Menino back home after stay in hospital

To meet his aides, continue therapy

By Donovan Slack
Globe Staff / November 19, 2009

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Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who seriously injured his knee just days after winning an unprecedented fifth term in office, wrapped up 10 days in the hospital yesterday and went home to Hyde Park, where he is expected to continue recuperating for at least another week, according to his spokeswoman.

Menino fell and severed a tendon in his left knee on Nov. 8. The next day, he underwent surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to reattach the tendon, and a few days later he was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

The mayor’s spokeswoman, Dot Joyce, said yesterday that Menino has a large brace on his leg and is using crutches.

“As soon as he’s comfortable making his way around on crutches, he’ll be making his way back to City Hall,’’ Joyce said.

She said he will continue intensive therapy at home, working with physical therapists.

“He needs to keep his leg completely straight, so it’s difficult to navigate,’’ Joyce said, adding, “He’s happy to be out of the hospital.’’

Joyce said the mayor is conducting staff meetings at home, both in person and by telephone, sometimes with teams of employees. Joyce said she and other staff members had visited Menino in the hospital to brief him on the final days of the legislative session on Beacon Hill.

Some of the mayor’s scheduled appearances have been canceled, and the city is sending surrogates to others.

For example, Menino’s Cabinet chief of administration and finance, Lisa Signori, will be filling in for the mayor at a panel discussion tonight about managing American cities at Harvard University. Michael Ross, City Council president, filled in for Menino yesterday at a charity pie sale on City Hall Plaza.

This has been the longest absence from City Hall for Menino, 66, who has been hospitalized eight times in his 16-year tenure.

He was treated several times for severe abdominal pain and kidney stones in the 1990s. In 2004, he was treated for Crohn’s disease, a painful intestinal condition, and he had a cancerous lump removed from his back in 2003.

In October 2008, Menino underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair cartilage torn when he slipped during a Red Sox championship rally the previous fall.