Sakari Orava

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Sakari Orava
Sakari orava.jpg
Born17 June 1945
EducationUniversity of Oulu[1]
Years active1980 to present
Known forSurgeon for top athletes
Medical career
InstitutionsHospital NEO
Sub-specialtiesSports medicine
ResearchSports medicine

Sakari Orava (born 17 June 1945) is a Finnish sports medicine surgeon, physician, orthopedist, and professor.

He attended the medical school at the University of Oulu.[1] Orava has clinics in Turku, Rome and Madrid.[2] He has been dubbed as "Dr. House of sports",[3] and has performed over 20,000 surgeries throughout his career. Orava was the head physician for the Finnish Olympic team in four consecutive Summer Olympics between 1988 and 2000.

High-profile operations[edit]

Orava's client list includes football clubs Real Madrid, Sevilla FC, FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC and Juventus FC.[3] Orava has also been working with AC Milan since 1986, and he performed a successful surgery on footballer David Beckham at his clinic in Turku in March 2010 to repair his torn achilles tendon.[4][5]

Orava has performed surgery on many other top athletes as well, including Haile Gebreselassie, Merlene Ottey, Andrea Barzagli, Didier Deschamps, Fábio Coentrão and Josep Guardiola.[2] Spanish runner, Marta Domínguez, referred to Orava as ”como díos” – like a God.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Orava lives in Naantali, Finland, and speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, German, Spanish and Italian[6]. He has a wife, Aira, and two children, Markus and Hanna-Maria. Orava was the 54 kg Finnish boxing champion in 1962.[2] During his time off he enjoys painting.


  1. ^ a b "Sakari Orava M. D." Málaga Health. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Susanne Hiltunen (21 August 2009). "Oravan nahassa". Rannikkoseutu (in Finnish).
  3. ^ a b c "Beckhamin leikannut suomalaislääkäri "kuin jumala"" (in Finnish). Kauppalehti. 16 March 2010. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Beckham eyes playing return after Achilles surgery". BBC News. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Tämä mies leikkasi David Beckhamin" (in Finnish). ILTALEHTI. 15 March 2010.
  6. ^