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Randy Hayes: The Thankful Man with a Plan

Randy Hayes knows there's a reason he's still alive, but he's still searching for it. However, Randy counts this search as a blessing because he knows things could have turned out a lot different after the car crash he was involved in on Feb. 8, 2012.


"The Lord has much in store for me," Randy said. "He also has a reason for me to still be here; it has encouraged me to seek hard for what that task will be."


The crash shattered Randy's left femur just above his knee, as well as causing other injuries. Randy remembers being awake, responsive and numb on the way to the hospital, all the while wondering to himself, "God, what do I do now?"


After doctors stabilized his leg and addressed his other injuries, nearly everything healed quickly, and Randy started therapy. However, while he was still hospitalized, doctors identified an infection in his left femur, starting Randy on infusion therapy during the summer and fall of 2012. When the infection remained after he was taken off antibiotics, the decision was made just before Thanksgiving to add an Ilizirov frame (a kind of external fixator frame) to his entire left leg and restart antibiotics.


Randy was faced with a decision: two years of lengthening the femur one millimeter per day and reconsolidating the bone, or amputating his leg just above the fracture. The amputation was the only sure way to eliminate the infection.


After consulting with a high school friend, John Brandt (co-owner of Optimus Prosthetics) and working with Optimus practitioner Glenn Schober, Randy decided to have the operation performed by Dr. Janos Ertl near his home town in Indianapolis, IN (more on Dr. Ertl and his procedure in next month's newsletter). John and Glenn also sat in on the operation and worked with Dr. Ertl to get a head start on Randy's prosthetic.


Once healed, Randy continued to work with John and Glenn of Optimus Prosthetics to receive his above-knee prosthesis, which features the revolutionary new Power Knee.  Since starting his recovery, Randy has progressed from bed to wheelchair to walker to using only a cane to walk unassisted. Randy has also had to deal with thoughts of "Why did this happen to me?" and feelings of despair, but said he made a conscious choice not to let that bother him.


"You know, I quickly found that accepting the accident and the amputation really gave me freedom from all of the second guessing," Randy said. "God is in control of our lives whether I acknowledge it or not, and He had a plan for my life."


When asked about advice he would give to others considering an amputation, Randy offered three main points: don't try to make the decision alone, don't overthink amputations and prosthetics, and be sure to find an amputation specialist that you trust, just as he did with Dr. Ertl.


"I am living and breathing proof," Randy said, "that through working with the talented people in this field and with modern medicine and equipment, an amputee with prosthetic assistance today has the opportunity to leave the illness or hurt of an amputation behind them and walk boldly out into the things in this world you still are yet to conquer, with the Lord's help." 

The POWER KNEE: Revolutionizing Lower Limb Prosthetics

The POWER KNEE, developed by Össur and available in the area first from Optimus Prosthetics, is the world's first and only motor-powered, artificially intelligent prosthesis designed for above-the-knee amputees. This innovation provides some great benefits previously unseen in prosthetic devices. Here are a few of the highlights of the POWER KNEE:


Powered Extension- this helps a user stand up from a seated position, provides support when walking up inclined surfaces or going up a flight of steps.


Powered swing extension- the POWER KNEE helps with natural walking dynamics, enabling correct pelvic rotation for a more natural gait through an active pendulum motion that swings forward when the user is walking.


Active heel rise and knee flexion- the POWER KNEE actually lifts the heel off the ground, regardless of if user is walking on flat or undulating surfaces. This helps increase safety and prevent stumbling by increasing toe lift.


Imitates normal proprioception- by anticipating and responding to each step, the POWER KNEE provides the best function to adjust gait symmetry to optimize the custom gait of each user.


All of these benefits result in a better experience for any user walking with the POWER KNEE. The POWER KNEE was available in the area first from Optimus Prosthetics, and can be used by those that have had a Transfemoral, Bilateral Transfemoral, Unilateral Hip Disarticulation or Unilateral Hemipelvectomy procedure.


To learn more about how a POWER KNEE could benefit you, contact Optimus Prosthetics today!


Jim's Corner
Prosthetic Weight Shifting, Part 2


Optimus Prosthetics Jim Scharf
Jim Scharf, PTA

The goal of "Jim's Corner" is to provide helpful information and be a resource for those helping patients fitted with prosthetics learn to use them correctly in order to enjoy a better quality of life as an amputee.


