Dr. Jeffrey Heckman is a board certified physiatrist and a University of Washington assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and also the Director of the Regional Amputation Center at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. He specializes in the evaluation and management of the medical and functional aspects of rehabilitation following amputation, including prosthesis prescription, phantom limb pain and musculoskeletal injuries, as well as for arthritis-related joint pain and other age-related musculoskeletal conditions. His research interests are mobile technology, phantom limb pain, and peer support, and his teaching interests include amputation/limb loss and prosthetics/orthotics. He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University and his osteopathic medical degree from the University of New England. He completed his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the NYU Langone Medical Center, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.
In Part 1, Dr. Heckman discusses: health problems that necessitate amputation; kinds of assessment tools to predict functional outcomes in amputees; major physical and psychological challenges faced by patients following amputation; efforts to assess mental health status pre-surgery; use of prosthetic devices; instances where patients decide to cease using prosthetic devices; and use of targeted muscle re-innervation to restore physiologic continuity as a means of possibly enabling more intuitive prosthetic control.