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Orthopedic surgery, therapy give a new lease on life

How a long-time community member found less pain, greater mobility, and a more fulfilling life

(Pictured above: Therapy Solutions Director Justin Minden, Nancy Lyle and Dr. Charles A. Jacobson. Note: All photos in this publication were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and facemask and social distancing protocols being put into place.)

Retired nurse Nancy Lyle had a choice when deciding where to have her knees replaced.

Dr. Jacobson has been practicing at Inland Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Clinic since 1994. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
But for the 86-year-old Moscow resident, there was no debate – Gritman Medical Center board member and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Charles A. Jacobson would perform the procedures at Gritman.

“I have a medical background, but having the staff at Gritman and Dr. Jacobson lead the way was crucial,” Nancy said. “Not only at Gritman do they care for you medically, but they support you emotionally and every way they can. They do it all, and they are still people you can say hi to on the street.”

Gritman owns a special place in Nancy’s heart. When she was just 16, she began volunteering as a nurse aide at the hospital. That turned out to be the start of a long career in nursing, including her time serving as a school nurse in Western Washington. After retiring and returning to Moscow, Nancy returned to Gritman as a volunteer with the Gritman Foundation and the Auxiliary.

Even into her 80s, Nancy is an independent and active person. She still enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing. As she puts it, she’s a “stand-on-your-own-two-feet kind of person.”

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Osteoarthritis in her knees, however, was making it more and more difficult for her to do the things she loves. The disease affects millions of people worldwide and occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time.

“It’s not a good way to live, so it was either live with it and look forward to needing a walker or a wheelchair, or do something about it,” Nancy said.

Dr. Jacobson, whom Nancy describes as “one of the nicest guys she has ever met,” recommended knee replacements, with the procedures spaced about a year apart – the left in December 2018, followed by the right this past November.

Throughout the entire process, Nancy felt as if Gritman staff far exceeded all of her expectations. For example, just days before her first operation Nancy took a fall in her home and suffered a painful laceration to her head. When nurses learned of the injury, they took it upon themselves to alter a pillow that helped make her stay at the hospital more comfortable.

A full recovery can take a year, but with the help of her “no. 1 cheerleader” – Shirley Rencken, a physical therapist at Gritman’s Therapy Solutions – she is already seeing major improvement. The pain has evaporated and her quality of life has improved – and she is looking forward to putting on skis again.

Nancy is thankful she was able to receive the highest levels of care – from the friendly staff and nurses to the comfortable rooms and great food – right here in her hometown.

“In any surgery or a serious disease, it is such a team effort. It really is. There are so many people who are involved in getting you through and back to the best level of health you can possibly have,” Nancy said. “The care is beyond what you would expect. I love that we can find that here in Moscow and not have to go out of town.”


About Inland Orthopaedic Surgeons

Since 1990, Inland Orthopaedic Surgeons has been providing the region with a wide range of orthopedic services. Its surgeons are certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Gritman’s surgical team works with your primary care physician and surgeon to coordinate your care. We are ready to help you have a successful surgery and quickly get on the path to recovery and healing. From our highly-skilled and compassionate staff, advanced technology and our integrated services like physical therapy, you can be comfortable knowing you are in the best hands. Learn more about our Surgery Department and Gritman Therapy Solutions.