The Pacific Index

Set for surgery:

President Lesley Hallick explains knee injury

Steven Childress

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Pacific University President, Lesley Hallick will undergo surgery to repair a knee injury she sustained 20 years ago while working on her farm in Scappoose, Ore. The surgery is scheduled to take place in the middle of March. “I severed the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), shredded the meniscus and stretched out the ligaments on either side, the medial collateral they’re called. I was in a cast and a wheelchair,” Hallick said. “But I 
never fixed the ACL and the meniscus.”
Hallick has lived on her farm in Scappoose, Ore. since 1995. She also purchased two of the previous owner’s best cows. One of these cows was responsible for the knee injury while assisting a veterinary technician with an artificial insemination injection. The 1500 
pound cow panicked and broke through the stall fence resulting in Hallick’s knee injury. “She basically broke down the stall fence on my leg, I went one way and the lower part of my leg was pinned. She jumped over me fortunately; she is a very large animal. [She] ran away and then turned around and trotted back and kind of looked down like ‘what 
are you doing on the ground?’” Hallick said. “I mean she could have killed me in a heartbeat, and she didn’t, she just stood there looking at me.” Two years before the knee injury, Hallick had broken her other leg in seven places and she had to undergo two surgeries which took a lot of time to heal from. With being a busy provost at the time, and after consulting her doctor, she decided to postpone the knee surgery. The years quickly added up. “I had broken my other leg in seven places about two years before and that took a while and two surgeries, and I just wasn’t going to go there because I was provost so I was very busy so I never fixed it,” Hallick said. “And so I had the knee doc who did the Blazers’ knees actually and I said, ‘can I skip this, can I just leave it until years from now when I have time?’ and he said ‘well let’s see, you play basketball for a living?’ and I said ‘no.’”
Hallick has learned to adapt to life with the injury. However, in the last three years, the injury has worsened. Cortisone injections, a treatment that at one time helped, no longer provides the temporary relief it once had. “About three years ago it started really bothering me, so for the last three years it has gotten progressively worse,” Hallick said. “You know they have tricks, they give you cortisone injections and things, but as of this fall they just stopped working altogether. Now it’s bone on bone and I just need to get it replaced.” Hallick is optimistic about the surgery and the healing process that will follow. Perhaps postponing the surgery has been a blessing in disguise with the 
improvements in artificial knee technologies.
“[It’s] a pretty simple mechanical procedure now and the good news is in the 20 intervening years the technology’s improved, the actual knees are much better [and] they a better range of motion. It’s kind of lucky that I put it off in some ways,” Hallick said. Hallick has planned the surgery for after the board meeting where the subject will be fixing the budget for next year and before spring break. She plans to be more or less healed and walking in time for commencement. “I timed it so it is after the board meeting when we fix the budget for next year and well before commencement and things like that,” Hallick said. “So I should be fine for walking at commencement.” 
Hallick is excited that her doctor may allow her to stay awake for the surgery and her doctor may even rig up a mirror to watch the surgery. “I think she is going to let me stay awake for it so I am excited about that,” Hallick said. “But I would love to be able to watch it I think it would be very interesting.” Hallick’s knee surgery is scheduled for March 13.
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