Dr. Joseph D. Smucker, MD

Dr. Joseph D. Smucker, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgery | Male | 43 years old

Learn about this doctor

Care Philosophy

The most important aspect of patient care is communication. In an age of e-mail, the internet, and electronic health records, the most beneficial form of communication with patients remains face-to-face verbal interaction. I enjoy spending time with patients and discussing their decision-making process in the course of our clinical interactions. In most circumstances, patient questions help to drive our discussions over time and can play an important role in complex decision making processes. If possible, it is my goal to return patients to function and to preserve function over time. Not all patients who see a surgeon will require a surgery, and many may be successfully managed without a surgical intervention. My partners and practice setting at Indiana Spine Group allow me to maximize the options that are available to patients with spinal conditions. When spine surgery is recommended, it is wonderful to have an environment that allows for a patient-focused care setting both in my office and in the hospitals where I practice. I believe that my patients deserve the ability to spend quality time with their care providers. Compassion and respect play a huge role in this interaction over time. Spine and nerve disorders involve complex healing processes. While not all patients will have a condition that I may successfully treat, the interaction regarding options and patient outcomes is still important. My team at Indiana Spine Group shares this philosophy and helps me create a positive environment for patients, our team, and our referring physicians.Read more

Personal Bio

I am a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic spine surgeon. For me, the practice of medicine is a combination of patient...Read more

Dr. Smucker's Experience

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Background Check

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Education

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Visiting Dr. Smucker

Dr. Smucker accepts 9 insurance carriers

Affiliated Hospitals

Hospital Quality

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Dr. Smucker's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Smucker to family and friends
3.7
based on 9 total surveys (2 with reviews)
Key Survey Insights
  • Trustworthiness
     (9)
  • Helpfulness
     (9)
  • Staff
     (9)
  • Scheduling
     (9)
Experience with Dr. Smucker
  • Level of trust in provider's decisions
     (9)
  • How well provider explains medical condition(s)
     (9)
  • How well provider listens and answers questions
     (9)
  • Spends appropriate amount of time with patients
     (9)
Dr. Smucker's Office & Staff
  • Ease of scheduling urgent appointments
     (9)
  • Office environment, cleanliness, comfort, etc.
     (9)
  • Staff friendliness and courteousness
     (9)
  • Total wait time (waiting & exam rooms)
    10 – 15 minutes (8)
Open Full Survey+
Dr. Smucker Says:

As physicians we all strive to provide excellent service.  I value feedback from my patients and am thankful for the time that patients take to help me understand how I may serve them better.

in Indianapolis, IN |
He would not take time to read current MRI or reports, would NOT read anything current. Requested that he more then once read; but he was adamant watching his time only. All info he gave about past surgeries, current condition all wrong and based on report years older. He messed so much up we had to go to get all operative notes from all surgeries to get his data corrected that he added to file. Worst doctor ever looking out for $ only not to help. Appts. quick because has so few patients.
in De Witt, IA |
Dad, Bud, was a patient of Dr. Smuckers at the U.IA. Hosp. & Clinics I had the privledge to witness some of the best bedside manner I have ever seen. (Sadly, it doesn't happen often esp. w/ the elderly, people in pain, or cognitive decline.) He was always genuinely concerned, friendly, professional while being down to earth, honest w/ his opinions as to what steps, what to expect, if procedures were possible. Always talked & treated dad & family w/ respect & kindness. Thanks for your compassion!
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Dr. Smucker says...

I am a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic spine surgeon.  For me, the practice of medicine is a combination of patient care, teaching, and research.  I began my practice at the University of Iowa in 2005 - a tertiary care, level-one trauma setting.  I moved my practice to Indiana Spine Group in 2014.  I have a strong interest in research and have published a number of manuscripts and presented my findings at national and international meetings.  My patients are the most rewarding part of my practice and I greatly enjoy my interactions with them.

I was privileged to train at many of the top spine surgery and orthopaedic surgery programs and have translated those experiences into my clinical practice and my research endeavors over the years.  The practice of spine surgery is not only an opportunity to help patients, but is also a life-long learning opportunity for physicians. My personal learning opportunities have allowed me to incorporate novel new technologies into my spine surgery practice.  My special interests include computer-assisted spinal navigation, cervical spine disorders, and cervical disc arthroplasty (replacement).  My team at Indiana Spine Group has helped me create a patient-friendly environment that emphasizes outstanding patient care and communication.

Teaching has been an important aspect of my career over the years.  Teaching comes in many forms and for me has included teaching of: patients, my staff, medical students, orthopaedic surgery residents, spine surgery fellows, and masters/PhD candidates.  It has been my experience that some of my best research projects have come from great questions asked of me by patients and my students.  I've been taught far more by others in these interactions than I am currently able teach.

