Andrea Saterbak, MD, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knee and shoulder conditions. In particular, she is experienced in arthroscopic approaches to ligament repair/reconstruction, cartilage preservation, and joint replacement/arthroplasty.
Her focus on sports medicine sparks her drive to provide all of her patients with the best care possible for them. Her continued affiliation with the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, and her membership in the national sports medicine society, AOSSM, strengthens her continued education in sports medicine. She currently provides care to local sports teams including Stillwater Area High School (Stillwater, MN) and was a former Team Physician for the St. Paul Saints baseball team.
Dr. Saterbak is a multiyear award winner of the Best Doctors Award given by the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. She is a Pillar Club member of the St. Croix Valley United Way and an honorary board member of Youth Advantage. She participated as an educator in the Hennepin County Medical Center family practice Sports Medicine Fellowship Program.
Dr. Saterbak enjoys alpine skiing and travels the World Cup Tour with the U.S. Ski Team as a consulting team physician. She enjoys glacier skiing in areas where fresh, untouched snow awaits, boating, paddle-boarding, mountain biking, golf, and gardening.
Sports Medicine, Dr. Saterbak works closely with many Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists. A Comprehensive Knowledge Base in All Aspects of Sports Medicine Management is Her Strength
Knee Care, including Expertise in All Graft Options for ACL Reconstruction (Patellar Tendon, Hamstring, Allograft), Complex Ligament/Multi Ligament Knee Injuries, Meniscus Repair and Cartilage Regeneration Techniques. Partial and Total Joint Replacement, and Revision Joint Replacement with Use of Patient-Specific Guided Instrumentation in Many Cases
Shoulder Care, with an Emphasis on Arthroscopic Surgical Techniques in the Shoulder and Knee, as well as Cartilage Regeneration Techniques used in Sports Medicine
Board Certified, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Subspecialty Certified, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
Fellowship in Sports Medicine at Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado
Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska
Hospital & Surgery Center Affiliations
High Pointe Surgery Center
Other facilities throughout Eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Hawkins Shoulder Society
Minnesota Orthopaedic Society
Previous educator for the HCMC Primary Care, Sports Medicine Fellowship Program
Achievements & Awards
Top Doctors Award, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine (2017 – 2021)
Minnesota Monthly Award for Best Orthopedic Doctor for Women (2015)
University of Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame (2015)
Stillwater Gazette Readers Choice Award for Orthopedic Surgery (2009, 2010, 2015)
Awarded Stillwater High School Distinguished Alumni (2009)
Charter Member of the St. Croix Valley Sports Hall of Fame (1999)
Team Physician: Stillwater Area High School (1998 – Present)
Team Physician: St. Paul Saints (1998 – 2020)
Team Physician: University of Wisconsin – River Falls Athletics (1998 – 2005)
Consulting Doctor for U.S. Ski Team (USST), Alpine World Cup (1997 – Present)
I first met Dr. Saterbak back in 1997. At that time she scoped my knee for a cartilage/meniscus tear. She did a wonderful job but naturally, after time wore off, I developed more knee pain. Just recently I came back to TCO, seeking help from Dr. Saterbak since my primary care physician told me I needed a total knee replacement. There wasn’t anyone else I wanted to do this for me but Dr. Saterbak. I’m now on the road to full recovery thanks to a wonderful doctor and friend!
March 18, 2022
Several years ago, I developed severe degenerative knee joints, and I was unable to walk more than one block without severe swelling and knee pain. My active life as I knew it was ending. I sought the consultation of Twin Cities Orthopedics, and the care of Dr. Andrea Saterbak. She was caring and professional through her unique surgical talents, she replaced both of my knees.
TCO provided excellent physical therapy throughout my recovery. I was soon back bicking, but one of my dreams was to ski the American Birkebeiner, a 35 mile cross country ski race in northern Wisconsin. I am happy to say I finished the race this year. Many thanks to Dr. Saterbak and the entire team at TCO!
November 10, 2021
I was referred to Dr. Saterbak about 7 years ago by my primary physician. My physician raved about Dr. Saterbak’ and her team. My knees were in rough shape and I have a family history of bad knees. At that time, Dr. Saterbak advised me that I would have to have my knees replaced at a very young age. After two knee scopes and rounds of cortisone shots, I had both knees replaced in 2021.
