Kerry's Surgeon Vows Broken Leg Won't Interfere with Secretary of State Duties

Secretary of State John Kerry’s surgeon said through the State Department that his broken leg shouldn’t affect his job as the nation’s top diplomat.


Kerry “underwent a surgical procedure to repair his broken femur,” Dr. Dennis Burke, orthopedic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement released by the administration. “The procedure was performed under a regional anesthetic and the Secretary was conscious throughout the four-hour operation.”

“The procedure was uncomplicated, the fracture was fully repaired, and we plan to get him up walking on Wednesday,” Burke said. “I anticipate a short hospitalization, a full and complete recovery, and a return to normal function.”

“I do not anticipate that this will interfere with his duties as Secretary of State.”

Kerry phoned in to a Paris meeting on ISIS before his surgery. “In reality, Daesh is no more a state than I am a helicopter,” he told the group of international ministers.

“He had regretted not being able to be there. He’s also made calls to foreign ministers. So he’s been working, even despite this injury. And we don’t have any prediction yet in terms of travel and what the schedule might look like,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Tuesday.


“…He’s committed to an aggressive, ambitious, and responsible recovery and rehab schedule.”

Kerry, 71, often takes his bike with him on international trips. He reportedly hit a curb while cycling part of the Tour de France route, causing the broken bone.

Kerry stayed overnight at a hospital in Geneva and was taken back to Boston aboard a US military C-17 transport aircraft.

“The secretary has not been out of commission since the moment he fell in that accident. And I don’t expect that he’s going to be out of commission even later today. Now, obviously, he knows that, you know, when you break a leg this size, there’s a recovery period. There’s physical therapy that has to be done. I think the way I would describe his approach to that is he’s going to be responsible in terms of that recuperative effort. But he’s also going to be robust. He’s not going to slow down. He’s going to stay engaged. He’s still the secretary of state, and he needs to do that — that job every single day,” press secretary John Kirby told CNN.


“He’s going to remain in the lead for the negotiations. Nothing has changed about our intent to see the June 30 deadline for this [Iran nuclear] deal met. He’s absolutely committed to that,” Kirby continued.

“The particulars of how we were going get to June 30 actually are still being worked out anyway. Even if he hadn’t broken his leg, there was still a lot of work that had to be done to set the agenda for meetings to get to the June 30 deadline. So there’s still a lot of work to do by everybody, not just by our team and Secretary Kerry with respect to this injury. What I can tell you, though, is he’s going to remain in the lead. He’s going to stay very active.”


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