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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."