NYU Langone Convenes World’s Experts on Bionic Reconstruction
Posted by Dr. Jacques-Henri Hacquebord
Monday, Jul 15
From early on in his career, Jacques Hacquebord, MD, performed major reconstructive work on patients at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, including many with hand and arm amputations. Caring for these patients introduced him to the fascinating world of prosthetic devices. Working with occupational therapists, mental health experts, and those who make and fit artificial limbs, known as prosthetists, he saw a field brimming with potential.

In a first-of-its-kind event, the Center for Amputation Reconstruction hosts a global conference showcasing extraordinary advances in the treatment of limb amputations.

From early on in his career, Jacques Hacquebord, MD, performed major reconstructive work on patients at NYC Health +
Hospitals/Bellevue, including many with hand and arm amputations. Caring for these patients introduced him to the fascinating
world of prosthetic devices. Working with occupational therapists, mental health experts, and those who make and fit artificial
limbs, known as prosthetists, he saw a field brimming with potential.
Now, advances in prosthetic technology, combined with microsurgery breakthroughs, have led to the emerging subspecialty known
as bionic reconstruction.

The field was on full display from November 30 to December 1, when 200 medical, surgical, and technical experts from the US and
around the world gathered for the inaugural Bionic Reconstruction Conference: The Future of Integrated Upper Limb Surgical and
Prosthetic Innovation. The continuing medical education event was hosted by Dr. Hacquebord, chief of hand surgery, and Omri
Ayalon, MD, clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery; the two serve as co-directors of NYU Langone Health’s Center for
Amputation Reconstruction.

Amputation was long seen as a last resort, and patients simply learned to live with limitations,” says Dr. Hacquebord. “But as bionic
reconstruction advances, we look at prosthetics as an important part of rehabilitation. People are doing amazing things that they
could not do in the past with older technology.”

Patients with amputations can pursue numerous surgical and rehabilitative options to regain functionality and attain the best
possible outcome. These include targeted muscle reinnervation, a surgical procedure used to improve the control of upper limb
prostheses; osseointegration, the insertion of a metal implant into the bone of a residual limb, which then attaches directly to a
prosthesis; and myoelectric prosthesis, the use of motors or batteries to power bionic hands via input from electrical signals
generated by muscles in the residual limb.

Drs. Hacquebord and Ayalon worked with experts around the world—including occupational therapist Diane Atkins, a consultant to
the Center for Amputation Reconstruction—to organize the conference, designed to share techniques and insights in the
burgeoning field.

“There are pockets of knowledge about amputation reconstruction around the globe, but there’s been no formal society or
association to bring it all together, until now,” explains Dr. Ayalon. He notes that it was the first time that exhibits featuring the
latest breakthroughs in technology were assembled for viewing in one location.

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