David William Roberts, M.D.

David William Roberts, M.D.

David William Roberts, M.D.

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Personal Bio

Treatment Philosophy

My goal is to provide the highest level, state-of-the-art care for children with orthopaedic conditions. As a parent myself, I believe it is my duty to care for your child as I would my own.

Personal Interests

I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter, as well as swimming, golf, cycling, and travel.

Conditions & Procedures


Back Pain, Blount's Disease, Bone and Joint Infection, Bone Cyst, Clubfoot, Congenital Anomalies, Discoid Meniscus, Fractures, Ganglion Cyst, General Pediatric Orthopaedics, General Pediatric Orthopedics, Genu Valgum (Knock Knees), Genu Varum (Bow Legs), Hip Dysplasia, Kyphosis, Limb Angular Deformity, Limb Deformity (Congenital, Developmental, or Post-traumatic), Limb Length Difference, Lower Limb Deformity (Congenital, Developmental, or Post-traumatic), Lumbar Disc Herniation, Meniscus Tear, Neuromuscular Conditions (e.g. Cerebral Palsy), Osteochondritis Dissecans, Osteochondroma, Pediatric Trigger Finger, Pediatric Trigger Thumb, Perthes Disease, Scheuermann's Kyphosis, Scoliosis, Spinal Deformity, Spondylolisthesis, Spondylolysis


Ankle Arthroscopy, Bone Cyst Treatment, Epiphysiodesis (Growth Arrest for Limb Length Correction), Fracture Care, Hemiepiphysiodesis (Guided Growth for Knock Knees/Bow Legs), Knee Arthroscopy, Limb Lengthening and Deformity Correction, Osteochondroma Excision, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Pelvic Osteotomy, Reconstructive Hip Surgery, Scoliosis Surgery, Spinal Deformity Surgery, Spinal Fusion

General Information




NorthShore Medical Group


English, Spanish

Board Certified

Orthopaedic Surgery

Clinical Service

Orthopaedic Surgery

Education, Training & Fellowships

Medical School

Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, 2007


McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University


McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University


Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children



NorthShore Medical Group

9650 Gross Point Rd.
Suite 2900
Skokie, IL 60076
847.866.7846 224.251.2905 fax Get Directions This location is wheelchair accessible.


Commercial Plans
  • Aetna Choice POS (Open Access) and POS II (Open Access)
  • Aetna Elect Choice EPO and EPO Open Access
  • Aetna Health Network Options
  • Aetna HMO (including Open Access)
  • Aetna Managed Choice (Open Access)
  • Aetna Managed Choice POS
  • Aetna Open Access Aetna Select (Aetna HealthFund)
  • Aetna Open Access Elect Choice EPO (Aetna HealthFund)
  • Aetna Open Access Managed Choice POS (Aetna HealthFund)
  • Aetna Open Choice PPO
  • Aetna Open Choice PPO (Aetna HealthFund)
  • Aetna Premier Care Network
  • Aetna QPOS
  • Aetna Select
  • Aetna Select (Open Access)
  • Beechstreet PPO Network
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - PPO Products
    Not Contracted Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Advantage
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield HMOI
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna LocalPlus
  • Cigna Open Access Plus (OAP)
  • Cigna Open Access Plus with CareLink (OAPC)
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cofinity PPO (an Aetna Company)
  • Coventry Health Care Elect Choice EPO
  • Coventry Health Care First Health PPO
  • Galaxy Health PPO Network
  • Great West PPO/POS
  • Healthcare's Finest Network (HFN)
  • Humana - All Commercial Plans (including Choice Care)
  • Humana - NorthShore Complete Care
  • Humana/ChoiceCare Network PPO
  • Medicare
  • Multiplan and PHCS PPO Network (Including PHCS Savility)
  • NorthShore Employee Network
  • Preferred Plan PPO
  • Three Rivers Provider PPO Network (TRPN)
  • Tricare
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare - All Commercial Plans
    Not Contracted United Healthcare Core
    Not Contracted United Healthcare Navigate
Exchange Plans
  • Aetna Whole Health Chicago
  • Not Contracted Blue Cross Blue Shield - PPO Products
    Not Contracted Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Precision HMO
  • Coventry (PPO)
  • Land of Lincoln Health Traditional PPO
  • Not Contracted United Healthcare Compass
  • Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA)
  • Illinicare ICP
  • Community Care Partners
Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Aetna Medicare (SM) Plan (HMO/Open Access HMO)
  • Aetna Medicare (SM) Plan (PPO)
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage PPO Plan
  • Cigna-HealthSpring Advantage HMO
  • Cigna-HealthSpring Premier HMO-POS
  • Cigna-HealthSpring Primary HMO
  • Humana Gold Plus HMO
  • Humana Gold Plus PFFS
  • HumanaChoice PPO
  • United Healthcare - All Medicare Plans
Medicare Medicaid Alignment Initiative (MMAI) Plans
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Community
  • HealthSpring
  • Humana
  • Illinicare Health Plan
  • Meridian Complete