I am almost 6 weeks post-op after my second knee replacement and I feel like a new person. I did not realize how much pain I had been in. Dr. Saterbak and her team Dana and Sarah have been amazing throughout the entire time I’ve been under their care.
August 14, 2021
For 6 years I walked (hobbled) with severe pain. Dr. Saterbak took one look at my knee and said, “you need a total knee replacement.” With being 65 years old and overweight, I figured the answer would be that surgery isn’t a possibility. Much to my surprise, her question was “when do you want to do the surgery?” Surgery was done on April 1st and after 3.5 weeks of therapy, I was walking for the first time in years without any pain. I cannot say enough about Dr. Saterbak and her assistant, Dana, PA-C, for turning my life around.
July 1, 2021
I’m 7 weeks out from surgery. It was a rough couple of weeks to start but I feel life is beginning to return to normal. I reached a point pre-surgery of walking with a bad limp and doing stairs one at a time. I did very little exercise and always had a constant, low-level pain. Dr. Saterbak and her team did a great job. I’m beginning to walk normally, I can do stairs and I’m back on my bike. During the COVID year when elective surgery was not available, I had tried pills, creams, etc., hoping something would provide real relief. The cortisone shots in my knee were the only relief but they were temporary. I am a very satisfied customer!
January 25, 2021
I had a total knee replacement with Dr. Saterbak in December, 2020 through the EXCEL Program and couldn’t have had a better experience! I was nervous going into my surgery in the middle of the COVID pandemic and that I couldn’t have my husband with me. I was taken such good care of at High Pointe and transferred to the Care Suites in Eagan. I was so hungry when I arrived at my suite and was thrilled to have a turkey sandwich and snacks waiting in my room! They were even able to get me a badly needed Diet Pepsi! They were so friendly and attentive that I felt I was in such good hands the entire time. I had a PT session soon after getting there and again the next morning. I strongly encourage anyone hesitating about this surgery to go to TCO and use the EXCEL Program. Everything was so organized and ran beautifully! My new knee is rocking and I feel great 6 weeks later!
November 19, 2020
First of all, let me begin by telling you that I am one of those famous procrastinators in life. Having lived with constant aggravation, and yes, even pain for quite some time, I visited Dr. Saterbak at the TCO office in Stillwater, MN. I believe my first consultation was in the latter part of 2019. While at my first consultation, and after viewing the x-rays of my knee, Dr. Saterbak confirmed what I probably already knew, I needed a total knee replacement. With the guidance of both Dr. Saterbak and her wonderful assistant Dana Kaufman, and Sarah, my total knee replacement was on the schedule for just after the initial COVID-19 outbreak. On June 18, 2020 I went in for surgery.
I am now in my fourth month of recovery and needless to say, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I am very close to feeling 100% normal and at my recent follow-up visit, Dr. Saterbak gave me full clearance to carry on with my normal life again. That is due, in part, to not only a wonderful surgery team, but also to both Dan Stark and Ali at TCO rehabilitation center in Woodbury. Sure it was tough, but Dan and Ali insisted that they kept me in check with exercises and their kind approach to my rehab. My key words to all those who are reading this are, be patient, it takes some time to rehab. Needless to say, I don’t know why I waited as long as I did to get my normal life back again. Perhaps I’m a bit too stubborn. So, if you are reading this and have knee pain or discomfort, make an appointment with Dr. Saterbak and her team. I guarantee that you will be fully taken care of with utmost care. My deepest gratitude to everyone with Dr. Saterbak’s team and to the wonderful rehab staff at TCO in Woodbury. Blessings to all.
June 23, 2020
I was a senior at Lake Superior State University playing division 1 college hockey for the school when, during a hockey game, I tore my ACL. The injury ended my season right away, being already halfway done with it. I still had an opportunity to play after college and needed to get back before camps started in the summer for exposure. My family doctor referred me to Dr. Andrea Saterbak with TCO with high remarks for her work. My first impressions during a pre-surgical meeting absolutely blew me away and I knew she would get me back. Dr. Saterbak and her team along with all of the TCO staff gave me all the tools and support to bounce back after the injury that ended my college career. Dr. Saterbak’s reputation is remarkable and I learned firsthand why. After sticking with her protocol and procedures, I am back to feeling where I was before my injury, if not better. I am able to make it to camps and tryouts to continue my hockey career. Dr. Saterbak and her team resemble exactly what it means to be professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate. Thank you to Dr. Saterbak and her team for helping me get back to playing the game I love.
