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Teacher aces test
Free injury screening puts woman
on fast track to recovery
appointment immediately after the
screening with an orthopedic family nurse practitioner, who confirmed Melchior’s finding. Kindschi had suffered a partial tear in her calf muscle.
Sixth-grade teacher Kathy Kindschi took advantage of Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine's free injury screening and now is back playing the sport
||Educator Kathy Kindschi learned a lesson about
the benefits of seeking prompt medical attention
after sustaining an injury.
She gets an “A” from her medical providers for
taking advantage of free injury screenings offered at
Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, located in the
Sanford Seventh & Thayer Clinic in
Bismarck, and for completing her physical
Volleyball has been an important part of the
Centennial Elementary sixth-grade teacher’s life since
she began playing in a league in college. During a
match Oct. 6, 2010, the former volleyball coach
reached for the ball and felt a pulling and tearing
sensation in her right calf.
“I couldn’t put any weight on my leg,” the Bismarck
woman said. “I sat on the sidelines while I iced and
elevated it. I kept thinking it would get better, but it
The next morning, her husband, Jim, scheduled a
free injury screening at Sanford Health.
“Jim is also a former coach, and we both
recognized I was going to need help,” she said.
“Scheduling a screening was the smart thing to do.”
Samantha Melchior, licensed/certified athletic
trainer with Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, agreed.
After taking a thorough history and assessing
Kindschi’s injury, Melchior provided crutch training
and scheduled an
The nurse practitioner placed Kindschi in a
non-weight bearing walking boot and referred her to
“At her first session, she was concerned her volleyball career might be over,” Hineman said. “She was astounded at how quickly she improved.”
| “The goal of injury screenings is to help a patient determine the problem,
its severity and refer the patient if needed,” Melchior said. “If Kathy hadn’t
come in when she did, she would have had an ongoing limp as well as a
decrease in strength and overall function.”
A patient undergoing the screening can be referred to either his or her
primary care doctor or to an appropriate medical provider for further testing
or treatment. Melchior emphasized waiting could be detrimental because the
injury could become more severe, possibly causing continued limitations.
“If I feel an immediate referral isn’t necessary, I’ll instruct the patient to ice
the area and take further conservative measures as needed,” Melchior said.
“Also, if needed, I teach proper stretching and strengthening exercises. If there
isn’t an improvement within a week, I refer the patient.”
Free injury screenings are available to anyone who has a concern about a
recent or past injury.
“I’ve screened patients from ages 8 to 90,” Melchior said. “People come in
with anything from sprained ankles to low back pain.”
Kindschi’s husband had suggested she consider not playing volleyball
following the injury.
“I enjoy playing and spending time with my teammates too much to give it
up, so quitting was not an option,” she said.
A week after the injury, she began treatment with Carol Hineman, a
physical therapist at the Sanford Women’s Health Center.
Kindschi’s treatments included ultrasound therapy and deep tissue massage
to prevent scar tissue formation. As she gradually increased the weight she
placed on her leg, she added range of motion and strengthening exercises.
“Kathy’s compliance with her home exercise program contributed greatly
to her success,” Hineman said.
After only six sessions of therapy over three weeks, Kindschi progressed
from being unable to put weight on her leg to walking normally.
She returned to the volleyball court to play the season’s final match
Kindschi’s message to anyone suffering from an injury or pain is to take
advantage of what she learned.
“Don’t hesitate to be screened,” she said. “I’m grateful for the wonderful
care I received. The opportunity is there for you, too.”
Click here for more information about Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine or call 701.323.6836.