Matthew Smuck, MD

Spine physiatrist

Dr. Matthew Smuck is the Chief of PM&R and Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at Stanford University, and is the Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services for Stanford Hospitals and Clinics. He specializes in the comprehensive conservative management of spine disorders at the Stanford University Spine Center. He received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. Afterward he completed his residency training in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Stanford University, followed by a one year Spine Fellowship at Stanford.

Dr. Smuck is a Deputy Editor of The Spine Journal, Co-Editor of the Orthopedics Knowledge Update in Spine, 4th edition and is on the Assistant Editorial Board of the European Spine Journal. He serves multiple leadership roles in prominent national and international physician societies. This includes sitting on the Board of Directors for the International Spine Intervention Society, and serving as Chairman of the North American Spine Society’s Advanced Lumbar Spine Injection Course. Dr. Smuck’s research interests lie in objective measures of activity and outcomes assessment in musculoskeletal diseases, and in maximizing the effectiveness and safety of percutaneous spine interventions. He has published numerous book chapters and scientific articles over the course of his career. His work was recognized with The Spine Journal’s 2013 Outstanding Paper Award for Medical and Interventional Science, and with best research awards at the annual meetings of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine in 2012; the International Spine Intervention Society in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the American Academy of PM&R in 2011 and 2013; and the North American Spine Society in 2009 and 2013. He has been invited to lecture on spine and rehabilitation topics at Universities and medical conferences across the US and on 4 continents.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Division

  • 450 Broadway Street
  • Redwood City, CA 94063
  • Phone: 650-498-7555
Learn More About the Clinic Getting Here Make An Appointment

Orthopaedic Spine Center

  • 450 Broadway Street
  • Redwood City, CA 94063
  • Phone: 650-725-5905
Learn More About the Clinic Getting Here Make An Appointment

Professional Education

Residency: Stanford University School of Medicine (2001) CA

Board Certification: Physical Medicine and Rehab, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehab (2002)

Board Certification: Pain Medicine, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehab (2003)

Fellowship: Stanford University Hospital - Interventional Spine (2002) CA

Internship: Oakwood Healthcare System (1998) MI

Medical Education: Indiana University School of Medicine (1997) IN

Fellow, Stanford University, Interventional Spine Medicine (2002)

Resident, Stanford University, PM&R (2001)

M.D., Indiana University, School of Medicine (1997)

B.S., Milligan College, Biology, Humanities, French (1993)

Honors & Awards

Outstanding Paper Award: Medical and Interventional Science, The Spine Journal (2013)

Instructor, International Spine Intervention Society (2013)

Best Papers, North American Spine Society (NASS) Annual Meeting (2013, 2009)

Best Pain and Spine Abstracts, American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2013)

Medtronic Best Poster Award, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (2012)

Best Clinical Research Award, International Spine Intervention Society (2012, 2013)

Faculty Mentor, Best Resident Research Presentation, Stanford University PM&R Residency (2012)

Best Musculoskeletal Research Award, American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2011)

Best Basic Science Research Award, International Spine Intervention Society (2011)

Jose C. Montero MD Teaching Award, Stanford University, PM&R residency program (2010)

Visiting Professor, El Maadi Military Hospital Complex, Cairo, Egypt (9/2010)

Young Investigator Award, US Bone and Joint Decade (2006)

Instructor, National and International spine injection training workshops (annually since 2005)

Faculty Mentor, 1st Place Theodore M. Cole Resident Research Award, University of Michigan (2009, 2007, 2004)

Most Outstanding Biomedical Research Paper, Indiana University School of Medicine (1997)

Administrative Appointments

Chief, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Stanford University, 2011

Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services, Stanford University Hospital & Clinics, 2011

Director, Stanford PM&R Interventional Spine Fellowship, 2009

Interim Director, The University of Michigan Spine Program, 2008

Director, University of Michigan PM&R Interventional Spine Fellowship, 2007

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Hospital & Clinics patient, you have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.

Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.

Assessment and management of back pain.
Kao, M.-C., Zheng, P., & Smuck, M. (2014). Assessment and management of back pain. JAMA internal medicine, 174(3), 479-?.

Does physical activity influence the relationship between low back pain and obesity?
Smuck, M., Kao, M.-C. J., Brar, N., Martinez-Ith, A., Choi, J., & Tomkins-Lane, C. C. (2014). Does physical activity influence the relationship between low back pain and obesity?. SPINE JOURNAL, 14(2), 209-216.