  • Surgical site infections after posterior spinal fusion for neuromuscular scoliosis: a thirty-year experience at a single institution.

    The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume 2014 Dec 17

    Authors: Ramo BA,
    Surgical site infection is a serious complication of posterior spinal fusion for neuromuscular scoliosis, with a reported prevalence of 6% to 24%. A single-institution experience over a thirty-year period was reviewed to determine the prevalence of surgical site infection after posterior spinal fusion for neuromuscular scoliosis, and to identify patient and treatment-related risk factors.
    Our retrospective review included all patients treated with posterior spinal fusion (alone or in combination with an anterior procedure) for neuromuscular scoliosis from 1980 to 2009 and followed for a minimum of two years. Univariate and multivariate statistical analysis was performed to identify significant risk factors for occurrence of deep surgical site infection (p < 0.05).
    The study included 428 patients with an average duration of follow-up of 4.9 years. The mean Cobb angle was 74.3°. Most (74%) were treated with posterior spinal fusion alone. Deep infection developed in forty-four patients (10.3%); 57% of the infections occurred within three months after the surgery and 73%, within twelve months. Nearly half (45%) of the infections were polymicrobial; 59% of the organisms were gram-positive and 41% were gram-negative. Implant removal was required in 58% of the patients. Surgical site infection was more frequent from 1980 to 1989 (20.3%) than it was from 1990 to 2009 (8.4%) (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8, p = 0.01 in univariate analysis). Surgical site infection was more common in patients with spina bifida (21.5%) than in those with other diagnoses (8.3%) (OR = 3.0, p = 0.001). Other patient factors associated with surgical site infection were a body mass index (BMI) of >25 kg/m(2) (OR = 2.4, p = 0.04) and incontinence (OR = 2.4, p = 0.009). Treatment factors associated with surgical site infection were inadequate prophylactic antibiotic dosing (cefazolin ≤ 20 mg/kg) (OR = 3.3, p = 0.0002), length of fusion (p = 0.002), pelvic fixation (OR = 2.4, p = 0.04), length of hospital stay (p = 0.005), and other complications (OR = 3.2, p = 0.0003). Drain output (p = 0.04) and lower hemoglobin levels (p = 0.008) were significantly associated with surgical site infection in patients with spina bifida, and drain use (superficial to the fascia) was protective in those without spina bifida (OR = 0.5, p = 0.046).
    This study identified modifiable factors, especially antibiotic dosing and drain use, associated with surgical site infection in patients with neuromuscular scoliosis.
    PMID: 25520337 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Outcomes of cervical and lumbar disk herniations in Major League Baseball pitchers.

    Orthopedics 2011 Aug

    Authors: Roberts DW,
    The effects of disk herniations on the career and performance outcomes of Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers are unknown. The purpose of this study is to determine the outcomes after a cervical or lumbar disk herniation for MLB pitchers. Forty MLB pitchers from 1984 to 2009 with a cervical disk herniation or lumbar disk herniation were identified using a previously established protocol. Cervical disk herniation was identified in 11 pitchers, 8 of which were treated operatively. The majority of pitchers with cervical disk herniation (8/11) returned to play at an average of 11.6 months. Lumbar disk herniation was identified in 29 pitchers, 20 of which were treated operatively. All pitchers with lumbar disk herniation (29/29) returned to play at an average of 7.3 months after diagnosis.
    PMID: 21800814 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • The Professional Athlete Spine Initiative: outcomes after lumbar disc herniation in 342 elite professional athletes.

