In January 2021, Sam loaded his wheelchair and himself into his Ford Econoline handicap van and drove the 1,749 miles from Colorado to Florida, hoping to find…
Hello, I'm Matt Decker, MD, a neurosurgeon at UF Health. I specialize in treating patients with spinal disorders, such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, traumatic injuries, spinal tumors and infectious conditions.
My aim is to understand my patients’ symptoms, find the cause and develop an individualized treatment plan that strives to treat symptoms adequately and safely. Any surgical goal in a treatment plan is to improve current quality of life, which could potentially be achieved through a wide range of surgical treatment options, such as nerve decompression, disc replacement, spinal fusions and deformity correction. The approach of either a minimally invasive procedure, a traditional open procedure or a hybrid of the two depends on a patient’s particular pathology.
My interest in medicine, which ultimately led me to neurosurgery, developed while I served in the U.S. Army as a respiratory therapist. After my active-duty commitment, I sought to expand upon my ability to help others by becoming a physician. I obtained my bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and went to New York Medical College to earn my medical degree and a master's in public health. While in medical school, I was fascinated by the nervous system and became humbled by neurosurgical patients and the operations they underwent. In 2013, I joined the UF Department of Neurosurgery, where I completed my neurosurgical residency and remained as faculty.
As part of my commitment to taking care of patients, I am focused on patient outcomes. My current research projects focus on enhancing functional outcomes for patients undergoing spinal surgery while reducing variation in these outcomes. This research involves improving our outcomes and developing new techniques to monitor and assess patients' functional recovery from their spinal disorder.
My clinical interests include spinal surgery, spinal decompression, spinal stenosis, radiculopathy, myelopathy, disc replacement, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stabilization, spinal tumors, meningiomas and MIS approaches.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and children, cooking, photography, traveling and enjoying the great outdoors.
My areas of focus
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