just abuse and, frankly, a little bit of degeneration over that time,” the senator said Monday in a telephone interview.

Kerry’s daughter also had surgery to repair nerve damage on the bottom of her left foot. Kerry spokeswoman Brigid O’Rourke said Vanessa, a doctor and third-year resident, is getting married this fall “and wanted to be able to dance at her wedding.”

The two used their crutches Monday to enter a swearing-in ceremony for Kerry’s former brother-in-law, David Thorne, as the new U.S. ambassador to Italy. He is the brother of Kerry’s ex-wife and Vanessa’s mother, the late Julia Thorne.

The usually clean-shaven Kerry sported a beard for the ceremony, but he said it’s only temporary during his recovery.

“My wife doesn’t want me standing at the sink, shaving,” he said.

Gov. Deval Patrick is having hip surgery at Mass General on Sept. 1. The state’s senior senator, Edward M. Kennedy, was initially treated there for his brain cancer. He is now convalescing at his home on Cape Cod.