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LIZ WILL HAVE HIP REPLACED TO EASE PAIN OF ARTHRITIS

Actress and AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor will undergo hip replacement surgery to ease a painful condition that has increasingly made it difficult for her to walk, her New York publicist said Thursday.

The actress, who turns 62 Feb. 27, suffers from osteoarthritis of the left hip and will undergo the procedure early next month at an undisclosed Los Angeles hospital, said publicist Chen Sam."She's nervous about it, but she realizes the time has come that something has to be done," Sam said. "She's in a lot of pain."

The operation will be performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Moreland. In a statement, Moreland said the cartilage of Taylor's hip has worn out, causing painful bone-on-bone contact and making it difficult for the actress to walk without pain.

Taylor will be hospitalized for up to seven days and will require crutches or a walker for about eight weeks.

Although the procedure is considered routine, it gained national attention when athlete Bo Jackson had his hip replaced. He made a full recovery and later returned to professional baseball.