Photo: Richard S. Smith, M.D.

Richard S. Smith, M.D.

Elbow, Hand, Wrist

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.

Team Approach Ensures Highest-Quality Orthopedic Care

Dr. Smith with PatientCombining the skills of orthopedic, reconstructive, and general surgery, Dr. Richard Smith is a specialist in treating injuries and problems of the hand, wrist, and elbow. The intricacies of addressing the repair and reconstruction of these extremities—such as in carpal tunnel surgery or to provide relief from arthritis or injury—call for a team approach. In the operating room as well as in the office, Dr. Smith works in tandem with Sydney Sherrell, F.N.P.-B.C., who brings her expertise and training as a nurse and nurse practitioner to patients.

As a nurse practitioner, Sydney is a medical professional licensed to diagnose and treat disease as well as to assist Dr. Smith with surgical procedures and prescribe medication for patients. Sydney works with Dr. Smith and his patients and often sees emergent cases and patients with issues related to the elbow. Sydney returns patient phone inquiries, prescription drug requests, and instructs patients preparing for surgery. Dr. Smith and Sydney work together collaboratively to ensure that their patients receive the highest-quality and most advanced orthopedic care available.

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

Education

  • 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

Internship

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

Residency

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

Fellowship

  • 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
“In late August 2017, my 2 year old son Easton had an accident where his right wrist was severely cut. He severed an artery, many tendons and nerves. Easton received emergency surgery at Childrens Hospital to stop the bleeding and try to save as much as possible. The team that took care of him there were great and we are thankful for them. The surgeon told us he may never be able to have normal feeling in that hand or even be able to use it again. This broke my wife's and my hearts as he has his whole life ahead of him. We were devastated. About 2 weeks later Dr Smith at University orthopedics reached out to my wife and I and offered their help. We went in and in a few days our son was once again in surgery. Dr. Smith went in and was able to reattach tendons and nerves via graphs using a microscope. Again we were told only time would tell how much Easton's hand would recover. Well it has now been 4 months and our son has already started using his hand again. More than we thought. The surgery seems to have been a success and as far as I'm concerned is nothing short of a miracle. Easton now can move all of his fingers again, grab things, and has feeling again (how much we are not sure but its a start). Also the team of nurses and staff there were great to us and wonderful with Easton. Thank you Dr. Smith and your staff for the work you all did with our son. Because of you guys he now has a second chance at many things in life we thought were taken away from him.”
– Joshua