Dr. Robert Bess, MD

Dr. Robert Bess, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgery  |  
Male  |  
48 y/o

Accepting new patients

Shay Bess, MD, is a Colorado native who was born at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and was an All-State and All-American athlete at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in New York City, and medical doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Case Western Reserve University before going on to a fellowship in pediatric and adult spinal surgery at the Washington University in St. Louis. Dr Bess practiced at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, treating pediatric and adult patients with scoliosis and spine problems, from 2008-2015 before being recruited to New York University Medical Center to be the Chief of the Scoliosis Service and Director of Spine Research. Dr. Bess returned to Colorado in August 2016 to be the Director of Surgical Quality and Resource Utilization for the spine services at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center. Dr. Bess has devoted a large portion of his professional career to research efforts in hopes of improving treatment for patients with spine conditions. He is the president of the International Spine Study Group Foundation (ISSGF), which is a nonprofit, multi-center research foundation that investigates treatment outcomes for people with scoliosis and spine problems. Dr. Bess is a member of the Scoliosis Research Society, North American Spine Society, Congress of Neurosurgeons, is faculty for the AO Spine Foundation and actively participates in pediatric and adult scoliosis research. Dr. Bess actively participates in medical mission work and is a surgeon for the Ethiopia Project, and other charity efforts that provide spine care for children in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Colombia. A dedicated caregiver, Dr. Bess believes that understanding patient treatment needs and goals is the most important aspect of care. By tailoring care to fit each individual's needs, he continually works to return patients to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Denver International Spine Center

1601 E 19th Ave Ste 6250

Denver, CO 80218
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Accepted insurance

  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Capital District Physician's Health Plan (CDPHP)
  • Cigna
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • MultiPlan
  • Oxford Health Plans
  • UnitedHealthCare

Learn about Dr. Bess


Dr. Bess' Experience

Dr. Bess' experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
  • Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
  • Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Board certified in Orthopedic Surgery
  • No malpractice claims found
  • No sanctions found
  • No board actions found


  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery
  • Pediatrics

Board Certifications

  • Orthopedic Surgery
    Accredited by: American Board of Medical Specialties*

Conditions Treated

  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
  • Adult Scoliosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Ataxia
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Back Disorders
  • Back Injuries
  • Back Pain
  • Back Tumor
  • Baker’s Cyst
  • Bone Disorders
  • Broken Arm
  • Broken Neck
  • Bursitis
  • Cancer
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cervical Spine Myelopathy
  • Chondrocalcinosis
  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain
  • Coccyx or Sacrum Fracture
  • Complications of Joint Prosthesis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Difficulty With Walking
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Enthesopathy of Hip (incl. Trochanteric Bursitis)
  • Femur Fracture
  • Foot Conditions
  • Fracture
  • Gait Abnormality
  • Gout
  • Hand Conditions
  • Herniated Disc
  • Hip Sprain
  • Internal Derangement of Knee
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Joint Pain
  • Knee Dislocation
  • Knee Disorders
  • Kyphosis
  • Leg Fracture Above Knee (incl. Hip)
  • Limb Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Spine Fracture
  • Lupus
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Myelopathy
  • Neck Strain (incl. Whiplash Injury)
  • Non-Unions and Malunions of Fractures
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoarthritis of Hand or Wrist
  • Osteoarthritis of Hands
  • Osteoarthritis of Hip
  • Osteoarthritis of Hip and Thigh
  • Osteoarthritis of Knee
  • Osteoarthritis of Spine
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or Knee Pain
  • Pathological Spine Fracture
  • Pediatric Spine Deformities
  • Pelvic Fracture
  • Peripheral Nerve Disorders
  • Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
  • Pseudoarthrosis
  • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sacrum Disorders
  • Sciatica (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Scoliosis
  • Shoulder Disorders
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
  • Shoulder Tendinitis and Tenosynovitis
  • Spinal Cord Disorders
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Cord Tumor
  • Spinal Instability
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformities
  • Spine Disorders
  • Spine Fractures, Traumatic
  • Spondylitis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Sprains and Strains (incl. Muscle Tear)
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Thoracic Spine Fracture
  • Thoracic Spine Myelopathy
  • Torticollis