This month's column is a continuation of last month's article regarding proper weight shifting technique and exercises to help patients achieve it.


If you missed Part 1 you can CLICK HERE to access last month's newsletter.


Weight Shifting Pelvic Driver, Front to Back

Starting at home base, move the pelvic bucket forward equally over both limbs (the heels may raise slightly) and then return. Then move the pelvic bucket backward equally over both limbs (the toes may raise slightly) and return. It is OK to pause if needed to re-establish "home base." Start with small movements that can be safely controlled and, when able, increase the size of movement. Perform 5-15 times.


Weight Shifting Pelvic Driver, Diagonals in Static Stance

Starting at home base, move the pelvic bucket in a diagonal pattern away from home base out over to the sound side toe and return. Then move the pelvic bucket back in a diagonal pattern to over the prosthetic heel, then return. It is OK to pause if needed to re-establish "home base." Perform 5-15 times.


Next move the pelvic bucket in a diagonal pattern away from home base out over to the prosthetic side toe then return. Then move the pelvic bucket back in a diagonal pattern over the sound side heel, then return. It is OK to pause if needed to re-establish "home base." Perform 5-15 times.


Weight Shifting Pelvic Driver, Clockwise & Counterclockwise

Starting at home base move the pelvic bucket out front, and facing forward, move the pelvic bucket in a clockwise direction like you are doing an imaginary "hula hoop" 5-15 times, and then counterclockwise 5-15 times. It is OK to pause if needed to re-establish "home base."


Weight Shifting Pelvic Driver, Rotation:

Starting at home base, rotate the pelvic bucket to about 3:00 and return. Then rotate the pelvic bucket to about 9:00 and return. When rotating the pelvis, the shoulders and trunk may move in opposition to the pelvis. It is OK to pause if needed to re-establish "home base." Perform 5-15 times.  



Jim Scharf, PTA, Prosthetic Assistant/Gait Specialist

Jim has been a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant since 1988.  Jim has worked with lower extremity amputee patients throughout his career.  He serves as a Gait Specialist and Liaison when prosthetic patients are meeting with their therapists. Feel free to contact Jim if he can assist you in any way at: jscharf@optimusprosthetics.com.

In This Issue

D = Dayton Area

C = Columbus Area


The Staff of Optimus Prosthetics would like to wish you and your family the very best in the coming year! 



Completing Course #1 - "Amputation & Prosthetic Overview"


D - Mercy Siena - 1/6/14 - 12:00


C - Minerva Park - 1/14 - 12:00


D - Springfield Regional Hospital - 1/15 - 12:00


Completing Course #2 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetics:  Transtibial"


D - Liberty of Englewood - 1/16 - 12:00


Completing Course #3 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetics:  Transfemoral"


D - Miami Valley Hospital - 1/22 - 12:30


D - Brethren Retirement Community - 1/24 - 12:00


Course #4 - "Lower Extremity Amputee/Prosthetic Evaluation & Outcomes Measures"


D - Koester Pavilion - 1/15 - 12:00


D - Quaker Heights - 1/21 - 12:00


Course #5 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetic Gait Training"


D - Xcel Sports Medicine - 1/7/14 - 12:00


D - Laurels of Shane Hill - 1/14 - 12:00


D - Carriage Inn - 1/29 - 12:00


Course #6 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetic Gait Deviations"


D - Kingston of Miamisburg - 1/8 - 12:15


D - Kindred of Lebanon - 1/23 - 12:00


D - Kettering Medical Center - 1/30 - 12:00


Course #7 - "Upper-Limb Prosthetics"


D - Wayne Hospital - 1/9 - 12:00


D - Shiloh Springs - 1/10 - 12:00


D - Sanctuary at Wilmington Place - 1/16 - 12:00


Course #8 - Prosthetic Advances


D - Crestview - 1/10 - 12:00


Course #9 - "Partial Foot, Ankle/Knee/Hip Disarticulation, & Transpelvic Prosthetics"


D - Friendship Village - 1/13 - 12:00


D - Crossroads Nursing & Rehab - 1/14 - 12:00


Course #10 - "Microprocessor Controlled Knees"


D - Kettering Neuro Rehab and Balance - 1/9 - 12:00

Optimus Prosthetics, Dayton
8517 North Dixie Drive, Suite 100/300
Dayton, Ohio 45414
(937) 454-1900


Optimus Prosthetics, Columbus
3132 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43202 

(614) 263-LIMB (5462)

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