Pa. Gov. Corbett released from Pittsburgh hospital

Gov. Tom Corbett (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

May 18, 2011 5:19:58 PM PDT
An upbeat Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was discharged from a Pittsburgh hospital Wednesday, saying he felt immediately better after surgery for a back problem two days earlier.

Corbett said he had been in "pretty much pain" while walking for the past six months or so, and scheduled the operation after deciding he could not put it off any longer.

"I feel real good," he said outside Allegheny General Hospital, with first lady Susan Corbett by his side. "They took great care of me here."

Corbett, 61, sought the treatment for spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that can cause pain and reduce activity.

The Republican governor said he resumed working Tuesday, and planned to spend the next couple days at his home in the suburb of Shaler, perhaps going to his Pittsburgh office, before heading back to Harrisburg by Monday.

"My goodness how much better I feel," he said. "First thing up yesterday, walking around the building, not to feel pain going down both legs, so I'm very thankful for the surgeons, the staff here."

Corbett will be returning to Harrisburg at a pivotal time, as the Legislature debates the first state budget of his term. Other major policy matters await, including school vouchers, a tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction, changes to civil lawsuit rules and transportation funding. The state government's fiscal year ends June 30.

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley served as acting governor for a few hours while Corbett was in surgery.