Not much slows Ellensburg's Katherine Malcolm down. A fourth grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary and the busy mother of two sports-oriented daughters, she's also a former high school and college athlete who still pursues an active and athletic life.
Credit determination - and the help KVH Orthopedics for keeping her in the game.
Flash back to January 2010 when a knee injury in an intramural basketball game sent her to the sidelines. "I kind of felt like I was on a ship and my leg was swaying back and forth," Malcolm says. Tests showed she'd torn her left ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), a ligament which joins the upper leg with the lower leg and helps keep the knee stable.
During outpatient surgery at KVH Hospital, providers used a graft from her hamstring to repair the torn ligament. After recovering, Malcolm resumed a physically active life.
This past March the 44-year-old Malcolm was doing lunges - "the kind where you jump back and forth," she says - during an exercise class at The Gym when she landed wrong.
Her left ACL was fine. This time it was the right one that failed. "I could hear it pop. I could hear it tear," she says. "It didn't really hurt but I knew something was up."
Once again, Malcolm headed to KVH Hospital for surgery. This time, the doctor used a graft from a cadaver. She had her six week check up in June and is doing fine. "The second time around the recovery period seemed easier," Malcolm says. As for life after ACL surgery, "after six months when it's completely healed you really don't have to make any changes if you choose not to."
For her part, she's given up actively playing basketball "because it's a simple thing to cut out." But Malcolm, who has long been an avid cyclist and last year realized a 20-year dream of riding a race from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., doesn't plan to forgo riding her bike, hiking the Manastash, or staying active with her children. "I don't plan to cut anything else out once I get the green light to do anything I want to," she says.
From going into KVH Orthopedics to be evaluated, through the MRI, to the procedure itself, Malcom says her experience with both her ACL surgeries was "first class. I've had nothing but positive experiences with anything related to the hospital."