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.
Ollie Sowell: Optimism Over Everything
There really isn't a way to be prepared to lose a limb; it's not something you can plan for and be okay with. However, if there is one person who is equipped to handle an amputation, it would be Ollie Sowell. 

Ollie had his right leg amputated below the knee as a result of an infection. His toes were amputated first, but the infection was bad enough that it required the amputation of his foot. After being told this, Ollie went through the grieving process in the hospital before the amputation. But he had two good things that worked in his favor.

First, Ollie had previously worked as a home health aide, so he understood the medical aspects of being an amputee. Working with patients in the past who had lost a limb gave Ollie an understanding of the amputation world.

Second, Ollie is a naturally positive guy. This positive predisposition and his determination to not let his amputation get the best of him, as well as lots of support from his family and other amputees, gave Ollie the strength he needed to get through the amputation and initial recovery process. 

This isn't to say there haven't been challenges for Ollie. The fear of being pushed or losing his balance made walking in large crowds difficult for Ollie. Finding the right prosthetic fit for his active life like running, walking and going up hills was also hard, as was learning to drive again. 

Ollie's experience with Optimus and his overwhelming optimism have served him well so far in his journey. The quick work of Tim Reidlinger at Optimus to get Ollie a prosthetic device and the one-on-one focus he receives at Optimus has made a huge difference to Ollie.

He also loves to talk to other amputees and offer any support they may need. Staying positive and not letting yourself feel sorry for what's happened is key to getting through an amputation and recovery successfully.

"Have faith in yourself and God, and don't let this get you depressed," Ollie said when asked what advice he would give struggling amputees. 

We're glad to have met Ollie and look forward to his continued progress and ever cheery attitude toward life.
Optimus Peer Visitors Get Certified

On February 7th, several patients and two of our staff members attended a Peer Visitor Training Class hosted by Amputee Coalition of America in Columbus. Optimus Prosthetics sent both Patient Advocates, Lyndsey Wilcox and Aimee Eckert.  They are now certified Peer Visitors.   

"It is a rewarding experience being able to help other people through something so difficult," Eckert said. "Usually losing a limb is someone's rock bottom and to see someone overcome the battle is wonderful."

Wilcox said she went to the training in order to better help those going through the trauma of losing a limb. 

"I wanted to learn more about each grieving stage and how to best help each individual," she said. "I also never had someone come in and talk to me about my amputation and to help my family and I through this time, so I have always promised myself to be readily available for others going through this life altering obstacle."

Both said they walked away from the training with a lot of great ways to help other amputees, as well as more knowledge about how various organizations help new amputees. But our two Patient Advocates weren't the only two to attend the training. 

Optimus patient David Rice also was in attendance. Rice said he never had a peer visitor. However, he said a visit from Optimus practitioner Tim Reidlinger changed things for him.

"What he brought with him was hope," Rice said. "Hope of better things to come, hope that things would get better, and most of all hope to my wife that things would get better."

Rice said he wants try to give back to other amputees and their families to help them through the same process he went through. 

Wilcox's father was also in attendance. He was a huge support to her when she was going through her amputation and illness. 

"I felt my dad could really help other family members going through this situation by giving advice and helping the family members understand the recovery phases their family member may go through before/after an amputation," Wilcox said. 

"Many times, people forget about the family members during a tough time like this and focus all the attention on the patient (which is correct!), however, many times the other  family members struggle with accepting an amputation for a loved one and also don't know the best ways to help." 

We are proud of our two Patient Advocates and our new Peer Visitors. Optimus Prosthetics is glad to have these amazing people as great resources for our organization. 

Terry Boyd: Finding Release Through an Active Life
The term "chondrosarcoma" most likely isn't in your vocabulary. By looking at the second half of the word, "sarcoma," you may be able to deduce that it is something dealing with cancer.

In fact, chondrosarcoma is a cancer composed of cells derived from transformed cells that produce cartilage. Though less common, when it does present, it is often in the hip bones. An unlike many cancers, chondrosarcomas are resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, meaning other solutions need to be sought for treatement. For Optimus patient Terry Boyd, this meant an amputation.

In August of 2003, Terry had a right hemipelvectomy, a rare operation. Then, in May 2014, Terry had to undergo a Syme's amputation -- amputation of the foot through the articulation of the ankle with removal of the malleoli of the tibia and fibula -- on his left leg due to a blood clot and staph infection. 

