1st Annual Optimus Prosthetics Get Up, Stand Up 5K
Optimus Prosthetics will be hosting the 1st Annual Optimus Prosthetics Get Up, Stand Up 5K. The event will take place April 18th, 2015 at Eastwood MetroPark in Dayton.

The 5K is a chance for everyone -- patients and their families -- to come out for a day of celebrating the success we have all shared. For more information on the event, contact Optimus Prosthetics today.
Paul Ecos: Help Will Make You Whole

Paul Ecos follows the motto "no doubt" to keep him focused on what is important in his life: staying active.  Paul has always been the 100-mph type guy who never slowed down in life.  Every hobby and occupation he completed was an active and physical one requiring standing, walking and great balance.  As a house and laborer painter, he was used to staying busy and living his life in a constant moving motion; that was until his work accident back in August of 2012 when he fell from a second-story roof and landing on his right foot shattering every bone in his foot from the heel forward. 


After his accident, Paul had a total of four surgeries, three of which were to attempt to reconstruct the bones for him to possibly walk again. The last surgery was to control infection spreading in his foot.  After his last reconstructive surgery, Paul knew he had to make a tough decision if he wanted to get back to his busy and independent life.  He chose to amputate the foot.  


This decision was not taken lightly as he researched, interviewed other amputees as well as reaching out to Optimus Prosthetics.  Tim Riedlinger, a prosthetist from Optimus Prosthetics in the Columbus location, visited with Paul on several occasions, answering the long list of questions he had from amputee care to the prosthetic process.  Tim educated Paul on these topics and more, giving Paul a sense of hope for an active life again.  Prior to the amputation, Paul went through the tough time of coping with the thought of losing his foot and going through the pain of dealing with that situation for the remainder of his life.  When the amputation date came around, Paul was ready to return to his active life even with a slight change, a prosthetic limb. 


May of 2014, Paul had his amputation of his right foot and on August 19 he stood for the first time in 2 years.  Paul struggled early on with the emotional and mental struggles due to spending 2 years being so inactive; however, he used this time to create a life balance by reconnecting and nurturing a relationship with family members.  The down time was tough, but the outcome was amazing!  During his time of inactivity, he also connected with other amputees, which he strongly recommends to those facing amputation, because even though each situation is different, the results of moving on and getting back to life can be the same for each individual.


Since his amputation, Paul has been able to start driving again and gave him his freedom and independence back again.  Although this was a life altering situation that occurred in his life, with the help support from Tim and the rest of the Optimus Prosthetic team, he was able to receive his quality of life again. 

Our Fabrication Lab Moved!

We are excited to announce that our fabrication lab is moving and expanding. Our fabrication lab has moved down the street about two blocks to a new building. As of Monday, Jan. 26, our lab has been fully operational.

The best part about this move and expansion is that it gives us nearly three times the work space, going from 900 square feet to 2,400 square feet. This means more storage space, new equipment and an increased work capacity to get more prosthetic devices created faster for our patients.

Moving the fabrication lab means additional space has opened at the Optimus office. Renovation is well under way and will continue for the next few months as new patient rooms, administrative and clinical offices are added.

The largest change with all this moving, expanding and renovating will be for our clinicians. They will have to leave the office to make modifications to prosthetic devices, where as before they walked down the hall.

We are very excited for these changes, and we appreciate all our patients and the staff for being understanding and having patience during this time.

Susan Wadovsky: A Positive Mindset on the Path to Success
If you have ever stubbed your toe on anything (and chances are you have), you know how much it hurts. Susan Wadovsky stubbed her toe in 2013, but her pain went much deeper than most people's.

When she stubbed her toe, Susan cracked her toenail. After  a doctor's examination, some Neosporin and a band aid, Susan's toe eventually had to be removed. A case of gangrene, 10 weeks of hyperbaric treatment, a diagnosis of PAD (peripheral artery disease) and an attempted bypass later, Susan's foot and eventually her leg below the knee were amputated in July of 2014.

Since her amputation, Susan became a patient at Optimus and has worked with Jim Scharf, PTA for her prosthetic care. While Susan says her work with Jim and his positive mindset are uplifting, she still has challenges at home.

Navigating her home is tricky, as is completing daily tasks such as doing laundry or cooking. To make things easier, Susan still uses a wheelchair at home. Outside of her home she relies on her cane, but her spinal stenosis causes her a great deal of back pain.

Despite the pain, Susan still finds positive inspiration throughout her day.

"[Seeing] the commercials has always made me happy seeing someone that I can relate to and seeing that they are succeeding," Susan said, referring to the Optimus commercials broadcast on local television stations.