April 19, 2019
I know that most “stories” about recovery after orthopedic surgery will focus on the miracles that have changed people’s lives and created amazing physical outcomes, but I got ordinary results- and I couldn’t be happier! I had a total knee replacement in early January 2019. I came to this decision after many years of enduring knee pain and reaching the end of all of my non-surgical options. Therefore, on January 2nd, 2019, in the skilled hands of Dr. Andrea Saterbak, I had a total knee replacement. I was enrolled in the EXCEL Program and had great surgical and post-operative outcomes.
I am an average guy who is not training for a big athletic event or career, but who values the ability to participate in every day activities, like getting out in nature and riding my bike for hours, going for walks with my wife, and traveling around the world. The months of recovery since the surgery have been a challenge and I worried that I would be unable to return to the physical activities that I treasure so much. I must admit to my own impatience in this healing process, but I know that the knowledge and skill of Dr. Saterbak’s team has helped me to move forward and resume more and more daily activities. I have begun riding my bike again and took my first outdoor bike ride during the recent nice weather! I am looking forward to many hours of riding my bike this summer and have several vacations planned with my wife later this year. I know that I will continue to build my strength and endurance, but am glad that my knee will no longer be a problem in my daily life. I appreciate that Dr. Saterbak and her team really listened to me and helped alleviate my concerns and encouraged me to pursue the everyday activities that I value so much. Bring on the nice weather- I’m ready for it!
April 12, 2019
I have had 13 surgeries from Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) and multiple other non-surgical treatments from TCO!
Dr. Karlstad and his team have treated my multiple elbow, thumbs and shoulder issues with multiple injections, some surgery and physical therapy.
Dr. Saterbak and her team treated both knees with injections, scopes, surgery, partial knee replacement followed by physical therapy.
Dr. Vargas and his team have treated both feet (cyst, plantar fasciitis, ankle instability), followed up with physical therapy.
With all of the visits to TCO, I was treated like a family member by all. They are hands on doctors, verifying motions, pain, etc. They follow conservative treatment, follow up regularly to keep track of progression and never rush through appointments. Dr. Saterbak even requested blood tests to rule out Lymes, arthritis, etc. I’ve been to other Orthopedic clinics where the doctor has you fill out a form in the waiting room and doesn’t even read it and the appointment ends without even checking joints, location of pain, and more.
Physical therapy at TCO is top of the line compared to other areas I’ve been to for therapy. They have so many options, equipment, and the therapists are all very knowledgeable. When you go, they are prepared for you and the treatments are personalized for you. They use every minute of your therapy time on you and truly want you to recover.
Thanks to TCO, I’ve returned to usual actives (pain free) more than 13 times and currently on the road to recovery from my latest foot surgery! I have referred so many family and friends as I know they will be treated right!
My name is Amy. I am taking this opportunity to thank you for all that you did for me. I first met you when you repaired my daughter’s torn meniscus when she was 14. Then, when I injured my right knee, I scheduled an appointment with you. Right away I knew I made the right choice. You were so energetic and positive about my potential for full recovery. You didn’t immediately say I needed to have surgery. You encouraged injections, physical therapy and a brace to see if these less invasive treatments would help. I really appreciated that because it gave me an opportunity to work hard to avoid surgery. I did my physical therapy every day for several months while we worked together, as a team, to avoid surgery. When it was clear that surgery was what I needed, I felt so confident moving forward. I had a right total knee replacement on 1/17/2018.
You and your amazing staff educated me about continuing my physical therapy and losing weight in order to have a full, successful recovery. Well, I listened and got professional help to lose weight. I started seeing Natalie at the Hennepin Healthcare Golden Valley Clinic. I have successfully lost over 50 pounds! I do not take any Ibuprofen or Tylenol anymore. I have no morning stiffness. Not only am still doing all my exercises, now with weights, but I’m also walking 10-15 miles a week and swimming. When people tell me how great I look, I tell them I feel better than I look! Thank you and all your staff again for your amazing work and the care you gave me.
