The Albert Einstein hospital did not make any comment on the request of the family, but Globo said that Pele underwent the operation on Thursday and was recovering well. He is expected to be discharged on Monday.
According to the Globo Esporte website, Pele underwent arthrodesis, a procedure used to treat pain caused by the motion or instability of the spine. The site added that he has already recovered muscle strength and that the pain is under control.
Pele was suffering from compression of two vertebrae which had made him lose the strength in his legs, especially in his right leg. Pele, the only player to win the World Cup three times, was reportedly due to undergo an operation on the problem last year but other health problems forced him to put off the surgery.
Known as 'O Rei' (The King), Pele was admitted on Tuesday, but his family did not authorise the hospital to reveal the reason for the operation, Globo Esporte said. He has been admitted to the same hospital several times going back to 2012.
In May, the global sporting icon was hospitalised for four days and had surgery for an enlarged prostate. Last November, he underwent surgery for kidney stones and then came down with an infection that required treatment in a hospital intensive care unit for several days.