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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Stable After Hip Surgery

Former President Boris Yeltsin was in stable condition over the weekend following hip surgery, doctors said.

Yeltsin fell Wednesday while vacationing on the Italian island of Sardinia, and returned to Moscow after initial treatment in an Italian hospital. Doctors performed a hip operation on Thursday and pronounced the surgery successful.

"He is getting better; he's already sitting up in bed," Valery Zolotov, the chief doctor of the presidential hospital, said Friday, RIA-Novosti reported. "His condition is stable. All indicators are stable."

Italian paramedics said Yeltsin broke his femur, or thigh bone.

His wife, Naina, told the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta that the couple had been up until 6 a.m. watching a match between Russian tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova in the U.S. Open in New York. Yeltsin is a devoted tennis fan, and his wife said she had been "infected" with his enthusiasm. They decided to go to sleep as morning came, she said. "There were two steps in the living room, it happened almost on a flat surface. I only managed to say something about the steps in the dark. It's a good thing that Boris Nikolayevich, a [former] volleyball player, could control his fall, and nothing worse happened," she said.

There is a high death rate among people over 65 who need surgery after breaking a femur, doctors say. The ensuing lack of mobility during recovery can also produce its own host of complications, including possible blood clots, surgical wound infections and pneumonia.