Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz underwent surgery to treat a back ailment Saturday at a hospital in this capital, the official Saudi news agency SPA said.

The monarch, 88, was admitted to Riyadh's King Abdul Aziz Medical City for the National Guard, according to the note, which said the operation will consist of tightening a ligament in his back.

In October 2011 the Saudi sovereign had a successful operation on his spinal column at the same medical center.

The king was also operated in New York on Nov. 24, 2010, for a slipped disc and the blood clot it caused.

On Dec. 3 of that year, he again underwent surgery as part of a treatment to steady the intervertebral discs of the spine, and in February 2011 he returned to Saudi Arabia after his period of recovery was over.

Abdala has been king of Saudi Arabia since the death of his half-brother, King Fahd, on Aug. 1, 2005. EFE