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Quinten Geyer: Giving Back While Not Giving Up

A broken foot is not something most of us would like to go through. Similarly, most of us don't think of a broken foot as a life-threatening injury. However, that was the case for Optimus Prosthetics patient Quinten Geyer.

 

In the mid-90s, Quinten broke his foot. Repairing the bone required putting in a pin, which is not an unusual procedure. Over the years, however, the pin weakened the bone in Quinten's foot. When the bone was broken again in 2011, the bone was not salvageable. In combination with osteomyelitis - an infection in the bone - amputation became the course of action for Quinten.

 

The amputation was the second major medical event Quinten had gone through in the last five years. He was given six months to live five years ago after being diagnosed with a staph infection and going into a coma for three days. Quinten said he was told he would live the rest of his life in a nursing home relying on care from a nurse. 

 

Despite all the obstacles he has faced, Quinten still approaches his life with a positive attitude. He is glad to wake up every morning, he said, and he feels blessed.  Even though he still faces challenges - going down steps, hills and grades - Quinten feels grateful and glad for everything he has. He recently achieved one of his goals that he set after the amputation, getting up on his roof to make some repairs.

 

Quinten spends much of his time helping others. He is a peer visitor for Optimus Prosthetics, meeting patients who are scheduled to have an amputation or have already had one performed. He talks with them about what they can expect and offers himself as a source for positive reinforcement. Quinten's words of encouragement for any amputees that are struggling are "Just do it! Try it, think it through, be conscious and plan ahead."

 

Quinten also volunteers with Good Neighbor House, Bogg Ministries, Gospel Mission, One Bistro and Friends of the Castle, a safe haven for adults with mental disorders. He is a prime example of what it is like to give back and help others after going through trying circumstances, and all of us at Optimus Prosthetics are very proud of his work!

Fly with Confidence: Tips for Air Travel with a Prosthesis

 

As an amputee, you know the day-to-day challenges that come with having a prosthesis. Encountering new situations and finding solutions is a part of being amputee. One challenge you may or may not have encountered yet is traveling with your prosthesis on a plane.

 

While we are in August and many of us have already taken our summer vacations, being able to travel comfortably with your prosthesis is a skill that can serve you well any time of the year. Try these tips the next time you are looking at flying for a trip. They can mean the difference between a smooth and enjoyable flight experience and never wanting to fly again.

 

  • Plan first- depending on the nature of your amputation and type of prosthesis you have, different scenarios and challenges could arise. Meet with a practitioner at Optimus or your occupational therapist to create a plan for any challenges you may face.
  • Invest in good baggage- bags with a handle and 360-degree spinners are the best option for most amputees.
  • Be "travel-aware" when you pack- we've all heard the phrase "pack light" before; for some this may be a realistic option, for others who like to be prepared, not so much. Be sure to pack any medications or necessary items in your carry-on.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help- contact the airport before hand to let them know if you will need mobility assistance or a porter to help you carry your luggage.
  • To wear or not wear- many amputees find it easier not to wear their prosthesis during travel. This helps keep things simple during the security screening. However, if you don't feel comfortable without your prosthesis, wear it.
  • Request pre-boarding assistance- this allows you to get on the plane first, giving you the chance to get settled before other passengers begin filling in. You can also ask fellow passengers to help you with your baggage if necessary; most people are willing to help.
  • Stretch it out- consider doing a few stretches during longer flights to keep your blood flowing.
  • Just a little reminder- when the landing announcement is made, remind a flight attendant if you have requested special assistance. Again, you can generally ask other passengers for help with getting your cabin luggage down.

We hope these tips make your next plane flight, whether it's this summer or throughout the rest of the year, smoother and more enjoyable. If you find success with your own flight checklist, feel free to share your success story on the Optimus Prosthetics Facebook page

Tom Runyon: Finding Life After Amputation

Sometimes the things we do for a good cause don't end up working out. In the case of Tom Runyon, his effort to lose weight and live healthier backfired and ended up with him needing an amputation.

 

Tom, a 25-year veteran of the Franklin Country Sherriff's Department, made a commitment to himself last year to improve the shape he was in.

 

"At the time I was 330 pounds, and I decided to get in shape and try to lose weight," Tom said. "I started by walking 2 miles daily."

 

Tom's walking resulted in the development of a callous on the bottom of his right foot. The callous became badly infected, and after multiple rounds of antibiotic therapy, the decision was made for an amputation to be done. On June 22, 2013, Tom's right leg was amputated. When he woke up after his surgery, Tom noticed he had a visitor in his room.