    The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society 2011 Mar

    Authors: Hsu WK,
    Although clinical outcomes after lumbar disc herniations (LDHs) in the general population have been well studied, those in elite professional athletes have not. Because these athletes have different measures of success, studies on long-term outcomes in this patient population are necessary.
    This study seeks to define the outcomes after an LDH in a large cohort of professional athletes of American football, baseball, hockey, and basketball.
    Retrospective cohort study.
    A total of 342 professional athletes from four major North American sports from 1972 to 2008 diagnosed with an LDH were identified via a previously published protocol. Two hundred twenty-six players underwent lumbar discectomy, and 116 athletes were treated nonoperatively. Only those players who had at least 2 years of follow-up were included.
    Functional outcome measures as defined by successful return-to-play (RTP), career games, and years played for each player cohort were recorded both before and after treatment. Conversion factors based on games/regular season and expected career length (based on individual sport) were used to standardize the outcomes across each sport.
    Using Statistical Analysis Software v. 9.1, outcome measures were compared in each cohort both before and after treatment using linear and mixed regression analyses and Cox proportional hazards models. A Kaplan-Meier survivorship curve was calculated for career length after injury. Statistical significance was defined as p<.05.
    After the diagnosis of an LDH, professional athletes successfully returned to sport 82% of the time, with an average career length of 3.4 years. Of the 226 patients who underwent surgical treatment, 184 successfully returned to play (81%), on average, for 3.3 years after surgery. Survivorship analysis demonstrated that 62.3% of players were expected to remain active 2 years after diagnosis. There were no statistically significant differences in outcome in the surgical and nonoperative cohorts. Age at diagnosis was a negative predictor of career length after injury, whereas games played before injury had a positive effect on outcome after injury. Major League Baseball (MLB) players demonstrated a significantly higher RTP rate than those of other sports, and conversely, National Football League (NFL) athletes had a lower RTP rate than players of other sports (p<.05). However, the greatest positive treatment effect from surgery for LDH was seen in NFL players, whereas for MLB athletes, a lumbar discectomy led to a shorter career compared with the nonoperative cohort (p<.05).
    Professional athletes diagnosed with an LDH successfully returned to play at a high rate with productive careers after injury. Whereas older athletes have a shorter career length after diagnosis of LDH, experienced players (high number of games played) demonstrate more games played after treatment than inexperienced athletes. Notably, surgical treatment in baseball players led to significantly shorter careers, whereas for NFL athletes, posttreatment careers were longer than those of the corresponding nonoperative cohort. The explanation for this is likely multifactorial, including the age at diagnosis, respective contractual obligations, and different physical demands imposed by each individual professional sport.
    PMID: 21269889 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Male-female differences in Scoliosis Research Society-30 scores in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

    Spine 2011 Jan 1

    Authors: Roberts DW,
    Longitudinal cohort study.
    To compare functional outcomes between male and female patients before and after surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
    There is no clear consensus in the existing literature with respect to sex differences in functional outcomes in the surgical treatment of AIS.
    A prospective, consecutive, multicenter database of patients who underwent surgical correction for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis was analyzed retrospectively. All patients completed Scoliosis Research Society-30 (SRS-30) questionnaires before and 2 years after surgery. Patients with previous spine surgery were excluded. Data were collected for sex, age, Risser grade, previous bracing history, maximum preoperative Cobb angle, curve correction at 2 years, and SRS-30 domain scores. Paired sample t tests were used to compare preoperative and postoperative scores within each sex. Independent sample t tests were used to compare scores between sexes. A P value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
    Seven hundred forty-four patients (621 females and 123 males) were included. On average, males were 1 year older than females. There were no differences between sexes in Risser grade, bracing history, maximum curve magnitude, or correction after surgery. Both males and females had similar improvement in all SRS-30 domains after surgery. Self-image/appearance had the greatest relative improvement. Males had better self-image/appearance scores preoperatively, better pain scores at 2 years, and better mental health and total scores both preoperatively and at 2 years. Both males and females were similarly satisfied with surgery.
    Males treated with surgery for AIS report better preoperative self-image, less postoperative pain, and better mental health than females. These differences may be clinically significant. For both males and females, the most beneficial effect of surgery is improved self-image/appearance. Overall, the benefits of surgery for AIS are similar for both sexes.
    PMID: 21192215 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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