Christie Brinkley had hip replacement surgery in November to fix lingering issues from an accident she survived 26 years ago. The pain in her hip continued to get worse over the years, and she learned she would need a hip replacement over a decade ago. The 67-year-old supermodel noted that she began experiencing shoulder issues too, and decided she needed to finally address these issues, beginning with her hip.
"It was really depressing so I thought, you know what, I'm going to start to whittle away at it. I'm going to do whatever it takes," Brinkley told Dr. Mehmet Oz in an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show this week, reports PEOPLE. "I'm going to start to whittle away at this and I thought the hip is what scares me the most. Let me check in on the hip."
Brinkley said her hip bain "got a little bit worse each year" after she survived a backcountry skiing helicopter crash. Twelve years ago, her doctor told her she would need a hip replacement, but that sounds too "daunting" at the time, and she held off on it. By 2020 though, she realized not getting the surgery was holding her back from enjoying life. "It started feeling like, 'Oh my gosh, this is how you get old,'" she said.
Back on Jan. 5, Brinkley announced she finally had hip surgery. She might have continued delaying it were it not for the coronavirus pandemic forcing her to postpone her plans. "I wanted to be ready to be able to say yes to opportunity," Brinkley wrote at the time. "I had my surgery at Thanksgiving and I was dancing in my kitchen by New Year's Eve and today I put on my long fins and explored the coral reefs propelled by my new hip!" Brinkley has since shared other swimsuit photos in which she proudly displays the scar on her hip.
In her interview with Oz, Brinkley spoke directly to fans who might be putting off major surgery. "I tell you for people at home, go speak to the doctors. Find out what they can do for you," she explained. "You know the more you learn about it the less afraid you will be and don't be afraid because you know what these surgeries can do now. The way they have perfected them is really amazing."
Back in April 1994, Brinkley and five others almost died in a helicopter crash in Telluride, Colorado. Brinkley suffered another high-profile injury in 2019 when she hurt her wrist while rehearsing for Dancing With the Stars. Her daughter, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, replaced her on the series. Sailor, 22, did well on the show, finishing in third place.
Brinkley has felt good enough after the surgery to already be back modeling. She joined Sailor and her other daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, 35, for an NYDJ jeans photo shoot recently. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sailor said Brinkley's fans would be surprised to learn how "very chill" Brinkley is at home. "She has a very bubbly, energetic personality, but she takes her time in the morning. She doesn't need to, like, get on a face of makeup and full outfit," Sailor said. "She can chill in her pajamas, do work, emails, play with the dog, and then put on some overalls and go to the garden all day. That's just sort of like her day-to-day. It's not always glam."