Spain's King Juan Carlos will undergo surgery early next month for a herniated disc three months after he had his left hip replaced, the Royal Palace announced Thursday.

The king's annual medical checkup last week revealed that an "old" slipped disc injury in his lower back had worsened and doctors decided that the best treatment would be to operate, the communique said.

This will be the 11th surgery for the 75-year-old king since the 1980s. Over the past three years, Juan Carlos has had both hips replaced along with his right knee, a torn Achilles tendon repaired and a benign tumor removed from his lung.

The announcement, signed by the head of medical services for the Royal Household, Dr. Miguel Fernandez Tapia-Ruano, specifies that the operation is intended to achieve "neurological decompression and spinal stabilization" of the injury.

This week, the monarch has not participated in any official events and it is anticipated that the decision to operate will also cause him to curtail his agenda for next week.

The date selected for the surgery, March 3, will also require the king to suspend his planned official visit to Morocco. EFE