Vasovagal Rates in Flouroscopically Guided Interventional Procedures: A Study of Over 8,000 Injections
Kennedy, D. J., Schneider, B., Casey, E., Rittenberg, J., Conrad, B., & Plastaras, C. T. (2013). Vasovagal Rates in Flouroscopically Guided Interventional Procedures: A Study of Over 8,000 Injections. PAIN MEDICINE, 14(12), 1854-1859.

Duration of Fluoroscopic-Guided Spine Interventions and Radiation Exposure Is Increased in Overweight Patients
Smuck, M., Zheng, P., Chong, T., Kao, M.-C., & Geisser, M. E. (2013). Duration of Fluoroscopic-Guided Spine Interventions and Radiation Exposure Is Increased in Overweight Patients. PM&R, 5(4), 291-296.

Cervical Foraminal Versus Interlaminar Epidurals: Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives.
Smuck, M., Demirjian, R., & Kennedy, D. J. (2013). Cervical Foraminal Versus Interlaminar Epidurals: Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives. . Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep. 2013 June;1(2), 1(2).

Correlation of Paraspinal Atrophy and Denervation in Back Pain and Spinal Stenosis Relative to Asymptomatic Controls
Yarjanian, J. A., Fetzer, A., Yamakawa, K. S., Tong, H. C., Smuck, M., & Haig, A. (2013). Correlation of Paraspinal Atrophy and Denervation in Back Pain and Spinal Stenosis Relative to Asymptomatic Controls. PM&R, 5(1), 39-44.

Commentary: More or less satisfied?
Smuck, M. (2012). Commentary: More or less satisfied?. SPINE JOURNAL, 12(12), 1140-1141.

Functional assessment of the acute local and distal transplantation of human neural stem cells after spinal cord injury
Cheng, I., Mayle, R. E., Cox, C. A., Park, D. Y., Smith, R. L., & Carragee, E. J. (2012). Functional assessment of the acute local and distal transplantation of human neural stem cells after spinal cord injury. SPINE JOURNAL, 12(11), 1040-1044.

Success of Initial and Repeated Medial Branch Neurotomy for Zygapophysial Joint Pain: A Systematic Review
Smuck, M., Crisostomo, R. A., Trivedi, K., & Agrawal, D. (2012). Success of Initial and Repeated Medial Branch Neurotomy for Zygapophysial Joint Pain: A Systematic Review. PM&R, 4(9), 686-692.

Preseason Training for Golfers with Low Back Pain
Roh EY, G. Mc. S. M. (2012). Preseason Training for Golfers with Low Back Pain. SpineLine, 13(1).

Sacral Stress Fractures in Athletes
Watanabe LM, Smuck M, & Fredericson M. (2012). Sacral Stress Fractures in Athletes. SpineLine May/June, 13(3).

Orthopaedic Knowledge Update: Spine 4
Rao RD, S. M. (2012). Orthopaedic Knowledge Update: Spine 4. American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons.

Evaluation of the Athlete With Buttock Pain
Vasudevan, J. M., Smuck, M., & Fredericson, M. (2012). Evaluation of the Athlete With Buttock Pain. CURRENT SPORTS MEDICINE REPORTS, 11(1), 35-42.

Commentary: One small step
Smuck, M., & Carragee, E. J. (2011). Commentary: One small step. SPINE JOURNAL, 11(9), 824-825.

Inadvertent Injection of a Cervical Radicular Artery Using an Atraumatic Pencil-Point Needle
Smuck, M., & Leung, D. (2011). Inadvertent Injection of a Cervical Radicular Artery Using an Atraumatic Pencil-Point Needle. SPINE, 36(3), E220-E223.

Vascular causes of radiculopathy: a literature review
Benny, B. V., Nagpal, A. S., Singh, P., & Smuck, M. (2011). Vascular causes of radiculopathy: a literature review. SPINE JOURNAL, 11(1), 73-85.

Diagnostic Imaging of Painful Lumbar Facet Joints
Smuck M, & Agrawal D. (2011). Diagnostic Imaging of Painful Lumbar Facet Joints. Ispine: Evidence-Based Interventional Spine Care. Demos, 1st ed.

Utility of the anesthetic test dose to avoid catastrophic injury during cervical transforaminal epidural injections
Smuck, M., Maxwell, M. D., Kennedy, D., Rittenberg, J. D., Lansberg, M. G., & Plastaras, C. T. (2010). Utility of the anesthetic test dose to avoid catastrophic injury during cervical transforaminal epidural injections. SPINE JOURNAL, 10(10), 857-864.

