Cheney to have knees X-rayed for arthritis

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Doctors will scan Vice President Dick Cheney's legs on Saturday to evaluate arthritis in his knees.

Military doctors will X-ray Cheney's knees at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base after he returns from Lexington, Va., where he is speaking at the Virginia Military Institute.

"He has had long-standing arthritis in his knees and the doctors have been trying to schedule a time to have his knees X-rayed," Megan Mitchell, the vice president's spokeswoman, said Friday. "Tomorrow provides a good time and place to have the X-rays and evaluate the condition of his knees."

After that, Cheney is to resume his normal schedule and leave for his home in St. Michael's, Md.

The last time Cheney had his knees X-rayed for the arthritis was in June 2005. That same year, Cheney had surgery to repair an arterial aneurysm on the back of each knee.

Last month, Cheney, a 67-year-old with a history of heart problems, was taken to a hospital where doctors restored a normal rhythm to his heart with an electric shock. It was the second time in less than a year that Cheney had experienced and been treated for an atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart. The episode caused the vice president to cancel his attendance at a political campaign event in Illinois.

Cheney has had four heart attacks, starting when he was 37. He has had quadruple bypass surgery and two artery-clearing angioplasties. In 2001, he had a special pacemaker implanted in his chest. The pacemaker's battery was replaced last year, and then the entire device was replaced.

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