Joseph D. Smucker, M.D. is a fellowship-trained, board certified orthopedic surgeon who provides expertise in the surgical care of spinal disorders.  Dr. Smucker has special training in complex cervical, thoracic, and lumbar surgery, having trained with the top programs in the nation and subsequently practicing in a tertiary setting for almost a decade.  His subspecialty interests include cervical spine conditions, care of spinal injuries in athletes, and spinal navigation technologies.

Dr. Smucker completed his secondary education in Northern Indiana and his undergraduate degree at Goshen College.  He earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and pursued his residency at Case Western Reserve University, where he trained with the late Dr. Henry Bohlman – a world-recognized spinal surgeon who pioneered many of the most commonly used surgical techniques in spinal care.  Following residency he completed an adult spine surgery fellowship at Emory University with Dr. John Heller and Dr. Scott Boden where he refined his skills in the surgical care of complex spinal disorders and honed his research interests.  He began his career at the University of Iowa where he practiced full-time clinical and operative spine care and became a tenured member of the faculty.  During this time he completed numerous research studies as Director of the Bone Healing Research Laboratory.  He returned to Indiana to continue to advance these interests and contribute to the team at Indiana Spine Group.

As an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, he has been honored with a term in the Leadership Fellows Program, which recognizes future leaders in the profession of Orthopaedic Surgery.  He is also a member of the North American Spine Society and the prestigious American Orthopaedic Association.  The “Best Doctors in America” program has frequently recognized him due to his tradition of clinical care.  Dr. Smucker has authored numerous manuscripts and textbook chapters and has focused many of his investigations on the science of bone healing and cervical spine motion.  He has collaborated with Dr. Rick Sasso in a number of these investigations.

Full Biography


Medical School
Indiana University School of Medicine
Indianapolis, IN

Orthopaedic Surgery
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH

Spine Surgery
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

Publications, Books & Presentations

Peer-reviewed Publications:–wkV/collections/47039437/public/

Select Published Chapters in Spine Textbooks Include:

  1. Spinal Arthroplasty – The Bryan Disc
  2. Arthritis and Arthroplasty – Treatment of Cervical Myelopathy
  3. The Spine – Cervical Arthroplasty
  4. Sports Medicine – Rossi-Margheritini – Spinal Disorders in Sports Medicine
  5. Studies in in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering, and Biomaterials – Advancements in spine FE mesh development
  6. Curbside Consultation of the Spine – Clinical Questions and Answers
  7. Interactive Educational Program for Spine – Complications of Lumbar Spine Surgery
  8. CSRS – Cervical Disc Arthroplasty

Certification & Memberships

Board Certification
Orthopaedic Surgery
The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Professional Memberships
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
The North American Spine Society
The American Orthopedic Association


How Does Technology Play a Role?


What is Spinal Navigation?

What is Spinal Instrumentation?

How Can a Patient Prepare for Surgery?

What is Neuromonitoring?

What is Laminectomy?

Does Nicotine Use or Weight Change Spine Health?

What is Neurogenic Claudication?

How Do Nerves Heal After Surgery?

What is Microsurgery?

Bone Graft Technology

What are the Treatments for Cervical Disc Herniations?

What is Cervical Myelopathy?

How Common are Back Problems?

The Initial Meeting with a Surgical Specialist

What Role do Lasers Play in Surgery?

Lumbar Disc Concerns

What is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?


Does a Patient's Lifestyle Change Spinal Health?