Reagan on the Mend From Hip Surgery

Dr. Josiah Friedlander of Glendale Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, says hip fractures are a common problem among elderly persons.

"I've had people just step off a curb and feel something go pop and can't walk anymore," Friedlander said. "Because of the fact that it's a bone that's angled right at the edge, it just happens to be a very vulnerable spot."

"If the bones are reasonably well lined up and there aren't a whole lot of little pieces floating around, and they're pretty much adjacent to each other, frequently you can just put a pin through it and hold the two pieces aligned," he said.

Reagan's Popularity Has Grown

The former Hollywood actor and California governor was elected the 40th U.S. president in 1980 and served two terms.

Reagan survived a 1981 assassination attempt that put a bullet near his heart, a 1985 colon cancer operation and 1987 prostate and skin cancer surgery. In 1994, he disclosed that he had been disgnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

In recent years, Reagan's absence from public view has made the public’s heart grow fonder for him.

According to an poll taken last year, 64 percent of Americans now approve of Reagan's performance while he was in office. That’s eight points better than Reagan’s average job approval rating while he was in office, 56 percent.

Reagan’s career average lands him at the center of the pack of postwar presidents, behind John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Bush, and tied with Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton. His ratings ranged from a low of 42 percent in early 1983, several months after unemployment soared to heights unseen since 1940, to a high of 73 in 1981, just after John Hinckley Jr. shot him.

ABCNEWS Radio, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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