Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Richard S. Smith, M.D. attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and graduated with highest honors. He attended the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis before completing a general surgery internship and an orthopedic surgery residency at University of Florida Health Science Center. Dr. Smith also completed a year hand fellowship at Baylor University in Houston. Dr. Smith is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and possesses the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons Certificate of Added Qualification in 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 orthopaedic, 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 Dupuytrens 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 an discomfort for his patients. Dr. Smith has been in practice over 25 years. He deals with both common and complex problems of the hand, wrist and elbow. Dr. Smith has been named one of Knoxville's "Top Docs" by City View magazine numerous times. His personal hobbies include music, reading, running and golf. He also publishes a blog called "Lending a Hand" which deals with common hand problems.
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Learn about Dr. Smith
I place a high priority on involving my patients in their care. Once I have made a diagnosis I will try to explain the problem to the patient in clear language they can understand. I often use charts which are in our office with pictures and diagrams as well as handouts to help make things clear. When I feel there is only one treatment option available, I will make that clear but if there are multiple options available I try my best to help the patient come to the conclusion that will best serve their needs. If the patient is uncertain or unclear about what's going on I have no problem with patients seeking second opinions or exploring other options. I want to make sure the patient understands the treatment I am recommending and the goals and limitations of that treatment.
Dr. Smith'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 Hand Surgery
Board certified in Hand Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery
No malpractice claims found
No sanctions found
No board actions found
Orthopedic Hand Surgery
Accredited by: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery*
Accredited by: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery*
Why It Matters: Dr. Smith'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 United States.
Board certification indicates that a doctor is highly qualified in the medical field in which he or she practices. A board-certified doctor is more likely than a non-board-certified doctor to have the most current skills and knowledge about how to treat your medical condition.
Arthritis of the Elbow
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Complications of Joint Prosthesis
De Quervain's Disease
Fracture of Hand (incl. Fingers)
Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Sprain
Lateral and Medial Epicondylitis (Tennis and Golf Elbow)
Nerve Root Injury and Plexus Disorders (incl. Pinched Nerve)
Non-Unions and Malunions of Fractures
Osteoarthritis of Hand or Wrist
Osteoarthritis of Hands
Rotator Cuff Tear
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Arthritic Hand Reconstruction
Carpal Tunnel Release
De Quervain's Release
Dressing and-or Debridement of Wound, Infection, or Burn (incl. Negative Pressure Wound Therapy)
Medical malpractice is issued when negligence by a doctor causes injury to a patient. For example, a doctor may improperly diagnose, treat or medicate outside the standard of medical care. The three types of malpractice are: a settlement, an arbitration award, or a judgment.
If my doctor has malpractice history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact the quality of care you receive. Claim settlements and arbitration awards may occur for a variety of reasons, which should not necessarily reflect negatively on the doctor's professional competence or conduct. You may want to use this information to start a discussion with the doctor about his or her history and specific ability to provide healthcare for you.
How far back does Healthgrades malpractice history go?
Healthgrades reports details of a doctor’s malpractice history when the doctor has at least one closed medical malpractice claim within the last five years, even if he or she no longer practices in that state.
For which states does Healthgrades collect malpractice history?
Healthgrades collects malpractice information from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact your quality of care. Sometimes multiple states report the same claim. If a provider practices in a state where data is unavailable, please reach out to your local state legislature to help make this data publicly available.
No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What is a sanction or disciplinary action?
A sanction, also known as a disciplinary action, is an action taken to punish or restrict a doctor who has demonstrated professional misconduct. Sanctions may be imposed by a state medical board, professional medical licensing organization, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If my doctor has sanction history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a sanction, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor-quality doctor. Some sanctions are not related to medical care, and involve a doctor’s finances or administrative activities. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, we recommend that you evaluate the doctor’s sanction information and determine how severe or relevant you think the sanction cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades sanction history go?
Healthgrades reports state and federal sanctions from the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect sanction history?
Healthgrades collects sanction history from all 50 U.S. states. Physicians with a disciplinary action in one state may move to another state where they have a clean record. Since Healthgrades painstakingly compiles disciplinary action information from all 50 states, Healthgrades website will show if a physician has a disciplinary action in more than one state.
0 Board Actions
No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What are board actions?
Board actions are non-disciplinary actions imposed upon a doctor based on a complaint investigation. A patient or medical colleague may file a complaint with that state medical board or professional licensing organization, which then investigates the complaint. Board actions are intended to ensure that a doctor is able to perform safe medical and health care tasks.
Types of non-disciplinary actions include an advisory letter, a corrective action agreement, a limitation or restriction on the medical or healthcare tasks a doctor can perform, or a voluntary agreement by the doctor not to practice. A board action can also include a termination of a corrective action agreement or voluntary agreement, which allows the doctor to return to full practice.
If my doctor has a board action, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a board action, it means he or she has had a non-disciplinary action imposed upon him or her. It does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor quality doctor. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, evaluate the doctor's board action information and determine how severe or relevant you think the cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades non-disciplinary board action history go?
Healthgrades reports non-disciplinary board action history from for the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect non-disciplinary board actions?
Healthgrades collects non-disciplinary board actions from all 50 U.S. states.
University Of Tennessee, Knoxville
Undergraduate School | Graduated 1980
Univ Of Tn Hlth Sci Ctr
Medical School | Graduated 1984
University Of Florida-Jacksonville
Internship Hospital | Completed 1985
University Of Florida-Jacksonville
Residency Hospital | Completed 1989
Baylor U/St Luke's Hosp
Fellowship Hospital | Completed 1990
Awards & Recognition
Awards & Honors
Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications
Dr. Smith has no media or publications listed.
Awards & Recognition
What is a recognized doctor?
Healthgrades Recognized Doctor designation identifies leading doctors who:
Are board certified.
Have not had their license surrendered or revoked since Healthgrades started collecting data in 2000.
Have no malpractice judgments, adverse arbitration awards, or monetary settlements for the last five years in the states in which Healthgrades can collect malpractice data.
Are free of state or federal disciplinary actions (sanctions) for the last five years.
Healthgrades updates the Recognized Doctor list quarterly based on board certification data. Healthgrades also receives sanction and malpractice data throughout the year, depending on how frequently the state medical boards release updates.
We remove a newly sanctioned doctor from the Recognized Doctor list as soon as we receive the information. However, it is important to note that malpractice information is publically available in only 14 states.
Memberships & Professional Affiliations
Dr. Smith does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Smith and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.
Likelihood of recommending Dr. Smith to family and friends
based on 14total reviews (6 with comments)
Dr. Smith Says:
I appreciate patients taking the time to provide feedback. Our office values all of the feedback, good and bad, so that we can focus on improving the patient's experience in our office. If you have questions or concerns you can call us at 865-546-2663 and someone will evaluate your question and get back in touch with you.