Professor of Physical Therapy and Orthopaedic Surgery

Washington University, St Louis, MO, USA

Dr. Mary K. Hastings is Professor of Physical Therapy and Orthopaedic Surgery in the Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Dr. Hastings received her Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo.

Dr. Hastings’ area of expertise is musculoskeletal injuries of the foot and ankle with expertise in biomechanical contributors to diabetes related lower extremity complications.  She has a 20+ year history of funded research in which she and her colleagues explored the foot deformities, joint mobility, loss of muscle function, and vascular contributions associated with plantar wound development and lower extremity amputation in those with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.

Dr. Hastings’ most recent research include: 1) monitoring foot deformity, muscle volume, and foot function over a three year period in individuals with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.  A foot specific physical therapy intervention is being provided at onset in half of the participants to examine the impact of exercise in neuropathic feet and to see if the trajectory of deformity and muscle loss can be changed with physical therapy.  2) Partnering with vascular surgery and a magnetic resonance physicist to examine the ability of a non-contrast MRI sequence to measure the blood perfusion and oxygen extraction in the foot muscles (often the plantar wound bed). 3) Together with a small business, Orthotic & Prosthetic Design, we are designing and perfecting a carbon fiber off-loading device.  The device is low profile, lighter weight, and cosmetically pleasing.

Mary has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois and certified as an Athletic Trainer, a Master of Science and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Washington University, and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from Washington University.  She has over 60 peer reviewed publications and has spoken on the topic of diabetes at numerous local, national, and international meetings.