April 8, 2019
July 13, 2016 – A little past noon, after returning from the Chicago Nike National tournament and practicing with her Varsity home team, the Zephyrs, Julia tore her right ACL. She was devastated. Her team was stacked with Emma, Annika, and Marissa and would have had one of the best Mahtomedi girl’s basketball team in years. Dr. Andrea Saterbak told Julia her options and reconstructive surgery was scheduled. Her trainers, Kenny and Peter, came to the surgery center with tears in their eyes. Julia would sit her 9th grade year on the bench after playing varsity as an 8th grader. Shannon Maxiner took care of her rehab and everyone said she would come back. She worked and trained and came back and the Fury AAU team who took her back to the Chicago Nike National Tournament.
At a little after noon on July 13, 2017, Julia tore her left ACL. The trainer at the tournament said she was ok, the Mahtomedi trainer said she was ok. She had built her muscles back so strong that she passed all tests to keep playing and she did.
Something didn’t feel right. Julia knew something was wrong. We went to see Dr. Saterbak. Andrea performed her test and the last part of Julia’s ACL snapped. Andrea was in tears and so sorry for Julia. Julia thought her worst fear couldn’t be true, it couldn’t happen again, she just didn’t think she could go through it again. Andrea scheduled her reconstructive surgery, her trainers Kenny and Peter came, her friends, family, and Shannon Maxiner told her she could do this and was going to come back stronger than ever. Julia sat on the bench her sophomore year and skipped AAU to finally be ready to play for her varsity team.
Julia’s first home game as a junior, she tied the school record for making 5 threes. Julia was named the captain of her team, was high scorer on her team, received an All Conference from all coaches, and the Zephyr award for one of the hardest working members of her team. To have a great surgeon, a great training team, a loving and kind PT, wonderful friends and family— priceless!
Andrea’s healing words and excellent surgical skills set a community in motion to allow the girl who wanted to be a basketball player to successfully return to her game. Who knows what her senior year will bring?
October 24, 2018
My first experience with Dr. Saterbak was in 1999 for the repair of my left ACL. We crossed paths again in 2005 for a right ACL. In the meantime, the progression of osteoarthritis was being monitored in my left knee. I had gone through medications and variable injection treatments. I felt I had come to the end of the road in the fall of 2016 with the amount of pain persisting in my left knee. At that time, a visit to Dr. Saterbak resulted in an appointment to thoroughly investigate the possibility of a total knee replacement. All evidence pointed to that procedure and it was then scheduled for March 2017.
The whole procedure was to be performed as part of TCO’s EXCEL Program. The intro to final PT program that covered all aspects of the replacement and lifted concerns of outcomes.
Blue Cross Blue Shield had no issues with the funding. That was huge! Additionally, I felt as though I was number 1 on the list with the work that went into my case – the pre-op, surgery, post-op, follow-ups and PT.
Count me as a satisfied consumer of the program.
April 17, 2018
I have only good things to say about the EXCEL Program and my knee replacement done by Dr. Saterbak. The program is brilliant. I had a setback after a couple months but all was covered. Thank you!
November 6, 2017
Thank you very much for your treatment yesterday Dr. Saterbak. There is a vast, marked improvement to my knee today. Thanks again!!!!
February 17, 2017
In 2013 I was seeing a physical therapist to help me with pain I had in both knees, I was using a cane to walk. It became obvious that therapy was not helping my knee pain. So my physical therapist advised that I get a referral to have Dr. Andrea Saterbak see me. Her recommendation was based on her personal experience with post-surgical patients of Dr. Saterbak that became her PT clients. She noticed that these particular clients seemed to have less post-surgical issues and seemed to respond better and quicker to therapy than some of her other clients. I felt very encouraged by her recommendation that I was going to see a good orthopedic surgeon.
My initial consultation visit was a good experience. The clinic (Lake Elmo) was very nice and the staff extremely friendly. X-rays of both knees were completed quickly and Dr. Saterbak came into my room in just a matter of minutes and introduced herself. What impressed me immediately about Dr. Andrea Saterbak was her humble confidence. Dr. Saterbak went over the x-rays with me by explaining what I was seeing in the x-ray (bone-on-bone) and how that equated to the knee pain I was experiencing. Knee replacement was her recommendation and how the surgery would give me back quality of life, however, I was not ready at that time to do the deed. Dr. Saterbak patiently listened to my hesitations and fears about surgery and did not pressure me in the slightest to get the surgery done. What she advised was several rounds of cortisone shots in each knee to help with pain while I took the time I needed to decide when I would have the knee surgeries. Dana Kaufman, physician assistant, would give me the cortisone shots when I needed them and at every visit she would patiently answer any knee replacement questions I had and listen to my fears regarding surgery. She was kind, caring and encouraging, and always gave me something to think about after my visit. Dana is awesome!
