Spain's king Juan Carlos is recovering from a successful hip replacement operation at San Jose Hospital in Madrid, sources in the royal household said Friday.

"Today I am going to the repair shop," the monarch quipped earlier Friday to the throng of journalists who were at the hospital awaiting his arrival.

Queen Sofia and Crown Prince Felipe were with the king after the surgery to implant a prosthetic left hip.

Juan Carlos, 74, sprung the news about the operation while hosting a gala dinner last Friday for attendees at the Ibero-American Summit in the southern city of Cadiz.

The king, who moved around on crutches during the summit, told his fellow heads of state that he insisted on delaying the surgery so he could take part in the gathering.

The hip replacement is Juan Carlos' sixth operation in the last 2 1/2 years. EFE