Scott at Point Conference Tucson, AZ
John at Aileron for Course for Presidents
'Amputee Mobility Predictor' this month:
Completing the fifth course 'Transtibial Gait Training and Deviations' this month:
Would you like to schedule a course?
Call the office at 937-454-1900
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics.
ABC is the national certifying and accrediting body for
the orthotic and prosthetic professions. The public requires and
deserves assurance that the persons providing orthotic, prosthetic, and
pedorthic services and care are qualified to provide the appropriate
Optimus would like to wish you and yours a Happy New Year!
If you've got any suggestions, compliments or feedback - we'd love to hear it! Call us at 937-454-1900 or click here
to send us an email!
Optimus Prosthetics * 8517 N. Dixie Drive * Suite 300 * Dayton OH 45414
If you visit Optimus for an appointment this month, you will notice some big changes taking place, as we expand to better serve you!
We are knocking down walls and moving into the front offices at our current location, which will provide easier access from the parking lot, a bigger reception area, and additional patient rooms. All of this is the result of our desire to offer you, our patients, the best possible care.
Many of you have been with us since we first opened in 2007, and our dedication and commitment to helping you achieve and maintain the highest functional level possible is stronger than ever. Your care will not be interrupted in any way as we complete the expansion, and our office will remain open during the construction.
|Optimus Welcomes a New Practitioner|
Optimus Prosthetics is proud to introduce the newest member of our team, Tim Riedlinger, CPO, LPO. Tim joins us after 20 years of providing prosthetic and orthotic care in the Columbus area. Tim earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1994. He is currently the President of the Ohio Orthotics and Prosthetics Association.
Please join us in welcoming Tim to Optimus Prosthetics!
Introducing: Ted Macy, Marvin Winton, and the Dynamic Arm
This month, we would like to introduce Ted Macy and Marvin Winton, two Optimus patients who suffered high level, above elbow amputations.
Ted Macy was 21 years old when he was in a motorcycle accident, seriously injuring his right arm. Hoping to regain function, he immediately underwent nerve transplant surgery; however, it was unsuccessful.
Ted spent the next 20 years with no function in his right arm. "I was in pain all of the time," Ted said. "My arm just hung there, so it caused back pain and shoulder pain, and I was on lots of medication. Finally, I decided I wanted to do something about it." This past April, Ted opted for transhumeral amputation surgery. "My arm was causing so much pain every day, and I couldn't use it for anything, so I decided I had let it go long enough." Ted felt that, even if a prosthetic arm wasn't an option, the amputation would be worth it to relieve some of the pain caused by his arm. When asked how he felt about his decision, Ted stated, "I should have done it a long time ago!"
We began working with Ted shortly after his surgery, and after his initial evaluation, John Brandt, CPO, felt Ted would be a good candidate for the Dynamic Arm. Further evaluation by upper extremity expert, Randy Alley, of Biodesigns in Southern California, confirmed this, and with Randy's assistance, we began the process of fitting and fabricating Ted's right transhumeral Dynamic Arm.
Ted has had his finished arm for several weeks now, and he states that the more he practices with the prosthesis, the more functional it becomes for him as he integrates it more into his everyday life. Since he has gotten so used to only using his left side after his accident, now having a functional prosthesis that can assist him in tasks is going to take some getting used to. That is something that he is looking forward to! He is very pleased with the results so far!
Marvin Winton was first referred to Optimus in November, 2009, following a left shoulder disarticulation amputation due to severe infection. He originally opted for a body-powered prosthetic arm; however, progress was halted early in March, 2010, when he also underwent a right transfemoral amputation.
Once Marvin had healed from his transfemoral surgery, John Brandt re-evaluated him, determining that Marvin would also be a good candidate for the Dynamic Arm. As an above elbow and above knee prosthetic wearer, Marvin faces very unique challenges, but has maintained a strong determination to get the most out of his prosthetic devices as he possibly can.
As an Army Veteran, Marvin receives physical therapy at the VA, and is gaining the strength and stability needed to walk on his prosthetic leg. In the meantime, he states that he gets quite a bit of use out of the Dynamic Arm.
"I wear it every day, and when I'm in my wheelchair, it's very helpful to pick small things up, and pull things toward me." Marvin explained that, as he practices every day, he is getting better at controlling its movements, and he states,
"I'm VERY glad I got it!"
Quadruple Amputee Swimmer Tackles English Channel, Eyes Next Trip
by Chris Gentilviso
Physical impairments mean nothing to Philippe Croizon.
Despite living with amputated arms and legs, the ambitious 42-year-old conquered the English Channel in 13 hours -- by swim. The AP reports that the thrill-seeker expected the mission to last a full day. But he exceeded his expectations, thanks to an overflow of determination.
"You only need to want (something), and then it becomes possible to go beyond your limits," he told the wire service's television outlet.