Terry has faced many challenges throughout his life, including a period of uncertainty when there was concern of his cancer spreading to his lungs. He has also had balance issues since losing his left limb, after which he switched to using a wheelchair instead of crutches when not wearing his prosthesis. 

Terry has found an outlet in playing wheelchair sports. He has played wheelchair softball for over 12 years and wheelchair basketball for seven years. He has been on teams that have won national competitions and championships.

Terry is also a peer counselor for Sarcoma support, visits patients at the VA, the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus and with pediatric patients. In Terry's words, staying positive, not feeling sorry for yourself and maintaining independence are keys to living better as an amputee.

Terry has loved the supportive attitude of the entire Optimus Prosthetics staff. He met with Optimus Peer Visitor Aimee Eckert at his surgeon appointments at Miami Valley Hospital, and has been impressed from the beginning with the professional and caring team at Optimus.

We've been glad to support Terry in any way he needs and are excited to see what amazing things are in store for his future.
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 this month's column we are going to continue with increasing the treatment strategies, from our very first "building blocks" of proper prosthetic gait, to combined stepping.Once the patient has learned and now is in the process of mastering:

  1. Proper residual limb extension (TFA/AKA patients)
  2. Proper prosthetic weight-shifting
  3. Proper prosthetic balance
  4. Proper prosthetic weight bearing
  5. Proper prosthetic stance & sound limb stepping
  6. Proper sound limb stance & prosthetic limb stepping
  7. Achieving a good terminal stance with an even step/stride length (another topic for another day)

We now move onto combined stepping.


Combined Stepping

(Prosthetic Limb & Sound Limb Stepping)


To start, have the patient stand up in the parallel bars. From the standing position, have the patient place their prosthesis forward with a step length about half a step. Then load the prosthesis and take a full step with the sound limb. As the patient is loading their prosthesis, it is very important to extend the residual limb inside the socket providing a backward force within the socket to provide stance stability and to allow the patient to achieve a prosthetic terminal stance.


Upon initial contact (heel strike) of the sound limb, the prosthetic limb will need to be in the terminal stance/pre-swing position (hip in extension, prosthetic foot behind and with a load on the prosthetic toes). If they took a sufficient step (step through, not step to) with the sound limb they will be in a position which has loaded the prosthetic toe and stance disengagement can occur for a good swing with the prosthetic limb.


When they load the sound limb and it is time for them to take a full step with the prosthesis (if they loaded the prosthesis correctly) stance disengagement will occur (the knee will break) and they will be able to swing the prosthesis forward and place the prosthetic foot out front.


To help the patient learn this, the clinician can place their hands on patients ASIS, first manually assisted then progress to resisted. Try to promote an even step length, even weight bearing, good forward movement of the pelvis, good transverse rotation of pelvis, good trust of prosthesis. 


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- 3/2, UVMC, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/9, Dayton Rehab, 12:00 p.m.


Course #2

D- 3/11, Carriage Inn, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/18, Grandview, 12:00 p.m.


Course #3

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


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


D-, 3/5, Liberty of Beavercreek, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/6, St. Rita's Lima, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/12, Excel Urbana, 12:00 p.m.


C- 3/19, MCW Rehab, 12:00 p.m.


Course #4

D- 3/18, Pinnacle Point, 12:00 p.m.


C- 3/18, Westminster-Thurber Retirement Community, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/20, Crossroads, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/24, The Gables at Green Pastures Marysville, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/26, Friendship Village, 12:00 p.m.


C- 3/31, Columbus Colony Elderly Care, 12:00 p.m.


Course #5

C- 3/25, Mt. Carmel Rehab and Sports Medicine- Westar Health Center, 12:00 p.m.


Course #6

C- 3/3, Villa Angelam 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/4, Southview, 12:15 p.m.


C- 3/10, Scioto Pointe, 12:00 p.m.


C- 3/17, New Albany Care Center, 12:00 p.m.


Course #7

No courses scheduled


Course #8

C- 3/31, Highbanks Care Center, 12:00 p.m.


Course #9

D- 3/11, Kingston of Miamisburg, 12:15 p.m.


C- 3/12, Isabelle Ridgway, 12:30 p.m.


Course #10

D- 3/2, KMC, 11:30 a.m.


D- 3/13, Sanctuary of Wilmington, 12:00 p.m.


D- 3/17, Beaverceek Health Course


D- 3/19, Wilson Memorial, 12:00 p.m.

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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