Bush to get MRI scan for aching knees

President worsened injuries by hard running

December 18, 2003|By Edwin Chen | Edwin Chen,LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - President Bush is scheduled to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging scan today so that physicians can pinpoint the reason for his aching knees, which have sidelined him from running, his favorite form of exercise, the White House said yesterday.

The procedure is to be performed at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Bush, 57, is an exercise buff, but he has been slowed since early this year by his knees and by a torn muscle in his right calf, an injury caused by insufficient warmups before running, the president has said.

After sustaining the tear, Bush continued running hard and aggravated the injury.

As a result, he shifted to an elliptical trainer, swam, continued lifting weights and "water-jogged" in the White House swimming pool.

"He's still working out regularly, but he does enjoy running," White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters yesterday morning.

The president already was scheduled to visit Walter Reed today to spend time with U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, McClellan said.

MRIs produce high-resolution images that improve a physician's ability to see small structures, allowing a more accurate diagnosis.

After the exam, Bush will consult with his personal physician, Dr. Richard Tubb, and an orthopedic surgeon about any other procedures that might be called for, McClellan said.

The president's condition is not uncommon for aging athletes, said Dr. James Garrick, an orthopedic surgeon and head of the Center for Sports Medicine at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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