The Croatian star athlete Blanka Vlašić, who specialises in high jump, had successful surgery this week in Turku (February, 2016).

The multiple World Championship and Olympic medallist still has the Rio Olympics in her sights. The surgery was conducted on Wednesday by the orthopedist and tendon specialist Janne Sarimo.

Blanka Vlašić wanted to have the procedure done as soon as possible, in order to recover in time for August’s Olympic Games in Rio.
“The surgery went very well and according to plan. Assuming that her recovery and rehabilitation progress as planned, Vlašić should be on top form in Rio,” says orthopedist Sarimo.

The surgeons at the Sports Hospital in Turku have conducted operations on many world-class sports stars, including the Russian footballers Dmitri Tarasov and Roman Shirokov, and the Italian footballer Andrea Barzagli. The Sports Hospital has surgeons who specialise in treating problems with the shoulders, knees, ankles and ligaments, among others.

“I had already heard about this hospital before, and knew that many athletes had been successfully treated here. My personal physician says that Janne Sarimo is one of the world’s top specialists, so I was confident. My sights are still set on the Rio Olympics, where I hope to be at my best,” says Blanka Vlašić.

A history of achilles trouble

The star athlete has had trouble with her Achilles tendon for a few years already. Sarimo explains that this is due to her tough and exacting jumping discipline, as well as to the angular shape of the back of her heel bone, which together have caused a chronic state of pain and a partial tear of the Achilles tendon.

“Blanka’s doctor contacted me due to her prolonged Achilles issues. Based on MRI findings I was able to recommend surgery, and her medical team were in agreement. The schedule was tight due to the approaching Olympics, so we arranged the surgery for the following week,” Sarimo says.

Blanka Vlašić has won World Championship gold in 2007 and 2009. From previous Olympic Games, she has a silver medal from Beijing 2008. Her outdoor high jump record is 2.08 m.