Surgeon - Chris Smith


The Surgeon

 Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Chris Smith

Mr Chris Smith FRCS (Tr&Orth), MBBch, MD, MSc, DipSEM, PGC MedEd, FHEA


Chris Smith is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Shoulder & Elbow lead at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.  He also practices at the Exeter Nuffield hospital.


He founded ExeterShoulder and ExeterElbow to provide a high quality efficient service, for patients experiencing shoulder and elbow problems.


He took over the practice of Mr Tim Bunker, who described him as ‘one of the best shoulder fellows that I have had in the past two decades’ and ‘very capable throughout the spectrum of shoulder surgery’.


Chris has been performing shoulder and elbow surgery in Exeter since 2010. He has a highly specialised clinical practice, exclusively in shoulder and elbow arthroscopic (keyhole) and arthroplasty (joint replacement) surgery. He has provided the specialist shoulder and elbow treatment and advice to the Exeter Chiefs since 2013.  


He believes in establishing the best surgical outcomes through evidence based medicine and is currently leading research in to frozen shoulder, shoulder replacements, shoulder fractures, shoulder infections, rotator cuff tears, PRP injections, elbow replacements and tennis elbow.


He takes infection control seriously, which is why he does not wear a tie and has exposed arms below the elbow, in accordance with the Department of Health and NICE guidelines.


Click here for a list of grants and publications


Chris Smith gained his medical degree at the University of Wales and completed his Orthopaedic training on the Warwick Orthopaedics specialist registrar program. He obtained a Masters degree (MSc) in Orthopaedic Engineering and an advanced academic doctorate (MD) in shoulder biomechanics at Imperial College London.


Chris completed a specialist fellowship in shoulder and elbow surgery under Professor Tim Bunker.


He has a particular interest in Sports injuries related to the shoulder and was awarded a Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine by the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.  


Chris has always had a strong research ethic and believes that improvements in outcomes for patients can only be achieved by well controlled research.  Previously, he held the position of full-time Clinical Lecturer in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery (the first in the country for orthopaedics) at the University of Warwick, funded by the National Institute for Health Research. He has been the Orthopaedic Research lead and Trauma Lead Consultant at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.  He is on the British Elbow and Shoulder Surgeons research committee.  He is the chair of the Exeter Orthopaedic Instituitional Review Board.  


Chris has won grants to fund his research from the prestigious Research for Patient Benefit Programme, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Shoulder and Elbow Society  (BESS), and the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital research fund. Mr Smith has published research in shoulder anatomy, biomechanics, imaging and patient outcomes after shoulder surgery.  He presents his research regularly at the annual British Shoulder Surgeons conference (BESS), and the biannual European Shoulder Surgeons Conference (SECEC), twice winning the accolade of best research (SECEC in 2006 and BESS 2015). He is also a reviewer for the journals Shoulder& Elbow and the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.


He has a keen interest in teaching and holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education, as well as being recognised as a Fellow of the Higher Education Acadamy. He is involved in the teaching of medical students at the University of Exeter and holds and honorary clinical lecturer post.  He also supervises the training of future orthopaedic surgeons.  He has supervised PhD, MD and MSc students in the field of shoulder and elbow surgery.   He is faculty on  a number of shoulder and elbow training courses and is course convenor for the south west elbow room meeting.   With Mr Jeff Kitson and Mr Will Thomas he hosts the Exeter Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship for senior orthopaedic trainees who anticipates taking up a shoulder and elbow consultant post.