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Fred Sweet, MD

Fred Sweet, MD

Dr. Sweet co-founded the Rockford Spine Center in 2003 with a goal of creating a national center of excellence in spinal surgery. “Spine problems are complex, often involving multiple symptoms and affecting other parts of the body. I wanted to create a state-of-the-art spine center where we can provide patient’s with ancillary services they need in one place to make an accurate diagnosis. Making an accurate diagnosis is critical to providing effective treatment.” Further we wanted to create an environment where the patients are provided with a whole range of treatment options including the associated risk as well as potential benefits of both surgical and nonsurgical options. The patient is then empowered to make the decision that is best for them.

Dr. Sweet treats patients with a range of conditions, but is known for his expertise in handling the most complex spinal surgeries. Dr. Sweet’s experience with cutting edge technologies and minimally invasive techniques allows him to offer patients a broad range of spinal surgical treatment. Emphasis is on providing the least invasive surgery that provides the most durable and definitive result.

He developed a new surgical technique to treat scoliosis and spinal deformities and currently is one of only a handful of surgeons in the world doing the procedure. He is a lead investigator of scientific study of a new method to significantly decrease surgical infections. Dr. Sweet is also involved in the biomechanical design and testing of spinal implants used in current surgical techniques. Dr. Sweet has been invited as faculty to teach other surgeons complex spinal reconstruction techniques and participate in international scientific study sessions on spinal surgery.

Dr. Sweet believes in putting patients first. “What my patients need is more important than my own time or convenience. My goal is to develop a connection with each patient and offer hope for an improved quality of life.”

Dr. Sweet earned his medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago graduating first in his class. His training includes two years of general surgical residency, and completed a residency in orthopedic surgery as well as a fellowship in spinal surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, considered one of the best spinal surgery training programs in the world.

Dr. Sweet is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society, and Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Sweet’s experience also includes a tour of duty in the United States Navy as a medical officer aboard the U.S.S. Coronado during the first Gulf War. Dr. Sweet provides charitable care at the Walter Lawson’s Children Home, Rebound Pediatric Clinic, and provides surgical evaluation and treatment internationally for children with severe spinal deformities from third world countries in a partnership with Childspring International.

Dr. Sweet is the father of three who is active in local philanthropies. When he is not working he enjoys flying airplanes and restoring cars.

Dr. Sweet's Team

Hospital Affiliations:

  • OSF St. Anthony Medical Center
  • Rockford Memorial Hospital
  • Swedish American Hospital


Spinal Surgery

Washington University

St. Louis, MO


General Surgery & Orthopaedic

Washington University
St. Louis, MO


Naval Medical Center
San Diego, CA

Medical School:

Rush University Medical School
Chicago, IL

Clinical Assistant Professor

University of Illinois, Rockford

College of Medicine

Board Certification:

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Awards & Honors:


  • Becker’s Spine Review: Spine Surgeons to Know


  • Becker’s Spine Review: Spine Surgeons to Know


  • Premier Spine Surgeons by Newsweek
  • Becker’s Spine Review: Spine Surgeons to Know
  • Compassionate Doctor Award
  • Patient’s Choice Award


  • 240 Spine Surgeons to Know, Becker’s Spine Review
  • Top Doctors in Orthopaedic Spine Surgery


  • Patients’ Choice Award, Patients’ Compassionate Doctor Recognition, Patients’


  • Compassionate Doctor Recognition, Patients’
  • Nations Leading Spine Surgeons, Newsweek Magazine
  • Patients’ Choice Award, Patients’
  • Top 50 Spine Surgery Practices to Know, Becker’s Spine Review
  • Top 200 Spine Surgeons and Specialists to Know in 2012, Becker’s Spine Review
  • Naval Spine Surgeon Leader, Becker’s Spine Review


  • Patients’ Choice Award, Patients’
  • Compassionate Doctor Recognition, Patients’

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Patient Stories
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