Basic Appearance of Ultrasound Structures and Pitfalls
McDonald, S., Fredericson, M., Roh, E. Y., & Smuck, M. (2010). Basic Appearance of Ultrasound Structures and Pitfalls. PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA, 21(3), 461-?.

Considering value
Smuck, M. (2010). Considering value. SPINE JOURNAL, 10(6), 505-506.

Influence of needle type on the incidence of intravascular injection during transforaminal epidural injections: a comparison of short-bevel and long-bevel needles
Smuck, M., Yu, A. J., Tang, C.-T., & Zemper, E. (2010). Influence of needle type on the incidence of intravascular injection during transforaminal epidural injections: a comparison of short-bevel and long-bevel needles. SPINE JOURNAL, 10(5), 367-371.

Plasma disc decompression compared with fluoroscopy-guided transforaminal epidural steroid injections for symptomatic contained lumbar disc herniation: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial Clinical article
Gerszten, P. C., Smuck, M., Rathmell, J. P., Simopoulos, T. T., Bhagia, S. M., & Bloch, D. A. (2010). Plasma disc decompression compared with fluoroscopy-guided transforaminal epidural steroid injections for symptomatic contained lumbar disc herniation: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial Clinical article. JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGERY-SPINE, 12(4), 357-371.

Adhesive Capsulitis: A New Management Protocol to Improve Passive Range of Motion
Mitra, R., Harris, A., Umphrey, C., Smuck, M., & Fredericson, M. (2009). Adhesive Capsulitis: A New Management Protocol to Improve Passive Range of Motion. PM&R, 1(12), 1064-1068.

Incidence of simultaneous epidural and vascular injection during cervical transforaminal epidural injections.
Smuck, M., Tang, C.-T., & Fuller, B. J. (2009). Incidence of simultaneous epidural and vascular injection during cervical transforaminal epidural injections. Spine, 34(21), E751-5.

Evidence-Based Conviction
Levin, J. H., & Smuck, M. (2009). Evidence-Based Conviction. PM&R, 1(9), 891-892.

Blind Man's Bluff
Smuck, M. (2009). Blind Man's Bluff. SPINE JOURNAL, 9(6), 518-519.

Re: Manchikanti L, Singh V, Falco FJ, et al. Cervical medial branch blocks for chronic cervical facet joint pain: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial with one-year follow-up. Spine 2008;33:1813-20.
Smuck, M., & Levin, J. H. (2009). Re: Manchikanti L, Singh V, Falco FJ, et al. Cervical medial branch blocks for chronic cervical facet joint pain: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial with one-year follow-up. Spine 2008;33:1813-20. SPINE, 34(10), 1116-1116.

Considering Industry-Sponsored Research
Segal, N. A., Smuck, M., Sowa, G., & Basford, J. (2009). Considering Industry-Sponsored Research. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION, 88(4), 342-348.

The use of epidural corticosteroids for cervical radiculopathy: an interlaminar versus transforaminal approach.
Smuck, M., Rosenberg, J. M., & Akuthota, V. (2009). The use of epidural corticosteroids for cervical radiculopathy: an interlaminar versus transforaminal approach. PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation, 1(2), 178-184.

Cervical Injections: Is the Risk Worth the Benefit?
Fish D, Behr J, & Smuck M. (2009). Cervical Injections: Is the Risk Worth the Benefit?. SpineLine, 10(1).

Tissue injury and healing
Christensen-Holz S, & Smuck M. (2009). Tissue injury and healing. Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: A Sport-Specific Approach, 2nd ed..

Mountain Biking Injuries
Smuck M. (2009). Mountain Biking Injuries. Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: A Sport-Specific Approach, 2nd ed..

Interpretation of Contrast Dispersal Patterns by Experienced and Inexperienced Interventionalists
Smuck, M., Abbott, Z., & Zemper, E. (2009). Interpretation of Contrast Dispersal Patterns by Experienced and Inexperienced Interventionalists. PM&R, 1(1), 55-59.

Intravascular Injection of Contrast During Lumbar Discography: A Previously Unreported Complication
Smuck, M., Yoon, T., & Colwell, M. (2008). Intravascular Injection of Contrast During Lumbar Discography: A Previously Unreported Complication. PAIN MEDICINE, 9(8), 1030-1034.

