David Gutekunst, PhD

Saint Louis University (SLU)

My research focuses on musculoskeletal injuries, particularly the role of biomechanical loading in lower-extremity overuse injuries. The long-term goal of this research is to uncover injury mechanisms to guide prevention and rehabilitation efforts. In previous work, we have studied the effects of diabetes and peripheral neuropathy on ulcer healing, foot deformity, and bone strength. Key projects included a comparison of off-loading treatments for plantar ulcers; development of novel CT-based methods to (a) asses foot deformities in 3D and (b) measure bone mineral density and bone geometric strength indices; and an ex vivo validation using cadaver metatarsals.

Current work focuses on merging clinical biomechanics and biomedical imaging techniques to provide accurate, reliable, patient-specific metrics of in vivo loading and tissue strength. The primary rationale for this work is the hypothesis that the relationship between loading and strength provides the single best index of injury risk.