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About Steven Robert Garfin, MD
Steven Garfin, MD, is a board-certified and internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon specializing in the adult spine. Dr. Garfin provides treatment for people with back pain and sciatica, neck and related arm/hand symptoms, and other spinal conditions and diseases.
Dr. Garfin is part of comprehensive spine care at UC San Diego Health, recognized by the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification in Spine Surgery (ACSS), an honor that is based on a health care organization's commitment to providing safe and excellent care, and advancing patient outcomes.
He has been involved in the design and assessment of new surgical techniques and instrumentation to treat spinal disorders. These include lumbar and cervical instrumentation systems for fusions, minimally invasive surgery to treat painful osteoporotic vertebral fractures, artificial discs, sacroiliac fusion technique and biologic alternatives to bone grafts.
His work has contributed to the development of current international standards in surgical care of the spine. He has helped develop and assess most of the currently used techniques for surgical spine care.
He has been consistently elected as a top doctor in San Diego Magazine's "Physicians of Exceptional Excellence" annual survey performed in collaboration with the San Diego County Medical Society.
Dr. Garfin served as chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery for 22 years. He is now interim dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Garfin provides oversight for all academic and clinical departments, as well as research units. He also oversees the school's educational mission, provides leadership to all School of Medicine councils, and collaborates with other deans across UC San Diego, as well as deans of the other UC System medical schools.
Dr. Garfin has received multiple awards for research, teaching, and clinical care. He has published more than 300 articles, authored 145 book chapters and edited 21 books.
He completed his fellowship in disorders of the spine at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Garfin earned his medical degree from University of Minnesota Medical School. He is board certified in general orthopedics.
Dr. Garfin is a member of most national and international orthopedic surgery and spine societies, including American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, Cervical Spine Research Society, North American Spine Society, International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, and more. For several of these societies, he has served as president, board member or program chairman.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
- University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN
- Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
- UC San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, CA
Date Joined Staff
- American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
- General Orthopaedics
Conditions and Treatments
- Biologics for Spine
- Spinal Infections
- Neck Pain
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
- Failed Back Syndrome
- Spinal Trauma
- Herniated Disk
- Reconstructive Spine Surgery
- Fusion Enhancement
- Back Pain
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Spinal Tumors
- Pinched Nerve (Lumbar Radiculopathy)
- Spinal Disorders
- Degenerative Cervical and Lumbar Spine Conditions
- Spinal Trauma and Infections
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Cervical Spinal Stenosis
- Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Disorders
- Spinal Instrumentation