Main: 815.398.9491 | Ortho Express: 779 .771.7000

Brian J. Bear, MD

Healthgrades 5 Stars out of 5 out of 5 with 106 ratings

Specialties: Shoulder, Hand, Wrist & Elbow

Selected to Castle Connolly Top Doctors list for Hand Surgery 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Welcome to OrthoIllinois!

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about myself and my experience in health care. Originally from Winnetka, Illinois, I attended Northwestern University graduating in 1987, cum laude, president of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and a member of Phi Betta Kappa. I continued my studies at Northwestern University School of Medicine, receiving my medical degree in 1991 as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Following my graduation, I pursued advanced orthopedic training at Cornell Hospital for Special Surgery, which is ranked as the top orthopedic hospital in the United States. In addition, I completed a specialized training fellowship program in elbow and hand surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

My practice is focused on shoulder, elbow, hand, microvascular, traumatic, and reconstructive surgery. It is my mission to provide you compassionate care with expertise comparable to any major university center. I am humbled by my inclusion in two prestigious quality health care listings: as a Castle Connolly Regional Top Doctor, and the Best DoctorsR list. Earning a place on either list is a result of being nominated by other physicians and a thorough review by the listing organization into my background, professional achievements, patient satisfaction and positive treatment record. Inclusion on the Best Doctor list is a direct result of other doctors selecting me as the person they would choose to treat themselves or a family member. These are honors I take very seriously and I am committed to maintaining the high standards they represent with all my patients.

I am actively involved in continuing education, have given numerous lectures, and published many orthopedic articles. As Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, I have been awarded the Golden Apple teaching award and the Excellence in Teaching award. I am a reviewer for the acclaimed Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and currently serve as a faculty member at the Orthopedic Learning Center, where I teach other surgeons the latest techniques of hand, elbow and shoulder surgery. I hold Associate and Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery positions respectively at University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago where I help train medical students, family practice residents, and orthopedic surgery residents.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to further improve your experience at OrthoIllinois. My goal is to provide the best medical care available to help you return to an active and pain-free lifestyle.


Brian Bear, M.D.

Education & Training

  • Undergraduate – Northwestern University
  • Medical School – Northwestern University  Residency – Orthopedic Surgery Residency, Cornell Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Shoulder, Elbow, Hand, and Microvascular Surgery Fellowship, Mayo Clinic
  • Board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois School of Medicine, Rockford
  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, University of Illinois School of Medicine, Rockford
  • Member: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Illinois Assoc. of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Mid-America Orthopaedic Association, and Chicago Hand Society



Assisted by:

Joe Steiner, PA-C

HOSPITAL AFFILAITIONS:  OrthoIllinois Surgery Center, OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center, American Academy of Orthopaedic SurgeonsSwedishAmerican Hospital, Mercy Rockford Hospital, Van Matre HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital

AFFILIATIONS:  Winnebago County Medical SocietyAmerican Society for Surgery of the HandAssociate Professor, Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery – Rush University Medical Center, Review editor for the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery


Here's what my patients are saying:

I absolutely love OrthoIllinois and the surgery center!! I brag about Dr. Bear all the time. He is phenomenal!

Kathy S.

Dr. Bear saved my son's life seven years ago after an auto accident. He was very caring and spoke to us like a regular person so we could understand everything. I love this man and even traveled 70 miles one way during terrible Chicago winters to get aftercare for my son. He is the best!

Donna R.

I was apprehensive about shoulder replacement. Two of my friends said Dr. Bear had operated on them for same thing. They LOVE him and can't say enough good things about him. My surgery went so much better than others told me. I really had no pain afterwards and have complete use of shoulder. Thank you Dr. Bear!!!

"Dr. Bear has given me a completely new outlook on mobility and comfort and quality of life after surgery.  My shoulder has healed quickly and has unbelievable range of motion.  I recommend his expertise to anyone experiencing shoulder discomfort. " Harlan - review

© OrthoIllinois, formerly known as Rockford Orthopedic Associates 2018