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UC Davis Spine Center

Rolando F. Roberto, M.D. View profile as PDF

Rolando F. Roberto

Clinical Interests

Mission Statement:  As Chief of the UC Davis Orthopedic Spine Service, I would like to extend a warm introduction to our treatment team.  Having practiced at tertiary care University Hospitals since my fellowship training, I have had the opportunity to treat some of the most complex spinal problems that afflict children and adults.  My colleagues and I have many years of experience in the treatment of complex spinal deformities of congenital , idiopathic and degenerative origin.  As the founder of our spinal deformity team,  Dr. Daniel Benson began treating scoliosis patients in the 1970s at UC Davis, our institution has amassed over 40 years of experience in the treatment of spinal disorders.  Our experience therein spans the spectrum of patients from birth and into the seventh and eighth decade of life. We also treat complex spinal tumors,  both primary sarcomas and  metastatic disease and have extensive experience with vertebral resection and replacement.  In so doing we have the full support of a world-class oncology team comprised of medical and radiation oncologists.  Given the increased health and longevity of our patients and the predilection of the human spine to degenerate, we have expertise in degenerative conditions and are able to treat herniated lumbar and cervical discs with the least invasive spinal surgeries. We have performed scientific studies on the treatment of cervical disc disease and myelopathy and we have published our experience on the treatment of these diseases with cervical disc replacement and laminoplasty. 

Underlying our innovative and cutting edge treatment options, we believe that meticulous attention to patient care and standardized treatment protocols result in the safest surgical outcomes. We work closely with our National Surgical Quality Improvement Program and strive to provide the highest quality medical and surgical care. We hope that those of you in need of spinal surgical treatment will trust our experienced and caring team.


Chief of Spine Service
Executive Vice Chair


Orthopaedic Surgery - Spinal Disorders



Orthopaedic Surgery

Center/Program Affiliation:


Cannery Building
Spine Center
3301 C St., Suite 1500
Sacramento, CA 95816
Driving Directions
Phone: 916-734-7463
Phone: 800-482-3284

Additional Phone:

Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Other Languages:



M.D., UC Irvine College of Medicine, Irvine, California, 1989
B.S., UC Irvine, Irvine, California, 1985


University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, 1989-90


University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, 1990-94


Minnesota Spine Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1994-95

Board Certifications:

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1997
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, recertification, 2007

Professional Memberships:

Academic Orthopedic Association
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Cervical Spine Research Society
J. Robert Gladden Society
North American Spine Society
Scoliosis Research Society
Western Orthopaedic Association

Select Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Faculty Award, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, 2010

Outstanding Faculty Award, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, 2005

Outstanding Faculty Award, Dept. of Orthopaedics, University of Arizona. Teaching award conferred by graduating residents., 2002

Outstanding Faculty Award, Dept. of Orthopaedics, University of Arizona, 2000

President's Undergraduate Fellowship Recipient. National award funding research of DNA sequence analysis of D. melanogaster dopa decarboxylase gene., 1984

Select Recent Publications:

Roberto, R, Klineberg, E, Complications in the Treatment of Subaxial Cervical Fractures and Dislocations, Chapter 106, 5th Edition, the Cervical Spine, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1267-1275.

Robbins M, Mallon Z, Roberto R, Patel R, Gupta M, Klineberg Traumatic Spondylopelvic Dissociation: A Report of Two Cases of Spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 and Review of Literature. E.Global Spine J. 2015 Jun;5(3):225-30.

Tomov M, Mitsunaga L, Durbin-Johnson B, Nallur D, Roberto R. Reducing Surgical Site Infection in Spinal Surgery with Betadine Irrigation and Intra-Wound Vancomycin Powder. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 Jan 20. 491-9.

Gire JD, Roberto RF, Bobinski M, Klineberg EO, Durbin-Johnson B The utility and accuracy of computed tomography in the diagnosis of occipito cervical dissociation. Spine J. 2013 May; 13(5):510-9.Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Roberto, R. Dezfuli, B, Deuel, C, Curtiss, S, Hazelwood, S. A Biomechanical Comparison of Three Spondylolysis Repair Techniques in a Calf Spine Model.  Orthopaedics and Traumatology: Surgery and Research, 2012 October.

Galan, T, Mohan, V, Klineberg, K, Gupta, M, Roberto, R, Ellwitz, J. Case Report: Incisional Hernia as a Complication of Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion.  The Spine Journal, 2012 Feb.

Treatment of Spine Deformity in Neuromuscular Diseases Maitra, S., Roberto, RF, McDonald, CM, Gupta, MC Phys Med Rehab Clin N Am, 2012 Nov., 23 (4): 869-83.

Roberto, R. Fritz, A. Hagar, Y. Boice, B. Skalsky, A. Hwang, H. Mitsunaga, K. Beckett, L. McDonald, C. Gupta, M. the Natural History of Cardiac and Pulmonary Function Decline in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Spine.2011 July;36(15) E1009-1017.

Enoch Leung, Nesrin Sarigul-Klijn, Rolando Roberto, Characterization of Irregular stress distributions induced by klippel feil syndrome, Proceedings of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress Exposition, IMECE2011-63343, November 11-17, 2011, Denver, Colorado, USA, 2011

To see if Rolando F. Roberto is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).