It took me 3 yrs. to finally decide it was time to do the surgeries. At my last cortisone shot, I told Dana to make a surgery date and I will never forget her response. When she realized that I was serious, she jumped off her chair and found Dr. Saterbak. When Dr. Saterbak came into the room, BOTH of them were so happy that it was finally going to happen! May 15, 2016, was my first knee replacement, followed by my second knee replacement September 22, 2016. Dr. Saterbak and Dana Kaufman are the BEST surgical team you could ever hope for. The surgeries went very well, my recoveries went extremely well and Dr. Satebak and Dana were with me every step of the way. Woodwinds hospital was where I had both knee replacements done. Everyone at Woodwinds were just fantastic, the entire knee replacement experience was wonderful. Words cannot express my deep appreciation for Dana Kaufman and Dr. Andrea Saterbak and what they have done for me. They are an AWESOME surgical dream team and I would recommend them (and have!) in a heartbeat to anyone contemplating knee replacement for themselves or loved ones!
June 21, 2016
My daughter, Alison, tore her ACL 13 months ago in an AAU basketball game. It was a violent collision that left Alison wondering if she would ever play basketball again. This was very traumatic for her because she was a highly rated player with a number of potential scholarship opportunities. Her initial diagnosis was incorrect and, with the urging of college coaches that were recruiting her for basketball, we decided to get a second opinion and MRI which revealed a complete ACL tear, bone bruising, sprained MCL and some cartilage damage (did not know the extent at the time). The first surgeon said she had two choices: no surgery and attempt to play her senior season and not play in college, or have the surgery and miss most, if not all of the season, but be ready for college. On top of that, it would be almost a month before he could operate. This was heart breaking news and left Alison in very poor spirits. Her White Bear Lake High School team was returning most of the players from the previous year and was the favorite to return to the state tournament the following spring. She was determined to have the surgery and still play her senior year. We decided to look at other options and fellow athletes recommended Dr. Saterbak.
We met with Dr. Saterbak on a Friday and she had surgery the following Wednesday! Alison smiled for the first time in weeks after that meeting. Dr. Saterbak could see no reason she couldn’t return to play that season and would do everything she could to help her. We targeted January as a return date. The surgical care at High Pointe Surgery Center was top notch and the surgery was successful with no further cartilage damage found. Alison then started the long road to recovery. The summer was tough as she followed her AAU basketball team around, including going to Cincinnati, over July 4th. Her quad still was not firing so she still struggled getting around, however, in Cincinnati it finally fired and Alison was now able to walk and begin the next step of rehab. At this time, January seemed a long way off. With that in mind, Dr. Saterbak and her physical therapists still thought that was an attainable target. With their help, Alison dove head first into her recovery and began making extreme strides. Amazingly, she passed all her physical tests in October and set her sights on returning for the very first game in late November! After consulting with her doctors, she was cleared to start practicing in early November and did start the first game of the season. She made the all-tournament team. Alison’s minutes were managed by her coach during the regular season to save her for the end. While she had some pain in the knee, it never really swelled and was very stable. Late in the season, she was undercut and landed directly on the repaired knee, causing her to miss some games at the end of the season. We met with Dr. Saterbak and it was determined that the ACL knee was tighter and stronger than the good knee and we were hopeful she could play in the playoffs.
Alison returned to help her team to the State Tournament where they beat the number two ranked team in the state and finished fourth! She topped it off by making the All-Tournament team and was selected to play in the State All-Star Game. She also accepted a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Minnesota – Duluth.
We have no doubt that none of this would have been possible without the care and direction of Dr. Saterbak. Her willingness to help Alison recover this season played a huge role in her return.
We are now a year out since the initial surgery. Alison is pain free and no longer wears a knee brace and has complete confidence in her knee and the work of Dr. Saterbak.