Read More


  • Adult Scoliosis Correction
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Dressing and-or Debridement of Wound, Infection, or Burn (incl. Negative Pressure Wound Therapy)
  • Dural Repair or Other Spinal Cord Repair
  • Epidural Block, Facet Blocks
  • Failed Back Surgery Revision
  • Fracture Care
  • Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Joint Drainage
  • Knee Surgery
  • Knee and Leg Fracture and Dislocation Treatment
  • Knee and Lower Leg Fracture Treatment, Closed
  • Knee and Lower Leg Fracture Treatment, Open
  • Kyphosis Surgery
  • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
  • Lumbar Spine Surgery
  • Nerve Block, Sympathetic
  • Percutaneous Vertebroplasty
  • Scoliosis Surgery
  • Scoliosis Treatment
  • Spinal Compression Fracture Repair
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Nerve Block
  • Spinal Reconstructive Surgery for Deformities
  • Spinal Tumor Surgery
  • Spine Fracture Treatment
  • Spine Surgery
  • Steroid Injection

Background Check

0 Malpractice Claims

No malpractice history found for Colorado.

0 Sanctions

No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

0 Board Actions

No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.


  • John Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Medical School | Graduated 1999
  • Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Of Cleveland
    Internship Hospital | Completed
  • Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Of Cleveland
    Residency Hospital | Completed
  • Washington University School of Medicine
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Honors
  • Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications

Dr. Bess has no media or publications listed.

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Memberships & Professional Affiliations

Dr. Bess does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Bess and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.

Dr. Bess' Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Bess to family and friends
based on 19 total reviews (8 with comments)
Dr. Bess' Performance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    10 to 15 minutes
Patient Comments (8)
in Lakewood, CO |
He is a fabulous doctor and so is his staff!
in Littleton, CO |
Dr. Bess is prompt for appointments and thorough in his explanation of the problem and the course of action he recommends. He is congenial and welcomes questions to which he gives thorough answers.
in Denver, CO |
You won't find a better doctor, period. Dr. Bess temporarily took a position at a prestigious New York hospital and I was ready to fly out to Manhattan to see him, but when I called to get the NY number, I was delighted to learn that he had returned to Denver (his hometown). He's simply an exceptional doctor in every way. My only concern is that as time goes by, it may become increasingly difficult to get in to see him.
in Denver, CO |
I was always treated with respect. Every question I asked was answered completely. The girls in the office are very professional and very friendly. The office and exam rooms are very clean. My surgery experience was also wonderful. I was checked on everyday by the office. Great place, thank you all so much!!
Castle Rock, CO |
Doctor Bess is a very nice doctor. He is really helpful.
Golden, CO |
I had an awful experience at his office. I made an appointment to get his opinion on the best course of action to take with my spondylioisthesis. I was shuffled off to his PA. I never saw him. Extremely frustrating after making the 30 minute trek to his office and arranging childcare in order to do so.
Denver, CO |
I have been a patient of Dr. Bess's for a number of years. My surgeries were complicated and extremely successful. I knew they would be, never a doubt. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone else near my spine.
Denver, CO |
Dr. Bess operated on my daughter 3 years ago for scoliosis, she is now 16 years old. He did a FANTASTIC job! I can't say enough good things about Dr. Bess. From our first appointment, meeting Dr. Bess, after the surgery, all of our follow-up appointments, Dr. Bess has been the most wonderful, truly caring and professional doctor. I am very happy he is back in Denver. Her scare and recovery was fantastic.
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Now Accepting New Patients
Dr. Bess accepts 11 insurance carriers
  • Aetna
    Aetna HMO
    Choice Plus POS II
  • Anthem
    Pathway X Ind PPO Direct Access CT
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Blue Card PPO
  • Capital District Physician's Health Plan (CDPHP)
    Capital District Physician's Health Plan (CDPHP) HMO
  • Cigna
    Cigna HMO
    Cigna PPO
    Open Access Plus
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
    Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield POS
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • MultiPlan
    MultiPlan PPO
    PHCS Network PPO
  • Oxford Health Plans
    Freedom Plan
  • UnitedHealthCare
    Choice Plus POS
    Navigate HMO
    Navigate POS
    Options PPO
    Oxford Liberty

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Hospitals where Dr. Bess has admitting privileges

Presbyterian/Saint Luke's Medical Center
1719 E 19th Ave
Denver, CO 80218
View Hospital Profile
Sky Ridge Medical Center
10101 Ridgegate Pkwy
Lone Tree, CO 80124
View Hospital Profile

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