Dr. Smucker's Care Philosophy

The most important aspect of patient care is communication.  In an age of e-mail, the internet, and electronic health records, the most beneficial form of communication with patients remains face-to-face verbal interaction.  I enjoy spending time with patients and discussing their decision-making process in the course of our clinical interactions.  In most circumstances, patient questions help to drive our discussions over time and can play an important role in complex decision making processes.

If possible, it is my goal to return patients to function and to preserve function over time.  Not all patients who see a surgeon will require a surgery, and many may be successfully managed without a surgical intervention.  My partners and practice setting at Indiana Spine Group allow me to maximize the options that are available to patients with spinal conditions.  When spine surgery is recommended, it is wonderful to have an environment that allows for a patient-focused care setting both in my office and in the hospitals where I practice.

I believe that my patients deserve the ability to spend quality time with their care providers.  Compassion and respect play a huge role in this interaction over time.  Spine and nerve disorders involve complex healing processes.  While not all patients will have a condition that I may successfully treat, the interaction regarding options and patient outcomes is still important.  My team at Indiana Spine Group shares this philosophy and helps me create a positive environment for patients, our team, and our referring physicians.

Dr. Smucker says...

I have trained at wonderful orthopaedic and spine programs during the course of my education.  A major focus of my training was disorders of the cervical spine (neck), including injuries to the bones, discs, joints/ligaments, nerves, and spinal cord.  I continue to enjoy the treatment of cervical spine conditions.

I began my full-time practice in 2005.  Following my training, I also became a board-certified surgeon with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.  My surgical practice is entirely focused on treatment of spinal disorders.  My treatment of spinal conditions is a reflection of my past education, my efforts to maintain a cutting edge clinical practice, and my focus on changing my field through research and education.

Dr. Smucker says...

Typical procedures in my practice include spinal decompression (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar laminectomy), spinal fusion and instrumentation, disc replacement and fusion, cervical spine reconstruction, cervical laminoplasty, discectomy, and computer-assisted spinal navigation.  Revision spine surgery is also a focus of my practice.  Over the years, I've also had an opportunity to care for patients with spinal trauma via decompression and stabilization procedures.  Second opinions for surgical recommendations are extremely common requests from patients and referring providers.

Dr. Smucker says...

As physicians we all strive to provide excellent service.  I value feedback from my patients and am thankful for the time that patients take to help me understand how I may serve them better.

Dr. Smucker's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:

  •  Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
  •  Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  •  Board certified in Orthopedic Surgery
  •  No malpractice claims found
  •  No sanctions found
  •  No board actions found

Awards & Recognition

  • Awards & Honors
    • Healthgrades Honor Roll
    What is a recognized doctor
  • Media & Publications

    Dr. Smucker has no media or publications listed.

Background Check

  • 0
    Malpractice Claims

    No malpractice history found for Indiana.

    What is medical malpractice
  • 0
    Sanctions

    No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

    What is a sanction or disciplinary action
  • 0
    Board Actions

    No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

    What are board actions

Background Check

Why It Matters: Dr. Smucker's Board Certifications

Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the... More

  • Orthopedic Surgery

Conditions Treated

  • Ankylosing Vertebral Hyperostosis
  • Back Pain
  • Baker’s Cyst
  • Bone Cancer
  • Bone Disorders
  • Broken Neck
  • Cancer
  • Cervical Spine Myelopathy
  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Claudication
  • Coccyx or Sacrum Fracture
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Difficulty With Walking
  • Gait Abnormality
  • Herniated Disc
  • Hip Pointer Injuries
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Joint Pain
  • Limb Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Spine Fracture
  • Myelopathy
  • Nerve Root Injury and Plexus Disorders (incl. Pinched Nerve)
  • Osteoarthritis of Spine
  • Osteopenia
  • Pathological Spine Fracture
  • Peripheral Autonomic Neuropathy
  • Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
  • Pseudoarthrosis
  • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Sacrum Disorders
  • Sciatica (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Compression Fracture
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Instability
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformities
  • Spine Disorders
  • Spine Fractures, Traumatic
  • Spondylitis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Thoracic Spine Fracture
  • Torticollis

Education

  • Medical School
    Indiana University School Of Medicine

    Graduated in 1999

  • Internship Hospital
    Case Western Reserve University School Of Medicine

    Completed in 2000

  • Residency Hospital
    Case Western Reserve University School Of Medicine

    Completed in 2004

  • Fellowship Hospital
    Emory University

    Completed in 2005

  • Undergraduate School
    Goshen College

    Graduated in 1995

Languages Spoken

  • English

Memberships &
Professional Affiliations

Dr. Smucker does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Smucker and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your free profile.

Specialties

  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Procedures Performed

  • Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
  • Cervical Disc Replacement
  • Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Computer-Assisted Surgery (CAS)
  • Dural Repair or Other Spinal Cord Repair
  • Fracture Care
  • Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
  • Laminoplasty
  • Laminotomy
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive and Navigational Procedure
  • Spinal Compression Fracture Repair
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Reconstructive Surgery for Deformities
  • Synovial Biopsy

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