She also had great advice for any fellow amputees who may be struggling.

"I know that it is frustrating and you may be feeling discouraged, but be patient and keep a positive attitude," Susan said. "Find someone to talk to, whether it be a therapist, friend or family member.  If you are religious or spiritual, lean on those beliefs to get you through this chapter in your life."

Even though she is still facing many challenges, we believe Susan's positive outlook and hard work will help her conquer any difficulty put in front of her.
Jim's Corner


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.



For the last several months we have been discussing ways to get the prosthetic foot out in front for terminal swing. The next problem that we can encounter is the patient is now able to get the prosthetic foot out in front sufficiently but they don't know how or where to place the prosthetic foot on the ground for initial contact (heel strike). A good drill that I use is the "kill the bug" drill.


Kill the Bug


Draw an imaginary bug with a pen or marker on a piece of paper, tape or Dycem. Place the imaginary bug out in front of the patient about where their prosthetic heel will hit for initial contact (heel strike). The patient is to step forward and attempt to "kill" or "squash" the imaginary bug oand drive the prosthetic heel into the ground aggressively with the extensors. They can use a stable object for the required assistance and safety.


The patient is to stand up and place their sound limb out in front and keep it there. The patient is to stand evenly on both legs and strive for a 50/50 weight bearing (50% weight on the sound limb, 50% on the prosthesis).  Have the patient get the prosthetic foot out in front by "pushing" on the front wall of the socket to initiate prosthetic swing including bending of the prosthetic knee. 


When the prosthetic foot is in mid-swing/terminal swing then simply stop pushing on the front wall of the socket then push very quickly and aggressively on the back wall of the socket ("pull it back under you") to strike the prosthetic heel into the bug, driving the heel into the ground. 


The patient finishes by shifting their weight onto the prosthesis. Return to the starting position and keep repeating to their tolerance and when they can demonstrate good technique.



Some patient errors might consist of:

  • Dropping the pelvis on the prosthetic side resulting in "stubbing the toe"
  • Floating the prosthetic foot down to the ground vs. driving the prosthetic foot down to the ground
  • Uneven step/stride length
  • Leaning the trunk posterior with their weight on the sound limb
  • Keeping their pelvis posterior ("sticking their butt out backwards")

This is also a great drill when the patient presents with a prosthetic retraction with their gait. Prosthetic retraction can be described as the patient moving the prosthetic foot out in front for initial contact/heel strike, but before the prosthetic heel contacts the ground they pull backward with the socket too soon and the prosthetic foot comes back too far under them and lands too far back under the body. 


When this happens the center of mass can fall too far forward of the foot and may cause the sound limb to take a longer stride and faster step to maintain balance. When the sound limb has to take a longer step to maintain balance the prosthetic limb will have difficulty clearing the ground, thus the body height will become lower to the ground and the patient may lose the ground clearance for the prosthetic foot and trip.


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


Course #1

D- 2/16, Mary Scott, 12:00 p.m.


Course #2

D- 2/6, Crestview Manor, 12:00 p.m.


D- 2/18 Carriage Inn, 12:00 p.m.


Course #3

D- 2/2, Buckeye Home Healthcare in Dayton, 8:30 a.m.


D- 2/3, Buckeye Home Healthcare in Cincinnati, 8:30 a.m.


Course #4

C- 2/17, The Laurels of Worthington, 12:00 p.m.


D- 2/20, Clinton Memorial, 12:00 p.m.


D- 2/27, Springfield Manor, 12:00 p.m.



Course #5

D- 2/4, Springfield Regional, 12:00 p.m.


D- 2/9, Hospitality Homes Xenia, 12 p.m.


C- 2/10, Eastland Care Center


D- 2/12, Springfield Regional Excel Outpatient Clinic, 12:00 p.m.


D- 2/23, Huber Heights Health Care, 12:00 p.m.


C- 2/24, Darby Glenn Nursing Home & Rehab Center, 12:30 p.m.


D- 2/26, Quaker Heights, 12:00 p.m.



Course #6

C- 2/3, Centerburg Pointe, 12:00 p.m.


D- 2/11, XCel Sports Medicine, 12:00 p.m.


D-2/13, Resthaven Greeneville: 12:30 p.m.



Course #7

D- 2/2, Sienna Woods, 12:00 p.m.


D- 2/5, Laurels of Shane Hill, 12:00 p.m.



Course #8

D- 2/25, Miami Valley Rehab, 12:30 p.m.


Course #9

D- 2/19, Wilson Memorial Rehab, 12:00 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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