Will you join us for our annual 5k?

Have you been wanting to sign up for our upcoming 5K on May 20, but are feeling unsteady or unsure? Give our office a call and schedule a physical therapy evaluation. We will help you get 5K ready!

Employee Spotlight: Jim Scharf, PTA

Jim Scharf, PTA, didn't start off knowing he wanted to work in the O&P field. In fact, he didn't even start off working in the healthcare industry. For the first couple years of his working life, he was an auto mechanic. 

"I decided that this is not what I want to do with the rest of my life so I started to work at St. Elizabeth hospital in 1985 in the X-ray department," he said.

Three years later, he graduated as a physical therapy assistant and four or five years after that, an amputee clinic was established at St. Elizabeth. Jim was the PTA chosen to work there.

"That clinic became very busy up until St. Elizabeth closed," he said. "When that happened I started working at another facility and the area prosthetist found out where I was and continued to send me patients."

In 2012, he was asked to come join Optimus Prosthetics, where he works with patients to establish a good prosthetic gait or refine the prosthetic gait. One of the things he encounters again and again are amputees who become discouraged because of what they see on TV or YouTube.

"They all will give the impression that you 'just pop a leg on and magically start walking' and this couldn't be further from the truth!" he said. "I even had one patient tell me that she was watching a daytime TV show where they showed the patient in surgery and gave the impression that the patient was up on their prosthesis the very next day after surgery! My reply was 'Not in this galaxy!!'"

He went on to say that the amputees shown on TV or in marketing material tend to be young and athletic and had perfect surgeries.

" They generally are not an average person like you and me," he said. "Just remember that you are generally seeing the end result or the potential of the prosthetic device and what is not shown is the hard work and the time involved for each person to achieve that."

He said what makes the O&P field worth it is helping a fellow human being regain as much of their life as possible.

"Walking is the cornerstone of human function, so if I can help a fellow human being to walk again it is all worth it," he said. 

James Swanson: Seeing Life Through a New Lens

I've decided to write off 2016. In December of 2015 while putting in long days of work and volunteering at my church at night, I felt that something was wrong with my left foot.  I went to my doctor, who immediately admitted me into the hospital. Severe infection had set in, and the first of three operations started my journey. After a two week stay at the hospital, I was sent to a rehab facility to recover.  With the wound almost fully healed, I went back home to finish my recovery, or so I thought. However, the infection had a different plan for me. It had returned with a vengeance in the bones of my left foot and was spreading. In June 2016, I was admitted again into the hospital, but this time, I had to lose my foot and ankle. I didn't have any time to think of what was happening to me, and when I awoke from the operation, it was gone. Scared and depressed I found myself sent back once again into the rehab facility.
The first person that came in to talk with me about a prosthetic limb was Lyndsey from Optimus. Being a professional nature photographer I thought that I would not be able to do one of the things that truly brings me happiness. Lyndsey brought me hope. She talked to me about what can be done to help me get back to my life. Maybe not exactly the same as it used to be, just different, but certainly not limited as I had once thought. Jamie, my practitioner, was the one that worked with me to get me fitted for my new leg. She has spent a lot of time putting up with me, and she is continuing to help me and make sure I am comfortable wearing my prosthesis. In fact, we are working on a new leg that will allow me to get out and photograph the beauty that God has blessed us with.
This year long journey that I've been through with battling severe infections, three operations, allergic reactions to medications, the loss of my favorite left foot, and nearly not surviving the last operation, has given me a new outlook on life. God has a plan for me and my journey is not complete. Yeah, I got a limp, but I'm walking again, and soon I hope to be on a trail to find the next waterfall or to capture the colors of spring.


My message to anyone facing what I went through: keep the faith. It's a tough road in the beginning, but it will get better!  For me, after ten months in a wheelchair and now being able to stand with my prosthesis, well, it feels amazing. However, I find that I have some serious dusting to do on the top shelves of my bookcase. Eh, maybe tomorrow, a photograph or two needs taken.   J Hope to see you on the trail!

Jim's Corner-   Quiet Stance: Upper Extremity Patterns
Optimus Prosthetics Jim Scharf
Jim Scharf, PTA
The goal of "Jim's Corner" is to provide helpfu l information and be  a resource for those helping patients fitted with prosthetics learn t o use them correctly in order to enjoy a better quality of life as an amputee.

With the last several columns we have started with a quiet stance on a foam pad or dyna disc, to upper extremity patterns with a quiet stance on a foam pad or dyna disc so this month we will continue with another progression, upper extremity patterns with a ball or medicine ball.  

In review the patient stands on their prosthesis , and is to place the sound limb on a pad or dyna disc with a stable object for the required assistance and safety. Try to concentrate on keeping the hips even with each other, pelvis level and not lean way over the prosthetic limb. Maintaining a backward force within the socket will help to maintain stability.
While the patient stands on their prosthesis and the sound limb on the foam pad or dyna disc they hold a ball or medicine ball out front and move the ball or medicine ball in each exercise within patient tolerance as follows:



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
Cincinnati Courses:

Course #4
04/25  12:00 PM
Pristine Senior Living

Course #8
04/27 12:00 PM
Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital Rehab

Columbus Courses:

Course #2
04/05 12:00 PM
Whetstone Gardens and Care Center

Course #2
04/13 12:00 PM
Summit's Trace

Dayton Courses:

Course #1
04/05 12:30 PM
MVH 6 Northwest 1 & 2

Course #2
04/06 12:00 PM
Health South Rehab Dayton

Course #2
0 4/19 12:30 PM
Maria Joseph

Course # 3&4
04/19 6:00 PM
Optimus Prosthetics

Course #3
04/26 12:30 PM
Maria Joseph
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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