Sakari Orava

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sakari Orava
Sakari orava.jpg
Born 17 June 1945
Kokkola, Finland
Education University of Oulu[1]
Years active 1980 to present
Known for Surgeon for top athletes
Medical career
Profession Surgeon
Institutions Hospital NEO
Specialism Sports medicine
Research Sports 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. ^