Photo: Richard S. Smith, M.D.

Richard S. Smith, M.D.

Elbow, Hand, Wrist

Patient Reviews

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Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Richard S. Smith, M.D., attended The University of Tennessee Knoxville and graduated with highest honors. He attended The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine in Memphis before completing a general surgery internship and an orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Florida Health Science Center. Dr. Smith also completed a yearlong hand fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Smith is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and possesses the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopaedic Surgery of the Hand.

He serves as an associate professor in the Department of Surgery at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. His interests are injuries and problems of the hand, wrist, and elbow. He enjoys the intricacy of working with the hand and the combined skills it requires of orthopedic, plastic, and general surgery. Dr. Smith also specializes in the treatment of arthritis, carpal tunnel surgery, and injuries of the upper extremity. He embraces the most complex problems requiring repair and reconstruction and was the first surgeon in Tennessee to use XIAFLEX® to treat Dupuytren's contracture. He is also utilizing a new and minimally invasive treatment for tennis elbow called the FAST (Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue) procedure, which shows great promise for relieving pain and discomfort for his patients.

Dr. Smith's personal hobbies include golf, history, and music. He has written and produced three Christian music CDs with the proceeds going to charities. Click here to listen to Dr. Smith's music.

Dr. Smith Is Proud to Offer Tenex Health for the Treatment of Elbow Tendon Issues

The Tenex Health® procedure can provide rapid pain relief for elbow tendon issues. Unlike medical or physical therapies, Tenex Health TX removes the source of the pain, the damaged tissue, and helps stimulate a healing response.

Tenex Precisely Targets Your Damaged Tissue

Dr. Smith uses ultrasound imaging, just like the kind used to see babies in the womb, to visualize and identify the specific location of the damaged tendon tissue.

Gently Removes Damaged Tissue

Once the source of your tendon pain is identified, Dr. Smith numbs the area with a local anesthetic, allowing you to stay awake the entire time. Many people say that after the numbing process—which feels like a bee sting—they felt only a slight pressure during the procedure (if they felt anything at all). Dr. Smith then uses gentle ultrasonic energy designed to safely break down and remove the damaged tissue. The ultrasonic energy is applied with the TX MicroTip®, which requires only a microincision to reach the damaged tissue. Because the incision is so small and the ultrasonic energy precisely treats only the damaged tendon tissue, the surrounding healthy tissue is left unharmed.

Requires No Stitches

When the procedure is completed, Dr. Smith applies a small adhesive bandage (like a Band-Aid); no stitches are required. Because you are awake during the procedure (no general anesthesia), many people are able to drive home immediately following their procedure.

Can Offer Nearly Instant Pain Relief With a Rapid Recovery

Recovery is rapid with many people being back to normal life within six weeks or less. Because the surrounding healthy tissue is not disturbed and no stitches or general anesthesia is required, there is minimal downtime and less discomfort compared to open surgery. The speed of your recovery depends on the location of your tendinitis, and your individual results may vary.

Dr. Smith's Educational Links

Top Docs 2015


  • Bachelor of Arts: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 1980
  • Doctor of Medicine: The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine, Memphis, TN, 1984


  • General Surgery: University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, FL, 1985


  • Orthopedic Surgery: University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, FL, 1989


  • Hand: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 1990

Began Practice at University Orthopedic Surgeons

  • 1990

Board Certification

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1993
  • Subspecialty Certificate in Orthopaedic Surgery of the Hand: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1995
  • Recertified in Orthopedic Surgery and Hand Surgery 2004, 2013

Professional Distinctions

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Hospital Affiliations

  • The University of Tennessee Medical Center

Orthopedic Specialty

  • Hand Surgery
“Dr. Smith asked relevant questions and really listened to me. His solution gave me complete relief.”
– Theresa T.
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