Steve Bornhorst: Crossing the Finish Line

In July 2015, Steve Bornhorst was working in a five-foot trench placing a water tap.  The trench collapsed, and the weight of the falling dirt snapped his tibia and fibula bones. Steve felt pressure on his left leg but was able to pull himself out.  It wasn't until he was out of the trench that he realized his right leg had the bone sticking out and was full of dirt.
For the next several months, Steve had multiple surgeries and an external fixator, but in April of this year the leg had to be amputated. Prior to this, he extensively researched which prosthetist he wanted to work with, and decided Optimus would be the best. So far, he's been happy with his choice.
"You guys pushed me," he said. "I wouldn't have gotten this far if it weren't for you."
He attributes his community, family and friends for helping him keep a positive attitude through all this.
"Always take the help when it's offered," he advises other amputees. "Even if it's just someone holding the door open for you."
He said the hardest part has been trying to relearn everything.
"Learning to walk on uneven surfaces, climbing, relearning to walk," he said. "Learning how to wear a prosthesis.  When to add or take off socks.  Everything is new."
One of the new things he tried recently was the Fun Run at Bremen Fest in New Bremen. He went to the Get Up Stand Up 5K in April, but had to watch his family from the sidelines since he was still wearing the external fixator and protective boot. This time, however, he was able to cross the finish line.
"Be open. Be honest," he said. "There are no secrets as an amputee.  If something doesn't feel right say something."  

Thomas Ahn: Strength from Within
Watching one man pull a 19,000 pound tow truck is an amazing and seemingly impossible feat of physical strength, and our patient Tommy loves to show people how possible the impossible can be.  There are a lot of events that Tommy competes in, but the tow truck pulling is by far his favorite because it is definitely the most spectacular.
Tommy's life took a dramatic turn in 2012 when he was involved in a car accident which resulted in an above-the-knee amputation. Before his accident, Tommy was a very competitive and active guy. Being an athlete was a part of his identity, and he was suddenly faced with having to re-evaluate that. He had to go through the humbling process of learning what his limitations were now. "There are things you cannot do, but you can adapt. It may take a little longer, but you can do anything that anyone else can do." Tommy admits that the toughest part of his journey has been the mental aspect. It was hard at first adjusting to life, but with help from his support system and a great deal of self-motivation, he was able to overcome that road block.
Tommy decided to look into what competitive activities were available to those with limb loss. That's when he found the world of strong man competition. He was hooked! He not only loves competing in events, he also loves watching others compete and cheering them on.  Strongman competitions became a positive force of change in Tommy's life and gave him an opportunity to be competitive and connect with other amputees and other athletes with disabilities.
"This isn't a race," he advises others who are adjusting to life with limb loss. "Just keep moving forward. You are going to have your days when you are feeling bad, but pick something that day that will be beneficial to you, that will be positive. Take the small steps. Don't let yourself become stagnant. Keep moving."
We joined Tommy on his journey this year after he heard about us from one of his doctors. Tommy had a prosthesis from another provider, but he was unable to wear it because he could not get comfortable in it. He had almost given up on being able to wear a prosthesis, but decided to give Optimus a chance. 
"Walking in the first time, meeting the staff [at Optimus], it was an instant click," he said. "There was a feeling in the atmosphere. You guys really want to help people...Meeting you [Kristilyn], meeting Megan, meeting Jaimie, and meeting Tim, it was like one big house, one big family. Coming to Optimus definitely gave me the motivation to get back on this leg. You guys made me feel really comfortable. If more people had a relationship with their prosthetist like I do, it would be such a huge help to them. I don't know what I would do without Optimus."
We count it a privilege and an honor to work with Tommy. We are excited to partner with him on his journey and cannot wait to cheer him on in his next competition!

Jim's Corner- 
The Pelvic Bucket
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.

Several columns in the past I have talked about the pelvic driver series (December 2013 & January 2014). It's a great way to teach proper prosthetic weight shifting and establish or re-establish the body's ability to control the center of mass (which is their trunk), over the base of support (which is their feet).  But sometimes they struggle to use their pelvis correctly with the drivers and other drills, so this month we are going to discuss the concept of the pelvic bucket.
First, I like to find out if the patient even knows what their pelvis is. You would be surprised how many people don't have any idea what their pelvis is or where it is found. I will show pictures or use a model to help educate them. Once the patient understands what a pelvis is and where it is located, I tell them:
"Imagine that I have a bucket full of water (I hold my hands out in front holding the imaginary bucket of water). Now in a couple of seconds I am going to hand you the bucket of water and I want you to keep it level and don't spill any of it. If you tilt the bucket of water forward you will spill the water out of the front, if you tilt the bucket of water backward you will spill the water out of the back, if you tilt the bucket of water sideways you will spill the water out of the side and so on. When I hand you this imaginary bucket of water, you are to place it inside your pelvis. Now hold the bucket of water still with your pelvis and don't spill any water out of it." Another benefit of this is they now have a good position to establish their neutral spine position.
Another tip that I learned long ago at an awesome continuing education course is "the blue marble." Have the patient imagine or visualize a blue marble in the middle or center of that pelvic bucket. To help the patient find their blue marble, tell them, "I want you to use your finger and find your belly button. Now drop your finger about 2 inches and in the middle is your blue marble." The purpose of this is so the patient can get an idea of their center of mass which will help with balance.


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
In This Issue
Cincinnati Courses:

Course #1
09/06 12:30 PM 
Hyde Park Health Center
Course #1
09/08 12:30 PM
Hyde Park Health Center
Course #2
09/12 12:00 PM 
Covenant Village
Course #2
09/13 12:00 PM 
Residence at Huntington Court

Course #5

09/13 12:00 PM 
Cincinnati VA

Course #2
09/14 12:00 PM 
Chateau at Mountain Crest Nursing and Rehab Center
Course #2
09/15 08:00 AM 
Achieve Rehab and Home Health
Course #1
09/15 12:00 PM 
Madeira Healthcare Center

Course #2

09/22 12:00 PM 
Heartland of Mt. Airy

Course #3

09/29 12:00 PM 
Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital

Columbus Courses:

Course #1
09/01 12:00 PM 
Whetstone Gardens and Care Center
Course #4
09/08 12:00 PM 
Isabella Ridgeway Care Center
Course #9
09/12 12:00 PM
Villa Angela

Course #3

09/13 12:00 PM

Mt. Carmel East Inpatient Rehab

Course #2
09/14 12:00 PM 
Wexner Heritage Village

Course #9

09/15 12:00 PM 

Flint Ridge Nursing and Rehab Center

Course #3

09/15 12:00 PM 
Friendship Village of Columbus

Course #5

09/16 12:30 PM
Westminster-Thurber Retirement Community

Course #9

09/21 12:00 PM 
Franklin Woods

Course #8

09/22 12:00 PM 
Eastland Care Center

Course #5

09/29 12:00 PM
Mt Carmel West Inpatient Rehab

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)

Optimus Prosthetics, Cincinnati

4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite B
Cincinnati, OH 45212
(513) 918-2320
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Optimus Prosthetics | 8517 North Dixie Drive | Suite 300 | Dayton | OH | 45414