RIYADH: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, 88, has been hospitalised in Riyadh to undergo scheduled surgery on his back, the official SPA news agency reported on Friday.
The monarch was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical City for the National Guard for an operation "to treat the looseness at the conjoining cord in the upper back," the news agency said.
It had already been announced on November 11 that the king would have the operation. He underwent a similar procedure at the same medical facility in October 2011.
In November 2010, Abdullah was operated on in New York for a debilitating herniated disc complicated by a blood clot that put pressure on his spine, and he had further surgery the following month.
The monarch's advanced age combined with health problems have raised concerns about the future of Saudi Arabia, which has been ruled by the Al-Saud family since 1932.
Prince Salman, 76, the king's half brother, was named crown prince in June following the death of prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz.