Karen L. Andrews, M.D., conducts research focused on the healing of chronic wounds, amputee rehabilitation and the prevention of circulatory complications in patients with diabetes.
- Rehabilitation of older adults with peripheral arterial disease and amputation. Dr. Andrews hopes to optimize the rehabilitation of people with peripheral arterial disease who require amputation. She also evaluates the use of impulse pumps to optimize healing for people with peripheral arterial disease who have no option for revascularization.
- Noncontact low-frequency ultrasound to enhance healing in chronic wounds. The use of noncontact low-frequency ultrasound to enhance healing in chronic wounds of various etiologies is a research focus of Dr. Andrews and her team.
- The use of transcutaneous oxygen pressure measurements to predict healing. Dr. Andrews studies the use of intermittent pneumatic compression to enhance wound healing.
- Rehabilitation following high-level amputation. Dr. Andrews aims to increase the successful prosthetic rehabilitation following high level amputations — hip disarticulation or hemipelvectomy.
- Prevention and management of foot complications in patients with diabetes. Dr. Andrews focuses on the management of the at-risk foot by evaluating the use of limb elevation and dependency when obtaining noninvasive arterial studies. She seeks to determine the predictive value of these measurements in the assessment of foot amputation healing.
- Transforming the robotic SoftHand into the prosthetic SoftHand Pro. Dr. Andrews' research team performed design changes to the SoftHand to allow the use of commercial electrodes, an onboard lightweight 12-volt lithium ion battery, a low profile motor, a custom quick disconnect wrist and sensory feedback to optimize the function of people with upper extremity limb loss.
Significance to patient care
The focus of Dr. Andrews' research is to avoid amputation for people at risk and to optimize function following amputation when required.
- Scientific reviewer, Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs — Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program, 2016
- Executive board member, International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), 2015-present
- Director, Vascular Ulcer/Wound Healing Clinic, Gonda Vascular Center, 2014-present
- Member, ISPO Publications Committee, 2013-present
- NIH grant reviewer, Development and Translation of Medical Technologies to Reduce Health Disparities — National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 2011
- Champion, Amputee Rehabilitation Services Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International, 2010-2015
- Director, Amputee Rehabilitation Service, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, 1995-present