Nociception before and after exercise in rats bred for high and low aerobic capacity
Geisser, M. E., Wang, W., Smuck, M., Koch, L. G., Britton, S. L., & Lydic, R. (2008). Nociception before and after exercise in rats bred for high and low aerobic capacity. NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS, 443(1), 37-40.

Accuracy of intermittent fluoroscopy to detect intravascular injection during transforaminal epidural injections
Smuck, M., Fuller, B. J., Chiodo, A., Benny, B., Singaracharlu, B., & Ho, S. (2008). Accuracy of intermittent fluoroscopy to detect intravascular injection during transforaminal epidural injections. SPINE, 33(7), E205-E210.

Literature Review: New From the Journals
Smuck M, Levin J, & Arnold P. (2008). Literature Review: New From the Journals. SpineLine, 9(6).

Sacroiliac joint pain in athletes: A biomechanical treatment approach
Christensen-Holz S, Wiggert B, & Smuck M. (2008). Sacroiliac joint pain in athletes: A biomechanical treatment approach. SpineLine, 9(6).

An unusual cause of S1 radicular pain presenting as early phantom pain in a transfemoral amputee: A case report
Smuck, M., Christensen, S., Lee, S. S., & Sagher, O. (2008). An unusual cause of S1 radicular pain presenting as early phantom pain in a transfemoral amputee: A case report. ARCHIVES OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, 89(1), 146-149.

Re: Scanlon GC, Moeller-Bertram T, Romanowsky SM, et al. Cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections: more dangerous than we think? Spine 2007;32:1249-56.
Smuck, M. W., & Levin, J. H. (2007). Re: Scanlon GC, Moeller-Bertram T, Romanowsky SM, et al. Cervical transforaminal epidural steroid injections: more dangerous than we think? Spine 2007;32:1249-56. Spine, 32(23), 2638-?.

Author reply to "Letter to the editor" by Manchikanti and Singh (Spine J. 2007(5)) regarding "Incidence of simultaneous epidural and vascular injection during lumbosacral transforaminal epidural injections"
Smuck, M., & Fuller, B. J. (2007). Author reply to "Letter to the editor" by Manchikanti and Singh (Spine J. 2007(5)) regarding "Incidence of simultaneous epidural and vascular injection during lumbosacral transforaminal epidural injections". SPINE JOURNAL, 7(6), 749-749.

Irreversible spinal nerve injury from dorsal ramus radiofrequency neurotomy: A case report
Abbott, Z., Smuck, M., Haig, A., & Sagher, O. (2007). Irreversible spinal nerve injury from dorsal ramus radiofrequency neurotomy: A case report. ARCHIVES OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, 88(10), 1350-1352.

Epidural fibrosis following percutaneous disc decompression with coblation technology.
Smuck, M., Benny, B., Han, A., & Levin, J. (2007). Epidural fibrosis following percutaneous disc decompression with coblation technology. Pain physician, 10(5), 691-696.

Radiculopathy from herniation of the nucleus pulposus: 2. The role of corticosteroids
Levin J, & Smuck M. (2007). Radiculopathy from herniation of the nucleus pulposus: 2. The role of corticosteroids. J. Back Musculoskeletal Rehabil, 20(2,3).

Incidence of simultaneous epidural and vascular injection during lumbosacral transforaminal epidural injections
Smuck, M., Fuller, B. J., Yoder, B., & Huerta, J. (2007). Incidence of simultaneous epidural and vascular injection during lumbosacral transforaminal epidural injections. SPINE JOURNAL, 7(1), 79-82.

Radiculopathy from herniation of the nucleus pulposus: 1. Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and natural history
Levin J, & Smuck M. (2007). Radiculopathy from herniation of the nucleus pulposus: 1. Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and natural history. J. Back Musculoskeletal Rehabil, 20(2,3).

Therapies for subacute back pain: A glossary approach, Section III Surgery and Injection treatments
Haig AJ, & Smuck. (2005). Therapies for subacute back pain: A glossary approach, Section III Surgery and Injection treatments. Back Pain: A Guide for the Primary Care Physician..

Sacroiliac joint pain syndrome in active patients: A look behind the pain
Chen Y, Fredericson M, & Smuck M. (2002). Sacroiliac joint pain syndrome in active patients: A look behind the pain. Physician and Sportsmedicine, 30(11).

Tissue injury and healing, outcomes with the sports medicine approach.
Smuck M, & Buschbacker R. (2002). Tissue injury and healing, outcomes with the sports medicine approach. Practical Guide to Musculoskeletal Disorders: Diagnosis & Rehabilitation., 1st ed..