Croizon's accomplishment was first conceived during his recovery, which stemmed from a 1994 electric shock via a freak television-antenna accident. During that time, he saw a news report referring to the English Channel. Sixteen years later, he crossed the same body of water, using leg prostheses with fins that are tailor-made for swimming.
Next up on Croizon's list -- Europe to Africa via the Strait of Gibraltar. While that trek is shorter than the English Channel, its potent currents pose a new twist.
Philippe Croizon, a 42-year-old former metalworker swam across the Channel 16 years after losing all his limbs in an electrical accident.
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Prosthetic FAQ: Residual Limb Pain
Each quarter, we bring you information and support on living with a prosthetic device. In this issue: Residual Limb Pain.
Tips for Preventing or Dealing With Residual-Limb Pain
Terrence P. Sheehan, MD -from "First Step, A Guide for Adapting to Limb Loss," a publication of the Amputee Coalition of America
Pain is a symptom and can have one or more causes. You may, therefore, need multiple healthcare professionals to help you sort through the causes of the pain and the solutions for it. These professionals should include your physiatrist, your surgeon, and your prosthetist, who should all work together and communicate as a team in your best interest. This is best done in an amputee clinic setting. Because a poorly fitting prosthesis can quickly cause a sore and infection if not addressed, early communication with your doctors and prosthetist about the onset of your pain and changes in it is very important. It is also important to understand that pain is often affected by the patient's emotional, spiritual and psychological states as well as his or her physical problems. To effectively deal with your pain, therefore, these issues also need to be addressed, possibly through individual counseling, peer visitation or support groups. You should not accept pain as chronic until you have exhausted the many treatment options available. This may mean that you have to seek the counsel of multiple pain clinicians rather than settle for insufficient relief of your pain. Over the long term, your pain may come and go just like my grandmother's "achy" days did with the cold or damp weather. Still, you need to have a plan for these painful days, including knowing how to comfort yourself during them. I am privileged to care for many people with limb loss, and although most have moments of pain, I can't think of any that have such unresolved pain that they are not living their lives.
What might cause phantom pain to increase?
To understand what might increase, or exacerbate, phantom pain, you need to understand that this pain is nerve-cell hyper-excitability. Thus, things that would ordinarily excite the nerves in the limb would also hyper-excite this group of nerves that are behaving poorly to begin with. So, the things that may increase the phantom pain are usually things that feel fine with good nerves but feel bad to these misbehaving nerves, such as heat, cold, extremes in weather, applied pressure, light and normal touch, certain positions, changes in position, caffeine, stressful daily situations, monthly cycles, your son-in-law (just kidding), etc. It is an individual experience. What is common, though, is the fact that when you're lying in bed late at night with the lights out, the TV off, and the dog asleep, this pain usually rages. This is because all of the other distracting sensations have been diminished, which just pronounces the hyper-excitability of these misbehaving nerves.
Tips for Dealing With Phantom Pain
· Find an amputee specialist, such as a physiatrist or chronic pain specialist, who knows about phantom pain through education and experience with patients.
· Use a systematic approach to trying the different approaches and medications.
· Speak up! Ask why you should try a specific medication or technique, what the side-effects are, and what science supports the treatment. There are plenty of nontraditional approaches to pain out there. You need to use something that is safe and that has been proven effective. If a product or technique sounds bizarre, shaky and unreasonable, it is probably ineffective. You need to believe in your treatment; if trust is established, the treatment will probably be more successful because of the placebo effect.
· Write the When, Where, How, Why, and To What Extent details about your phantom pain in a journal. This will help your doctor better understand your pain and will give you an objective tool to see how your pain changes over time and whether it has been affected by treatment. Use a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (severe/worst pain) to help define your pain.
· Know that it's OK to get second and third opinions from pain specialists. Unfortunately, we are better-educated consumers of household products, such as washers and dryers, than we are of the products and techniques that might benefit our bodies.
· Realize that narcotics are short-term friends; they are not usually effective against phantom pain, they are addictive, and their effect wears off, making you need more to get the same marginal relief. Perhaps even worse, they are constipating.
· Find a way to talk about your pain. A constant, intermittent pain is disruptive to the moments and relationships in one's life. You need to talk about these disruptions and develop healthy strategies to deal with them. Remember: It's not the quantity of life but the quality that's important. This "talk" can occur with psychologists, with peers in a group or individually, and/or with spiritual advisors. Be open; your mind is very powerful in controlling your body. Picture the man walking on hot coals.
| At Optimus, we're here for you! |
We want to thank you for the confidence you have placed in us at Optimus! Our team will always do everything possible to merit that confidence. Please let us know if there is ever anything we can for you!
Click here to email us or call the office at 937-454-1900
Has it been awhile since you've had your prosthetic device checked? Why not call today for an appointment? We can check the fit and function of your prosthesis, and make sure you are continuing at your optimal potential.