Dr. Robert Griffin specializes in treating patients with back pain, neck pain, and other chronic pain disorders. As the Director of the Ambulatory Pain Medicine Program at Hospital for Special Surgery, he believes in a strong multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain problems. He designs a personalized treatment plan for each of his patients that may incorporate diagnostic testing, minimally invasive interventional approaches, and rehabilitative strategies in an effort to ameliorate patient suffering and optimize functional performance.
Dr. Griffin earned his MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School. He received the prestigious Medical Scientist Training Program award from the National Institutes of Health and Harvard Medical School. He conducted his doctoral research at Harvard on the genetic mechanisms of pain sensitization. Dr. Griffin has published the results of his research on pain in leading scientific and biomedical journals, including Nature Medicine, Cell, the Journal of Neuroscience, and Brain.
Dr. Griffin completed his postgraduate medical training at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, including an internship in internal medicine, residency in anesthesiology, and fellowship in pain medicine. He was recognized as a Research Resident Scholar by the Foundation for Anesthesia Research and received the Partners in Excellence Award for his excellent care of patients.
Director, Ambulatory Pain Medicine Program, Hospital for Special Surgery
Assistant Attending Anesthesiologist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Weill Cornell Medical College
Degenerative disc disease and disc herniation
Lumbar and cervical radiculopathy
Other types of low back pain and neck pain
Chronic pain after surgery
Nerve injury related pain
Diagnostic and therapeutic spinal injections
Epidural steroid injections
Percutaneous spinal cord stimulator placement
Superdoctors New York Rising Stars 2013, 2014, 2016
Hospital for Special Surgery Teacher of the Year, Weill Cornell/Memorial Sloan Kettering/HSS Tri-Institutional Pain Medicine Fellowship, 2014-2015, 2015-2016
Phi Beta Kappa
Medical Scientist Training Program grant by Harvard Medical School/ NIH
Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Resident Scholar
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO HMO POS
Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathway
Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathway Enhanced
EmblemHealth Select Care
United Healthcare Compass
Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. You may have coverage subject to the availability of 'out-of-network' benefits.
Dr. Griffin accepts the following insurance plans. Please check to see if your insurance is on this list before proceeding.
Please note, if your insurance is not on this list, you may still have coverage subject to the availability of out-of-network benefits.
If you do not wish to go out-of-network, our Physician Referral Service will help you find an appropriate doctor.
One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.
As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies if payments were received during the prior year, or if the HSS physician currently receives payment. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.
As of July 24, 2018, Dr. Griffin reported no financial interest relationships with healthcare industry.
By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 2007
Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 2008
Anesthesiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 2011
Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 2012
Board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Griffin RS, Brenner GJ (2012) Chronic Postsurgical Pain. In Mashour and Avidan, Eds., Neurologic Complications of Surgery. New York: Oxford University Press. Manuscript in press.
Griffin RS, Fink E, Brenner GJ (2009) Functional Anatomy of the Nociceptive System. In Fishman SM, Ballantyne JC, Rathmell JP, Eds., Bonica’s Management of Pain, 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott.
Griffin RS, Woolf CJ (2007) Chapter 15: Pharmacology of Analgesia. In Golan DE et al., Eds, Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy, 2nd Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott.
Costigan M, Griffin RS, Woolf CJ (2004) Microarray analysis of the pain pathway. In Mogil J, Ed., The Genetics of Pain. Seattle: IASP Press.
Costigan M*, Belfer I*, Griffin RS*, Barrett LB, Coppola G, Wu T, Kiselycznk C, Poddar M, Lu Y, Diatchenko L, Smith S, Cobos EJ, Zaykin D, Allchorne A, Shen PH, Nikolajsen L, Karppinen J, Mannikko M, Kelempisoti A, Goldman D, Maixner W, Geschwind DH, Max MB, Seltzer Z, Woolf CJ (2010) Multiple chronic pain states are associated with a common amino acid changing allele in KCNS1. Brain 133(9) 2519-2527.
* Denotes equal contribution
Scholz J, Mannion RJ, Hord DE, Griffin RS, Rawal B, Zheng H, Scoffings D, Phillips A, Guo J, Laing RJ, Abdi S, Decosterd I, Woolf CJ (2009) A novel tool for the assessment of pain: validation in low back pain. PLos Med 6(4): e1000047.
Griffin RS, Costigan M, Brenner GJ, Ma CH, Scholz J, Moss A, Allchorne AJ, Stahl GL, Woolf CJ (2007) Complement induction in spinal cord microglia results in anaphylatoxin C5a-mediated pain hypersensitivity. J. Neurosci 27: 8699-8708.
Mills CD, Allchorne AJ, Griffin RS, Woolf CJ, Costigan M (2007) GDNF selectively promotes regeneration of injury-primed sensory neurons in the lesioned spinal cord. Mol Cell Neurosci 36: 185-194
Tegeder I, Costigan M, Griffin RS, Abele A, Belfer I, Schmidt H, Ehnert C, Nejm J, Marian C, Scholz J, Wu T, Allchorne A, Diatchenko L, Bihnstok AM, Goldman D, Adolph J, Sama S, Atlas SJ, Carlezon WA, Parsegian A, Lotsch J, Fillingim RB, Maixner W, Geisslinger G, Max MB, Woolf CJ. (2006) GTP cyclohydrolase and tetrahydrobiopterin regulate pain sensitivity and persistence. Nature Medicine 12: 1269-1277.
Griffin RS (2005) An Epac-dependent pain pathway. J Neurosci. 25: 8113-8114.
Griffin RS, Mills CD, Costigan M, Woolf CJ (2003) Exploiting microarrays to reveal differential gene expression in the nervous system. Genome Biol. 4: 105.
Costigan M, Befort K, Karchewski L, Griffin RS, D’Urso D, Allchorne A, Sitarski J, Mannion JW, Pratt RE, Woolf CJ (2002) Replicate high-density oligonucleotide microarrays reveal hundreds of regulated genes in the dorsal root ganglion after peripheral nerve injury. BMC Neurosci. 3: 16
For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.
Phantom Limb Pain, Massachusetts General Hospital Interventional Spine Lecture Series, 2012.
Griffin RS, Costigan M, Allchorne AJ, D'Urso D, Woolf CJ, (2003) A bioinformatic analysis of temporal expression profiles in partial nerve injury models of neuropathic pain. Society for Neuroscience Poster Presentation.