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LI's Christie Brinkley reveals she had hip replacement surgery

Christie Brinkley says she had surgery in November.

Christie Brinkley says she had surgery in November. Credit: Getty Images / Dia Dipasupil

Bridgehampton supermodel Christie Brinkley says she has had surgery for a new hip, posting two swimsuit photos of herself on a boat Tuesday sporting a large bandage, followed by images of herself snorkeling in some warm-weather clime.

"New Year, New Hip! Yes that's a band aid on my hip," Brinkley, 66, wrote in an accompanying Instagram message, explaining the operation came 26 years after she had "injured my hip in a back country skiing helicopter crash on a mountaintop in Telluride many years ago. The pain in my hip got a little bit worse each year. 12 years ago I was told it needed to be replaced but the surgery was daunting! And I had things to do!"

Because of the coronavirus pandemic this year, however, "[Q]uarantine put a damper on any plans so I decided to finally take time for myself and do something about the pain that had progressively influenced my decisions. I wanted to be ready to be able to say yes to opportunity. I had my surgery at Thanksgiving and I was dancing in my kitchen by New Years Eve and today I put on my long fins and explored the coral reefs propelled by my new hip!"

On April 1, 1994, Brinkley, then 40 and married to Long Island pop icon Billy Joel, was in the San Juan Mountains near Telluride, Colorado, heli-skiing with three friends including Ricky Taubman, a Los Angeles real estate developer and Brinkley's future third husband. After crashing, the helicopter repeatedly rolled over as it slid down a 200-foot incline, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report. There were no fatalities. Brinkley suffered minor injuries and was discharged from the hospital a day later.

"If you've been putting something off that could improve your well-being but hesitate out of some sort of fear, I suggest learning as much as you can about the process and the results and expectations," Brinkley's post continued. "I found the best Doctor for my circumstances and voilà! I can't tell you how happy I am to have done this."

She added, "Now I can focus on getting back in shape and rebuilding my strength. Never to [sic] old to get hip!" she joked. "PS This was an early morning dive (literally jumped out of bed and into the boat) so the sun was low … highlighting the particles in the water[.] I'm sure to have clearer shots in the days ahead!"

Along with photos of fish and coral were two of her adult son, Jack Brinkley-Cook, snorkeling with Brinkley.

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