David W. Polly Jr., MD

Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

David W. Polly Jr.

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-672-7100

Fax 612-273-7959

Office Address:
M Health Clinics and Surgery Center
909 Fulton St SE
4th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address:
University of Minnesota
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
2450 Riverside Avenue South
Suite R200
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Administrative Assistant Name
Monique York

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Administrative Fax Number

Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Chief of Spine Service, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Spine Section Leader, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgeon

Medical School, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, MD

Orthopedic Surgery Residency, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

Spine Fellowship, University of Minnesota Department of Orthopedic Surgery


Dr. Polly is a professor and chief of spine surgery in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He holds the James W. Ogilvie Chair and the Catherine Mills Davis Land Grant Chair in Biomechanical Engineering. He is nationally and internationally recognized for biomechanics and outcomes research. He cares for complex pediatric and adult spine conditions and is well known for scoliosis research.


  • Orthopedics
  • Spine and Scoliosis
  • Spine Surgery
  • Pediatric Orthopedics

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Doctors in America®: 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013, 2015
  • America's Top Doctor: 2004-2008, 2010-2017
  • American Society of Spine Radiology (ASSR) Best Oral Paper Presentation in the Diagnostic Spine Category: 2016
  • Value Award Best Paper at North American Spine Society (NASS): 2015
  • Catherine Mills Davis Land Grant Chair in Biomechanical Engineering in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota: 2014
  • Co-author Hibbs Award Finalist , Minimum 20-Year Radiographic Outcomes for Treatment of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Results from a Novel Cohort of US Patients Scoliosis Research Society, Anchorage, AK: 2014
  • Recipient of the 2011 Charles D. Ray Award for Best Clinical Paper-Radiographic Comparison of Lateral Fusion (LLIF) vs. ALIF vs. TLIF vs. Posterior Fusion: Analysis of Segmental Sagittal Contour Change, (ISAS), Las Vegas, NV: 2011.
  • Winner-White Cloud Award-Best Clinical Paper (co-author) International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) 16th annual meeting, Vienna, Austria: July 15-18, 2009.
  • Nominee co-author Louis A. Goldstein Award best clinical poster, Scoliosis Research Society Annual Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland: September 4-8-2007.
  • Outstanding Paper, Resident/Fellow Award: Eastern Orthopaedic/Southern Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting, Dublin, Ireland. Straight-Forward versus Anatomic Trajectory of Thoracic Pedicle Screws: A Biomechanical Model. (Senior Author): 2003
  • Outstanding Poster Award, 17th annual meeting of the North American Spine Society: 2002
  • Finalist Hibbs' basic science award paper, Scoliosis Research Society annual meeting: 2002
  • Recipient of the General Claire L. Chennault award as the outstanding teacher at Walter Reed Army Medical Center: 2002
  • Recipient of the David C. Wherry Award in emerging technologies from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences: 2002

Professional Associations

  • President of the Scoliosis Research Society: 2014-2016
  • Member of Board of Councilors for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS): 2010-Present
  • Member of Board of Specialty Societies for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS): 2015-Present
  • Minnesota Orthopaedic Society Board of Directors: 2010-Present 


Board Certifications

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Clinical Interests

Spine (pediatric and adult); Scoliosis; Spinal tumors; Spine degenerative disease