June 13, 2016
After struggling for several years with increasing knee pain due to arthritis-driven meniscus wear (exacerbated by my avid pursuit of adult league alpine ski racing), I decided to have my right knee joint replaced. Dr. Andrea Saterbak was repeatedly recommended to me by local ski team coaches and other racers, and when I learned that she did a fellowship at the Steadman clinic in Vail, that she was affiliated with the US Ski Team and that she was a ski racer herself, I knew she was the surgeon for me. Andrea listened carefully to my goals for the surgery and without sugar-coating the level of effort that would be involved in the recovery, provided the confidence I needed to move ahead. I selected the outpatient option at the High Pointe Surgery Center, and was home by 3 p.m. the day of surgery. As predicted, the recovery is a much slower, longer process, but the post-operative support and physical therapy included in Dr. Saterbak’s practice were instrumental in getting me back on the snow. At 6 months post-op, I was waterskiing and wake surfing. At 9 months post-op, I resumed ski racing (at about 80% speed). Make no mistake – full healing is taking a long time for me. It’s been 14 months since my surgery, and the new knee still is not pain-free, but the discomfort has gone down steadily since the surgery. I’m sure that by the time my second post-op ski season starts this fall, I’ll be back at full speed. Based on my experience surrounding the procedure and my return to the sports I enjoy, it’s easy for me to recommend Dr. Saterbak and her practice colleagues to others. Thank you, Andrea!
February 5, 2016
My AMAZING experience started from scheduling my appointment via phone with her staff. They had her booked until Thursday, a whole week out, but they were aware of my pain and urgency and got me in the next morning to see her to get my knee checked out. I arrived to my appointment the next day 50 minutes early which I let the staff at the front know I was early and no worries. I no more than sat down after doing my paperwork and out comes a lady to take me back already! I was shocked! I got into the room, explained everything and they started taking images right away! The flow was going amazing, each person super friendly and service crazy good! I finished images and took me back to my room which not much longer in pops Dr. Saterbak and her assistant! I was again shocked, as most places I am used to waiting forever in the room for the Dr. She did her exams and tests and she re-sorted her whole schedule out to fit me to go get an MRI right away this morning and find out today the results with her shuffling surgery and other patients and me to get everything done hopefully by 2pm today. I was super thrilled and agreed of course. I got approved for my MRI in less then a minute, got walked down there by a super friendly staff member and paperwork completed right away. After that, I was greeted by an awesome, friendly MRI technician! He went through everything with me, locked my stuff up and made me comfortable and it went super fast! When finished, he helped me up and walked me back down to Dr. Saterbak’s unit to be seen right away! I was planning to see her around 1:30pm and it was around 9:30am and I already had images, test, MRI and results ready to be told to me!! I was blown away by the speed and efficiency to make this go so smoothly! I got the results and scheduled surgery right away. All I can say is, I won’t recommend anywhere else, nor anyone else! This place actually made me feel at ease and comfortable which is hard to find places like this, but I found mine! I couldn’t say enough about the staff there and doctor. They were superb. Hand offs to each other were so smooth and friendly and they are true experts at what they do! The doctor, she is amazing and super knowledgeable supported with an expert team! I am truly happy and blessed to have been so lucky to find her. I will recommend everyone here and share my wonderful experience with everyone! Thank you all!!
September 9, 2013
Dennis, an avid bicyclist, had been living with arthritis pain in his knees for years. He was able to manage that pain, thanks to Dr. Andrea Saterbak, who had been treating him for the past four years with cortisone shots and other noninvasive measures. “By 2013, I knew he was living his life around his knee pain,” she said. She suggested that it was time for his left knee to be replaced.
Abbey nervously waited for her appointment with Dr. Andrea Saterbak at St. Croix Orthopedics. She had injured her knee in a high school basketball game and knew that her upcoming track and field season hinged on what the doctor had to say. As a senior at Ellsworth High School, she didn’t want to miss the rest of basketball season. More importantly, she was the favorite to win the Wisconsin state discus championship and track and field season was just months away. She had missed the state title by only inches the year before, and she wanted one last shot to claim the championship. As the nurse called Abbey’s name, she knew her dreams and goals hung in the balance.
