Robert Szabo, M.D., M.P.H.

Robert Morris Szabo, M.D., M.P.H.


Orthopaedic Surgery - Hand

Orthopaedic Surgery - Shoulder

Orthopaedic Surgery - Elbow

Orthopaedic Surgery - Wrist

Orthopaedic Surgery - Microvascular

Orthopaedic Surgery - Peripheral Nerve

Orthopaedic Surgery


Orthopaedic Surgery


  • Distinguished Professor, Department of Orthopaedics
  • Distinguished Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery
  • Upper Extremity Fellowship Director
  • Chief Emeritus, Hand and Upper Extremity Service


To see if Robert Morris Szabo is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

4860 Y Street, Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Clinic Phone: 916-734-4319
Clinic Fax: 916-734-4319
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

My practice philosophy is to treat all patients as I would want members of my family treated. I am committed to excellence in upper extremity care, focusing on diagnosing, educating and treating all patients with compassion and empathy.

Clinical Interests

Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedics and Surgery and one of the country's leading hand surgeons, Robert M. Szabo, is past president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the nation's oldest and largest medical society devoted to the hand. He has served as an editor or reviewer for several prominent medical journals, such as the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Journal of Hand Surgery, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Journal of Wrist, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, and Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances. His clinical expertise includes complex wrist reconstructions, shoulder and elbow joint replacement, peripheral nerve compression and repair as well as all aspects of upper extremity surgery.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Szabo's research interests include wrist biomechanics including improving diagnoses with cutting edge imaging techniques. He is also interested in the epidemiology of upper extremity trauma and peripheral nerve compression syndromes.


Plastic Surgery
Hand and Upper Extremity


M.D., State University of New York School of Medicine, Buffalo NY 1977

M.P.H., Public Health/Epidemiology, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Berkeley CA 1995

B.A., New York University, Bronx NY 1973


Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City NY 1979-1982

General Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York NY 1977-1979


Ilizarov Surgery Fellowship Program, Lecco Hospital, Lecco, Italy 1991

Hand and Microvascular Surgery, UC San Diego, San Diego CA 1982-1983

Board Certifications

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 2017

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hand Surgery, 2017

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Hand Therapist Foundation, Board Member

American Orthopaedic Association

American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons

Orthopaedic Research Society

Western Orthopaedic Association

Honors and Awards

Past President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand,

U.S. News and World Report Top Doctors, 2011-2018,

Sacramento Magazine Best Doctors, 2011-2018,

Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, UC Davis, 2015, 2016

Recognized as a Top Doctor For Cancer �Hand�, Newsweek Magazine, 2015

Honored Professor at "Five Decades of Evolution in Tendon and Nerve Surgery: Mad Men at Work", 16th Annual Philadelphia Hand Surgery Symposium, Philadelphia, PA, 2014

Fellow Research Award for Outstanding Performance in Research for �Real-Time 2D and 3D MR Imaging During Active Wrist Motion,� from the UC Davis Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 2013

Resident/Co-Author Award for paper presentation on �Biomechanical Properties of Volar Hybrid and Locked Plate Fixation in Distal Radius Fractures� at the Calfornia Orthopaedic Association�s 2011 Annual Meeting and QME Course, Dana Point, CA, 2011

The New England Hand Society Honorary Member Award, 2011

Sacramento Super Doctors, Top Doctors, 2011

Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellow in Hand Surgery, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, 1993, 1994

Kashiwagi-Sumihara Japan-U.S. Orthopaedic Exchange Traveling Fellowship, The Japan Orthopaedics and Traumatology Foundation Inc. Japan, 1992

Nicolas Andry Award, funded by the Association of Bone & Joint Surgeons, 1989

Alpha Omega Alpha,

Select Recent Publications

Zeiderman MR, Sonoda LA, McNary S, Asselin E, Boutin RD, Bayne CO, Szabo RM. The Biomechanical Effects of Augmentation With Flat Braided Suture on Dorsal Intercarpal Ligament Capsulodesis for Scapholunate Instability. J Hand Surg Am. 2021 Jun;46(6):517.e1-517.e9. doi:10.1016/j.jhsa.2020.10.032. Epub 2021 Jan 8. PMID:33423852.

Henrichon SS, Foster BH, Shaw C, Bayne CO, Szabo RM, Chaudhari AJ, Boutin RD. Dynamic MRI of the wrist in less than 20 seconds: normal midcarpal motion and reader reliability. Skeletal Radiol. 2020 Feb;49(2):241-248. doi:10.1007/s00256-019-03266-1. Epub 2019 Jul 9. PMID:31289900.

Tran TA, Williams LM, Bui D, Anthonisen C, Poltavskiy E, Szabo RM. Prospective Pilot Study Comparing Pre- and Postsurgical CTSAQ and Neuro-QoL Questionnaire with Median Nerve High-Resolution Ultrasound Cross-Sectional Areas. J Hand Surg Am. 2018 Feb;43(2):184.e1-184.e9. doi:10.1016/j.jhsa.2017.08.015. Epub 2017 Sep 23. PMID:28951102.

Boutin RD, Netto AP, Nakamura D, Bateni C, Szabo RM, Cronan M, Foster B, Barfield WR, Seibert JA, Chaudhari AJ. "Knuckle Cracking": Can Blinded Observers Detect Changes with Physical Examination and Sonography? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2017 Apr;475(4):1265-1271. doi:10.1007/s11999-016-5215-3. Epub 2017 Jan 3. PMID:28050816.

Zafonte B, Szabo RM. Evidence-based medicine in hand surgery: clinical applications and future direction. Hand Clin. 2014 Aug;30(3):269-83, v. doi:10.1016/j.hcl.2014.04.005. Epub 2014 Jun 6. PMID:25066846.

Mak WH, Szabo RM, Myo GK. Assessment of volar radiocarpal ligaments: MR arthrographic and arthroscopic correlation. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Feb;198(2):423-7. doi:10.2214/AJR.11.6919. PMID:22268188.

Netto A, Szabo RM. Radial Shortening and Ulnar Lengthening Operations for Kienbock's Disease. Kienbock's Disease: Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment. 2016;3(16);183-192.

Szabo RM. Sauve-Kapandji Procedure for Distal Radioulnar Joint Arthritis. Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, Volume 3: Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW). 2016;89.

Immerman I, Szabo RM. Steroid Injections. Tennis Elbow: Clinical Management, Wolf JM (Editor), Springer, New York, NY. 2015;7:61-72.

Szabo RM. Dorsal Intercarpal Ligament Capsulodesis. Shin AY, Day CS (Editors). Advances in Scapholunate Ligament Treatment [e-book], American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Chicago, IL. 2014 Sep;Chapter 7.