Patient Becomes Clinical Assistant

Lee Linenberg has known K. Donald Shelbourne, MD, for 45 years and has been working with him for 31 years. Linenberg met Dr. Shelbourne, an orthopedic surgeon at Shelbourne Knee Center, in 1975, when her husband played rugby with him. Ten years later, Linenberg became one his patients. Three years after that, she became his clinical assistant.

“I could have retired a few years ago,” says Linenberg. “But I like helping people. Work is my hobby.”

Knee Patient Helps Others

When Linenberg was growing up, she experienced recurrent patellar knee dislocations while playing a variety of neighborhood sports. In ninth grade, she underwent patellar re-alignment on both knees. “That got me interested in helping other people with knee problems,” she says.

Over time, scarring led to pain and limited range of motion in both knees. Linenberg went to see Dr. Shelbourne, who performed arthroscopic surgery to clean up the scarring and relieve her problems.

A Scribe and Surgical Assistant

While working at the front desk of Methodist Sports Medicine Clinic, Linenberg heard that Dr. Shelbourne was looking for a clinical assistant. She applied and was hired. When Dr. Shelbourne established Shelbourne Knee Center in 2004, she went with him.

Linenberg splits her time between serving as a medical scribe during clinic for Dr. Shelbourne and Rodney Benner, MD, another orthopedic surgeon at Shelbourne Knee Center, and assisting them during arthroscopic surgery. As a medical scribe, Linenberg frees up the orthopedic surgeons to focus on patient care. She gathers information for the patient's visit, takes the medical history, documents the physical exam and the treatment plan, completes the chart in EPIC and more.

During arthroscopic surgery, Linenberg runs the arthroscopy tower, videotapes the procedures and collects research data and measurements pre- and post-surgery for the Shelbourne Knee Center research program. The research program tracks patient outcomes and studies factors related to those outcomes to determine how to improve treatment for knee problems. It has data covering more than 38 years and 13,000 patients.

Loyal Team Member

“I like working with doctors who care deeply about their patients,” says Linenberg. “Shelbourne Knee Center is not a factory. We treat each patient as an individual.”

Being part of a loyal team is another reason that Linenberg is still at Shelbourne Knee Center. “We work hard, but Dr. Shelbourne treats everyone very well,” she says.

Like Dr. Shelbourne, Linenberg grew up in Indiana. They both studied at Indiana University, where Dr. Shelbourne earned his medical degree and Linenberg earned her BS in Health and Safety. Linenberg was also on the Indiana University swim team, a sport that was easy on her knees.

For more information about getting the best knee care at Shelbourne Knee Center, call 888-FIX-KNEE or email