Anita didn’t realize the extent of the degeneration of her knees until after her bilateral knee replacements were complete. A six-year battle with rheumatoid arthritis had left her nearly crippled and in severe pain. The beginning of her journey back to the life she had once enjoyed started with a simple conversation with her neighbor. With encouragement from friends who had new knees, she sought the advice of Dr. Andrea Saterbak at St. Croix Orthopaedics.
Dr. Saterbak’s thorough explanation of a minimally invasive technique provided all the encouragement Anita needed. “Dr. Saterbak was very patient and answered all of my questions,” she explained. “I was very impressed with her.”
Anita decided to undergo knee-replacement surgery in December with hopes of having the second knee replaced in four or five months. By the time Anita went in for her surgery, she was “so ready to have the surgery done.”
Anita recalls the whole experience as a good one and she said she felt exceptionally well taken care of. Following the surgery, she couldn’t believe how wonderful it was to stand on her now-straight leg. That feeling surpassed her expectations.
Anita was able to stay with her daughter and have help during her recovery process. She healed very quickly and was delighted with the results. At her two-month appointment with Dr. Saterbak, Anita expressed eagerness to have the second knee replaced as soon as possible. Dr. Saterbak was “so positive and encouraging,” Anita recalls.
They scheduled her second knee replacement for April but that time couldn’t come soon enough for Anita. Her second knee replacement was just as successful as the first and at the two-month appointment following her second surgery, Anita was so excited to stand straight and tall in front of the x-ray machine. No more crooked knees to hobble around on for her! Anita described her two knee-replacement surgeries as “miracles performed for me.”
Today, Anita is living life with a renewed appreciation for the simple things in life: walking up and down stairs, no more chronic pain and easily tolerating the cold Minnesota winters.
She said she used to love to cook but gave it up when the pain became too great to stand in the kitchen. “My new knees have given me back a life I had forgotten about,” she said. “I didn’t realize until I had my new knees how much I had really given up.” Anita is once again enjoying cooking – and her friends say they can’t believe the difference it has made in her appearance and her outlook. Anita is able to stand up straight again.
Anita is busy making new memories instead of just wishing she could. She had given up traveling; but now, with her new knees, she’ll be able to visit her son in Colorado. And after years of not being able to walk on the beach at Madeline Island, Anita is able to once again enjoy her morning stroll.
January 15, 2007
Danielle and Diana W.
Blowing out your ACL is no laughing matter for anyone – athlete or not. When you and your twin sister are rising high-school soccer stars, a torn ACL can be a devastating injury. But two torn ACLs is doubly devastating!
Unfortunately, that was exactly what happened to Danielle and Diana. Danielle was the first to injure her knee playing soccer. After her recovery from knee surgery (performed by Dr. Andrea Saterbak), she was cleared to play again. A mere six weeks later, her twin sister Diana suffered a similar knee injury – which also required surgery.
“A lot of doctors provide good care, but she even took time out of her personal life to watch us play soccer.”
– Danielle W.
Having been a competitive athlete herself, Dr. Saterbak understood the girls’ competitive drive and was able to get them back on their feet within days after their surgery – and off crutches in a matter of weeks.
Danielle and Diana found this to be unique among the orthopedic surgeons they consulted after their injuries. “Dr. Saterbak is a great doctor because she truly cares about her patients,” Danielle said, adding with a vibrant smile, “A lot of doctors provide good care, but she even took time out of her personal life to watch us play soccer.”
The staff at St. Croix Orthopaedics was instrumental in getting these athletes back to the soccer pitch. “The SCO staff was very positive and cheerful,” Diana explained. “They joked around with us and made us feel comfortable.” Both sisters’ knees have been problem-free ever since – and the girls are back playing their sport.
The twins recently finished their final soccer season at Mahtomedi High School. The team was ranked 10th in the nation and are Minnesota State Champions. Danielle was named All-State and All-Conference goalie and Diana was a member of a summer club team that also earned state-champion honors.
There is apparently no rest for the twin high-school seniors, as they’ve both been recruited by Division I colleges to play soccer. They are currently training for their upcoming season at the College of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minnesota. There, the twins will not only be teammates, but study partners as well. Both plan to become physical therapists.
Dr. Saterbak fondly recalled her experience treating Diana and Danielle. “They are exceptional individuals,” she said with admiration. “Sports participation allowed them to gain confidence in themselves. Their knee injuries presented a setback for them, but it ultimately challenged them physically and mentally to return and become better athletes and individuals.”