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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Robert Morris Szabo, M.D., M.P.H. View profile as PDF

Robert Morris Szabo

Clinical Interests

Robert M. Szabo is one of the country's leading hand surgeons. His clinical interests include hand and upper-extremity problems such as brachial plexus and peripheral nerve surgery; shoulder, elbow and wrist joint replacements; wrist reconstruction, including arthroscopy; congenital deformities, including llizarov reconstructions; tumors; and microvascular reconstructive free tissue transfers.  

Dr. Szabo is an editorial board member of The Journal of Wrist, an editorial board member of  Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances. His research interests include nerve compression lesions, nerve repair and regeneration biology, tendon healing and adhesion formation, and epidemiology of repetitive trauma and injury prevention.


Chief of Hand and Upper Extremity Service


Orthopaedic Surgery - Hand, Orthopaedic Surgery - Shoulder, Orthopaedic Surgery - Elbow, Orthopaedic Surgery - Microvascular



Orthopaedic Surgery


Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center
Orthopaedic Surgery
4860 Y St., 3800 & 1700 (Clinic)
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions
Phone: 916-734-2700

Additional Phone:

Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)


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


General Surgery & Orthopaedic Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City NY 1977-1982


Ilizarov Surgery Fellowship Program, 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

Select Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, 2015

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

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

Sacramento Super Doctors, Top Doctors, 2011

Sacramento Magazine, One of the Best Doctors in the Region, 2011

Select Recent Publications:

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 Jan 3.

Netto, A, Szabo RM,: “Radial Shortening and Ulnar Lengthening Operations for Kienbock's Disease.”.Kienbock's Disease: Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment. 2016.

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

Lalonde, D, Szabo, RM, Baratz, M “Chapter 39: Tendon Transfers” “Lalonde: Wide Awake Hand Surgery”. CRC Press. 2016; pgs 227-232. 

Immerman I, Szabo RM.  “Chapter 7:  Steroid Injections.”  Tennis Elbow: Clinical Management.  Wolf JM (Editor), Springer, New York, NY. 2015.

Szabo RM.  “Tendon Transfers for Radial Nerve Palsy.”  Tendon Transfer Surgery of the Upper Extremity: A Master Skills Publication, Van Heest A, Goldfarb C (co-Editors), American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Chicago, IL, Chapter 4, pp. 35-46. 2012.

Kim SH, Wise BL, Zhang Y, Szabo RM. Increasing incidence of shoulder arthroplasty in the United States. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2011 Dec 21;93(24):2249-54.

Zafonte B, Rendulic D, Szabo RM.  “Flexor Pulley System: Anatomy, Injury, and Management.”  The Journal of Hand Surgery, 2014;39(12): 2525-2532.

Immerman I, Livermore MS, Szabo RM. “The Use of Emergency Department Services for Hand, Wrist, and Forearm Fractures in the United States in 2008.”  The Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances. 2014;23(2): 98-104.

Fajardo MR, Kim SH, Szabo RM.  “The Incidence of Carpal Tunnel Release: Trends and Implications Within the United States Ambulatory Care Setting.”  Journal of Hand Surgery. 2012;37(8): 1599-1605.

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).