Friday, December 30, 2011

Fit for 2012

Of those that make New Year's Resolutions, experts predict that as many as 70% put losing weight at the top of their list. In addition to the traditioal benefits, amputees have extra motivation to remain fit. Prosthetic choices and socket fit are optimized when the wearer is both physically active and at a healthy weight.

Exercising with limb loss can feel both intimidating and overwhelming. For the gym novice, it is easy to become "lost" in a sea of machines. Those who were comfortable in a gym before limb loss often experience frustration and anxiety when attempting to exercise with their prosthetic.

With 2012 starting in a few days, we wanted to take this opportunity to relay a new resource designed to promote amputee fitness. OssurActive is an online workout program that has been specifically designed for the lower extremity amputee. Whether you are a novice to the gym or a casual athlete, this program can be tailored to your abilities.

The program features a series of videos demonstrating exercises for the above knee and below knee amputee. Although the videos were filmed in a gym environment, the exercises can be completed at home. Registration is required for the site, there is no fee and it can be accessed 24 hours a day from the comfort of your home!

In addition to the workout videos, OssurActive features an interactive forum where amputees can share both frustrations and triumphs. A wealth of information has been compiled to help with every level of fitness. From nutrition to strength training, this site has the answers that you need to achieve your fitness goals in 2012.

We wish you health and happiness in the upcoming year. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals in 2012. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Resolutions

As 2011 comes to a close, our minds are already churning with ways to make 2012 even better. Last year we resolved to connect with our patients through various social media outlets. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. We invite you to join us so that you can stay up to date on the latest developments! Simply click on the icons on the sidebar of this blog to join the conversation.

We wanted to take a moment to share two of our resolutions. We are working towards a paperless office in 2012. While we are realistic and know that we aren't going to eliminate paper altogether, we pledge to reduce our usage. Ben is spearheading this effort. When he isn't working on prosthetics he has been busy researching integrated office technologies and methods to computerize our office.

Over the next few months we will be changing some of our office procedures. Our new on-line appointment option is one of our first steps in this process! Have you tried it yet? Simply go to our website ( and click the blue "schedule an appointment online" button. Enter some basic information and then pick your appointment time. You can receive confirmation via text message, phone call or email.

In 2012 we would like to continue our patient outreach programs. We recognize that our patients are more than the prosthetics that they utilize. Last year we began our monthly "AmpuTea Party" to foster peer sharing. We are exploring other programs to assist our patients, including possibly developing exercise and/ or walking groups. If you have any program ideas, please let us know!

2012 promises to be an exciting year at OPC. We look forward to watching our patients achieve their goals and dreams. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey, and we look forward to working with you in the upcoming year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cover Shot!

As you walk into our fabrication room, you might notice the pile of component catalogs stacked on the corner desk. Unlike some facilities, our practitioners create custom devices utilizing components from a variety of manufacturers. Because we are an independent facility that is not managed by a corporation, we are only beholden to our patients. We will utilize the components that are most appropriate for our patient regardless of the manufacturer.

Among those catalogs, one is particularly special to the OPC family this year. A photograph of our patient--and Social Media Director--and her son has been selected to grace the cover for the 2012 Ossur prosthetic catalog. We are delighted that our socket design is prominently featured in the photograph!

Peggy became a patient after her amputation in 2003. Elliot, recognizing that she was limiting herself because of her own preconceived notions, pushed her to explore prosthetic technology. He introduced her to a bionic ankle, an event that changed her life.

Prosthetic components only change lives when they are fit on the appropriate patient. The practitioners at OPC make an effort to stay current with the latest technology. Continuing education is not just a professional requirement to maintain board certification, it is an expectation for those working at OPC. Because Elliot learned about the bionic Proprio ankle, he was able to fit Peggy before it was considered a mainstream device.

OPC is proud to provide individualized and state of the art devices for our patients. Our priority is pleasing the patient, not corporate managers. Congratulations Peggy on your cover shot!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Love to Ski?

The thermometer is starting to plunge, hinting at the start of another winter season. While some detest the cold temperatures and spend three long months yearning for warmer weather, there are others who relish the frigid air. If you are a snow lover and an experienced skier, we have an opportunity that may pique your interest!

OPC along with Teton Adaptive sports is proud to announce that registration is currently open for this year's Adaptive Steep & Deep Ski Camp in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This adult ski camp has become an anticipated event for experienced amputee skiers from around the country. If you feel comfortable on skis and want to hone your mountain skills, you don't want to miss this opportunity. (It should be noted that this program is not appropriate for the novice skier.)

We are excited to announce the addition of World Champion and Paralympic medalist Chris Devlin-Young to the highly experienced field of instructors. In addition to his skiing accolades, Chris accomplished the 1st unassisted sit ski descent of the infamous Corbet's Couloir. His experience and insight concerning mountain descents is an asset to the program.

If you are an advanced skier who is looking to gain big mountain experience, this program might be for you. Unlike other adapted sports programs, the Steep and Deep Camp is fully inclusive. Skiers are grouped by their skiing abilities, not by the level of disability that may be present. This year's camp will be held from February 29 - March 3, 2012.

The camp has been heralded as the experience of a lifetime for the experienced adaptive skier. If you're itching for snow so that you can hit the slopes, and you feel comfortable with your ski abilities, you don't want to pass up this opportunity. Spaces are limited so don't delay and register today.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Playing Hard!

Elliot is a former Olympic athlete. Ben is an acclaimed steeple chase runner. How do they blow off steam when they get together? They go racing!

Yesterday, the staff at OPC got together for a friendly go-cart race. The competition was high as they suited up and sat behind the wheel. It was revealed that there was a ringer in the group. Jeff, a prosthetic technician, is also an amateur race car driver who travels the mid-Atlantic circuit racing his souped=up Volvo. The fact that he came to the track with his own helmet was an indication that this was not his first time behind the competitive wheel!

Wheels started screeching when the flag dropped. Jeff, Elliot, and Philip (OPC IT consultant) immediately took control of the race. They zoomed around the winding track, touching wheels and exchanging positions throughout the race. Wanza held her own as she bumped and volleyed her way to the leaders. This blogger stayed tucked behind Liz's wheel. I can attest that she was sliding all over the track and took more than a few bumps into the barriers!

The race resulted in a photo finish. Philip was the winner, with Jeff and Elliot coming in as second and third. Ben finished a close fourth, staying on the lead lap. Wanza, Liz, myself, and JonI finished out the field.

Everyday the staff at OPC demonstrates that they work hard. Yesterday they proved that they play with just as much gusto.