 

"I remember waking up in recovery, and there was Tim!" Tom said, referring to Tim Reidlinger, the clinical manager of Optimus Prosthetics' Columbus office. Sitting in the recovery room, Tom and Tim discussed what would happen next, the beginning of their partnership focused on getting Tom moving around again.

 

"When [Tim] was there with me in the recovery room explaining to me what was going to happen next, it really put my mind at ease," Tom said. "He went the extra mile with me."

 

With encouragement from Tim, Tom has been able to work through the various challenges lower body amputees face. His current battle is with going up and down multiple steps. One thing you won't find Tom battling with is motivation to move on after his amputation.

 

"Do not feel sorry for yourself," Tom said when asked what advice he would give to other amputees. "There is life after amputation. It's okay to have a moment of sadness; I know I did. But don't stay there. Pain fades and life goes on, but sitting around feeling sorry for yourself does nothing."

 

Tom is appreciative of the support he has found at Optimus Prosthetics, both in working with Tim and his interactions with Kristilyn Stein, office assistant at the Columbus office. Tom said Optimus has been there for him every step of the way so far, and we plan on being there whenever he needs us in the future. 

Jim's Corner
Common "Mistakes" in Prosthetic Stance Engagement

 

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.

 

Last month we discussed the "ingredients" required for proper prosthetic stance disengagement to allow for prosthetic swing. Remember that this process starts with proper prosthetic stance. This month, we will look at some of the common "mistakes". I don't like this term since it implies somebody (patient or clinician) is actively choosing to make a mistake. But for terminology sake will use the term mistakes.  To keep things simple I have listed some of the more common "mistakes" patients make while attempting to achieve prosthetic stance disengagement to facilitate prosthetic swing.

  • Insufficient prosthetic weight bearing. Prosthetic weight bearing is required for proper prosthetic stance; if the patient has difficulty in stance this will affect every other component of their prosthetic gait (If the patient is having difficulty in stance we need to return to our prosthetic "building blocks" set of drills).  Insufficient prosthetic weight bearing will go "hand in hand" with an insufficient prosthetic toe load.
  • Insufficient prosthetic toe load. When we think of terminal stance and pre-swing, the heel will be off the ground but the toes will still be in contact with the floor. It is important that the patient's weight is on the prosthetic toes versus just balancing on the toes.
  • Insufficient residual limb extension. If the patient has difficulty with residual limb extension they will have difficulty with maintaining stance and guarding against the prosthetic knee buckling (remember that maintaining a backward force within the socket will help to maintain stability).  Residual limb extension is a requirement for forward/transverse rotation of the pelvis and for moving beyond min-stance to terminal stance.
  • Proper timing. Even if the patient is in terminal stance and putting their weight on the prosthetic toes, if they lift too early then the knee will probably remain stiff and they probably have to compensate some way such as vaulting, hip hiking,  circumducting or abduction.
  • Too much UE (upper extremity) support. Many times when the patient is in the learning process they must use their upper extremities for help. Upper extremity support is totally necessary for the learning process to learn "all of the ingredients" to use their prosthesis. But when they have learned these things, we want them to lessen their upper extremity assistance to learn the proper function. Too much support will result in not enough weight on the prosthesis.

Next month we will look at a drill to help the patient learn how to incorporate all we have discussed this month and last month.

 

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
upcoming

D = Dayton Area

C = Columbus Area

 

Course #1

D - 8/11/14 - Atrium, 8 a.m.


 

D - 8/27/14 - Atrium, 12 p.m.


 

Course #2

C - 8/5/14 - Spring Meadow, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/7/14 - Quaker Heights, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/11/14 - Hospitality Homes, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/13/14 - Pinnacle Point, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/15/14 - Bulldog Tools, 12 p.m.

 

Course #3

C - 8/12/14 - Laurels of Worthington, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/20/14 - Springfield Regional Excel, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/21/14 - Huber Heights Health Care, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/22/14 - Bulldog Tools, 12 p.m.

 

Course #4

D- 8/2/14 - Sienna Woods, 12 p.m.

 

C - 8/5/14 - Darby Glenn, 12 p.m.

 

C- 8/19/14 - Columbus West Park, 12 p.m. 

 

Course #5

D - 8/2/14 - Sienna Woods, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/14/14 - Southview, 12:15 p.m.

 

D - 8/18/14 - Koester, 12 p.m.

 

Course #6

No classes scheduled

 

Course #7

D - 8/6/14 - Carriage Inn, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/8/14 - Kettering Rehab, 12 p.m.

 

D - 8/25/14 - Cypress Pointe, 12 p.m.

 

Course #8

No classes scheduled

 

Course #9

D - 8/28/14 - Shiloh Springs, 12 p.m.

 

Course #10

No classes scheduled

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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