Friday, September 30, 2011

Congratulations Libby!

We are excited to announce that our New Year, New You, New Foot (or hand) second chance competition has completed. Our participants lost an astounding total of 182 pounds since February. We are proud of their accomplishments as they have sweated and worked towards a healthier lifestyle.

Libby won our second chance competition, losing an impressive 32.5 pounds since starting her journey. She has faced health and prosthetic issues, but never let those obstacles deter her from her goal. She assembled a strong support team, including a personal trainer and nutritionist, to help keep her on track. She credits her husband for offering her both support and for keeping her motivated toward her goal.

Like many amputees, Libby's weight increased after she lost her limb. An above knee amputee, she had a difficult time adjusting and was confined to a wheelchair for much of her day. "After my amputation I gained 79 pounds from not getting any exercise. I had thought about going to a gym but never did because of people staring at my prosthetic leg. One day on the way to OPC I saw a truck with a personal training advertisement. I contacted them and decided to do it. It’s not a normal gym…it’s one on one personal training. I took seeing that advertisement as a signal to change my life."

Libby is continuing to work towards her goal of weighing below 200 lbs, and she has no plans of reverting to a sedentary lifestyle. "I have that commitment of having to be at Ultimate Results every Mon./Wed/ Friday to work out and having a scheduled consultation twice a month with the nutritionist to review my progress. I have to show my nutritionist my food journal during those meetings. Sammy (my trainer) reviews my log weekly and has been a total support for when I am down and want to stop."

Sammy joins us in congratulating Libby. "I'm really proud of Libby and what she's been able to accomplish since we started. She came in hobbling on day one and barely being able to get up off the chair without someone almost lifting her up and now she can get up on her own and walk a mile on any given day of the week. I remember telling her back then that we'd eventually be working on squats and that she'd eventually be able to get off a chair without any help and she just laughed. Now we're doing just that. I think it's sometimes hard to believe something's possible when it seems so far away but after years of doing what I do as trainer I know it is. It just takes patience, dedication, and consistency (did I mention she's never missed a workout). Keep taking those baby steps over and over and before you know it you've climbed the mountain."

We want to offer our congratulations to Libby on her accomplishment. In addition to a gift card for, we are pleased to provide her with a consultation with a health counselor at We hope that this extra support will help Libby on her journey to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Research Participants Needed

We appreciate the role academia plays in the development of new technologies and advances in prosthetics. Our geographic location puts us in the vicinity of some of the country's leading biomechanic facilities. We are occasionally asked to pass along research opportunities for to our patients, and we are honored to comply.

The Neuromechanics Laboratory at the University of Maryland, located in College Park, Maryland, is actively seeking lower extremity research subjects. The study is focusing on the energy expenditures put forth by an amputee utilizing a running-specific prosthetic. If you currently use a running style prosthetic foot/leg, you may qualify for this opportunity.

Qualifying participants will be asked to run on a track at three different speeds- 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 mph for approximately 5-7 minutes at each speed. A system of cameras and reflective markers will be employed to measure the metabolic expenditures at each speed. Participants will be compensated $100 for the study, which is expected to last a total of 2 to 3 hours.

If you currently utilize a running specific prosthetic, and are willing to participate to in this important research study, please contact the researchers directly by calling (301) 405-8154 or by emailing

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Dynamic Career

If you are reading this blog, you probably have a connection to the field of prosthetics and orthotics. While many are familiar with the services provided by practitioners at OPC, we suspect that most people have never considered the benefits of working in this field. With students returning to school and many families beginning to engage in discussions about possible career choices with their student, we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce Orthotics and Prosthetics as a career.

Currently Orthotics and Prosthetics is the only certification program that can tout 100% job placement upon completion. Employment opportunities are currently available in all 50 states and abroad for qualified individuals. The aging population combined with lifesaving advances has experts projecting the need for Orthotist and Prosthetists to increase 25% within the next 10 years. Job security is not an issue in this high demand and growing profession!

Orthotics and Prosthetics is a profession that requires compassion, creativity and technological savvy. Every patient presents with a unique set of needs and issues. The practitioner has the opportunity to devise and manufacturer a solution thus creating a positive change in that individual's life. It is often said that O&P is the only field where patients can enter the office in a wheelchair and leave walking.

O&P professionals work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. Prosthetists with 15 years experience earn on average $96,000 a year. For those who are interested in manufacturing devices and are not inclined to provide direct patient care, the average salary for a technician is $48,000.

Although practitioners and fitters are desperately needed in all 50 states, university and certification programs are limited. Currently there are only eleven O&P accredited Practitioner programs in the United States. Information about the individual schools offering programs can be found here.

At OPC, we are passionate about both patient care and our profession. We are eager to see our field expand to meet the growing needs of our patient population. Whether you are simply exploring your options or if you are interested in a career in O&P, we would love the opportunity to discuss this expanding and dynamic profession.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Super H 5-K Run Walk & Wheel

Are you looking for a family friendly event that supports local individuals with disabilities, including amputation? Do you want to help raise awareness and funds while having fun? Look no further! The Super H 5-K Run Walk & Wheel is just around the corner.

This annual event is the premiere fundraiser for National Rehabilitation Hospital's (NRH) Adaptive Sports Program. This program provides the opportunity for individuals with varying degrees of disabilities to reintegrate into the sports that they loved, as well as providing them with the option and the specialized tools to try new activities. Hand cycling, basketball, rugby, sled hockey and tennis are just a few of the activities provided through the Adaptive Sports Program.

It is believed that participating in sports facilitates the rehabilitation process. Whether for fun, as a tool to build self-esteem, or for competition, participating in a sport activity benefits the patient both emotionally and physically. The program at NRH provides sporting equipment and opportunities for patients of all ages with the youngest participant being six years old.

The Super H 5-K Run Walk & Wheel is a chance to contribute to this worthy community program while having fun with your family or friends. All proceeds stay in our local area. This year's event is scheduled for Sunday, September 25th at 8:00 A.M. On-site registration begins at 7:00 at Tysons Sport & Health, 8250 Greensboro Drive, McClean, VA. Information about the race including the course map and pre-registration link can be found here.

OPC is proud to support this venture! We are forming a team, and would like to invite our patients to participate. We will cover the entry registration fees for all Team OPC participants. Join us in representing OPC while raising awareness and funds for the Adaptive Sports Program. Please contact Peggy at or call (571) 248 8812 for information on joining Team OPC.

After the race, plan on staying for refreshments, music, awards and family activities. Registration can be completed online or on race day. We hope to see you there!