Mark Dayton Spinal Surgery Likely To Sideline Governor

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In this Oct. 19, 2011 file photo Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton speaks in St. Paul, Minn. Dayton told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 he remains resistant to decriminalizing the possession of marijuana for medical or recreational use, despite recent steps other states have taken to relax their laws. He also plans to include same-sex domestic partner benefits in Minnesota's state employee contracts. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Glen Stubbe) | AP

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has undergone spinal surgery that will likely sideline him at least through New Year's.

Dayton spokeswoman Kathleen Tinucci (tin-OO'-chee) says the Mayo Clinic surgeon who performed the procedure Thursday reports it went as planned, without any complications. She says the governor was out of surgery and awake by mid-afternoon.

Dayton hopes the operation will relieve a constriction in his lower back, known as stenosis, which Mayo says is generally caused by normal wear-and-tear on the spine due to aging. The procedure involves fusing vertebrae that shift out of alignment.

Dayton turns 66 in a few weeks.

He is scheduled to be released by Monday and will then return to St. Paul. He plans to work from the Governor's Residence during his recuperation period.

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Mark Dayton Undergoing Spinal Surgery At Mayo Clinic Next Week

Mark Dayton Undergoing Spinal Surgery At Mayo Clinic Next Week ...