Dr. Chou is a hand and upper extremity physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. He is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Stanford University School of Medicine.

He provides expert care for patients who require non-operative treatment for musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions affecting the shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand. For each patient, he develops a personalized, comprehensive, and compassionate care plan designed to achieve the best possible health and quality of life.

Among the conditions he manages are arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff disease, and tennis elbow. He excels at the use of ultrasound for diagnosis and evaluation. He also uses ultrasound to precisely guide treatments delivered with injections and nerve blocks.

Dr. Chou’s expertise includes electromyography (EMG) and extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). He has conducted research into the effects of electrical stimulation to improve upper extremity neurologic function in cervical spinal cord injury patients.

He has published the findings of his research in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord, and other journals. He has co-authored chapters in the textbooks Handbook of Clinical Neurology and Basics of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound.

Dr. Chou has addressed his peers in presentations at meetings of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Association of Academic Physiatrists. Topics include compressive neuropathies from prolonged hospitalization during the COVID-19 pandemic, development of a virtual ultrasound curriculum for residents, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and technology accessibility for stroke patients with limited upper extremity function.

He has earned honors from Harvard Medical School/Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Northwestern University. He is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Association of Academic Physiatrists.

Dr. Chou volunteers his time and expertise to help the members of his community optimize their musculoskeletal health.

Clinical Focus

  • Non-Operative Hand and Upper Extremity Injuries
  • Nerve and Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography
  • Electromyography
  • Physical Medicine and Rehab
  • Upper Extremity

Academic Appointments

Honors & Awards

  • Distinction in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, Harvard Medical School MGH - Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (2021)
  • Academic Excellence Award, Harvard Medical School MGH - Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Rookie of the Year, Harvard Medical School MGH - Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Henry B. Betts, MD Award for Excellence in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Northwestern University
  • Camille Lange Rathbun Scholarship, Northwestern University

Professional Education

  • Certification, Alliance for Physician Certification & Advancement, Registered in Musculoskeletal (RMSK) Sonography (2024)
  • Added Qualification, American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, Neuromuscular Ultrasound (2023)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (2023)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rehab (2022)
  • Residency: Harvard Medical School MGH - Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (2021) MA
  • Medical Education: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2017) IL
  • Internship: Loyola Medicine MacNeal Hospital Transitional Year (2018) IL

Clinical Trials

  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy in Thumb CMC Arthritis Not Recruiting

    Long-Term Objective: Determine if high-frequency PEMF therapy reduces pain in patients with thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint osteoarthritis (OA). Study Design and Methods: This will be a randomized controlled pilot study with 60 subjects with CMC OA randomly divided in two groups. Thirty subjects will receive high-frequency PEMF therapy overlying the CMC joint overnight daily for four weeks. The other 30 subjects will receive a sham PEMF therapy device applied to the same joint overnight daily for four weeks. Pain and function questionnaires will be obtained for all patients at enrollment, four weeks, and six weeks.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

    View full details

All Publications

  • Subscapularis Recess Ganglion Cyst: An Uncommon Cause for Anterior Shoulder Pain in a Recreational Tennis Player. American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation Nguyen, C., Lumetta, K., Chou, R. 2024

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PHM.0000000000002546

    View details for PubMedID 38726962

  • Ultrasound-guided percutaneous carpal tunnel release: A systematic review. PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation Chou, R. C., Robinson, D. M., Homer, S. 2022


    OBJECTIVE: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common peripheral entrapment mononeuropathy. The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the reported clinical effectiveness and safety of ultrasound-guided percutaneous carpal tunnel release (USCTR) for the treatment of CTS.LITERATURE SURVEY: PubMed, EMBASE, and ScienceDirect databases were queried from database inception to February 20th , 2021 to identify clinical studies on USCTR.METHODOLOGY: Two reviewers independently completed title, abstract, and full-text screening and extracted data in duplicate for analysis. Procedure techniques, outcome measures, and complications were descriptively analyzed.SYNTHESIS: A total of 87 studies were eligible for screening. 20 studies (three randomized controlled trials, three prospective cohort studies, and 14 case series) met inclusion criteria, with a total of 1,772 USCTR cases. The overall level of evidence was very low, with seven studies with at least moderate risk of bias. Thirteen studies exceeded the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire Symptom Severity Scale (BCTQ-SS) and Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire Functional Status Scale (BCTQ-FS), and six studies exceeded MCID for the Quick Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder & Hand (QDASH). Five studies reported statistically significant improvement in these functional outcome measures as early as the first week post-procedure. Major complication occurred in one patient who developed suspected compartment syndrome, and minor complications were reported in 24 patients.CONCLUSIONS: Based on very low level of evidence, early studies suggest that USCTR may be an effective treatment for CTS, with potential for short post-procedure recovery times. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmrj.12801

    View details for PubMedID 35254722

  • Effects of hybrid-functional electrical stimulation (FES) rowing whole-body exercise on neurologic improvement in subacute spinal cord injury: secondary outcomes analysis of a randomized controlled trial SPINAL CORD Chou, R. C., Taylor, J., Solinsky, R. 2020; 58 (8): 914-920


    Secondary outcome measures analysis of a randomized, controlled study.To assess the effects of hybrid-functional electrical stimulation (FES) rowing on motor and sensory recovery in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) 6-18 months post injury.Outpatient rehabilitation network.25 participants 6-12 months after SCI were randomly assigned to hybrid-FES rowing (n = 10) or standard of care (n = 15) groups. The hybrid-FES rowing group completed 6 months of rowing scheduled 3 times per week for 26 weeks at an exercise intensity of 70-85% of maximal heart rate. The standard of care group either participated in an arm ergometer exercise program (n = 6) or a waitlist without an explicit exercise program (n = 9). Changes in motor score and combined sensory score of the International Standards for Neurological Classification of SCI (ISNCSCI) were analyzed.Both groups demonstrated increases in motor and combined sensory scores, but no significant differences were noted between intervention groups (motor difference mean ↑1.3 (95% CI, -1.9 to 4.4), combined sensory difference mean ↓10 (-30 to 18)). There was an average of 63% adherence to the hybrid-FES rowing protocol, with no significant correlation in changes in motor or combined sensory score in the hybrid-FES rowing group with total distance or time rowed.No significant effects to neurologic improvement were found with hybrid-FES rowing when compared with standard of care interventions in individuals with SCI 6-18 months post injury.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41393-020-0445-3

    View details for Web of Science ID 000517314100001

    View details for PubMedID 32094516

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7415604

  • Spinal Instability Causing Upper Motor Neuron to Lower Motor Neuron Symptom Transition in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury PM&R Min, J. M., Chou, R. C., Solinsky, R. 2020; 12 (10): 1055-1057

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmrj.12339

    View details for Web of Science ID 000515338100001

    View details for PubMedID 32022427

  • A comparison of molecular assays for Mycoplasma pneumoniae in pediatric patients DIAGNOSTIC MICROBIOLOGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE Chou, R. C., Zheng, X. 2016; 85 (1): 6-8


    Three commercial molecular assays for detecting Mycoplasma pneumoniae were evaluated for their relative performances and hands-on time. They performed comparably well in clinical sensitivity and specificity.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2015.12.013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000375358000002

    View details for PubMedID 26830272