Craig Forsthoefel, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon with Fellowship Training in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Phone: 847-375-3000

I am a new patient
I am a existing patient
Appointment Line: 847-375-3000

Practice Locations

Affiliated Hospitals

  • Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
  • Ascension Alexian Brothers
  • NorthShore University HealthSystem

Areas of Expertise

  • Scoliosis
  • Revision Spine Surgery
  • Spinal Deformity Surgery
  • Cervical Myelopathy
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Pediatric Spine Conditions


Craig Forsthoefel, MD, is a fellowship-trained, board-eligible orthopedic spine surgeon specializing in complex adult and pediatric spinal conditions.  

Before pursuing his medical education, he served in the United States Marine Corps and deployed twice overseas as an infantryman. He then attended Colorado State University where he double majored in chemistry and biomedical sciences. He returned to his home state of Illinois and completed both medical school and orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Illinois. After residency, he received fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University in complex spinal deformity. During his residency and fellowship, he completed multiple research projects that contributed to the field of spine surgery. 

Dr. Forsthoefel enjoys the complexity of the spine and understanding the conditions that cause patients pain and disability. He appreciates the challenge of determining the correct diagnosis and finds satisfaction in patients experiencing improvement in their pain, function, and appearance. Through a collaborative and holistic approach with his patients, he can provide individualized care that satisfies the patient’s goals. He believes in taking a conservative approach and that many conditions can be successfully treated without surgery. When pursuing surgical options, he uses the least invasive, safest, and most effective surgery to meet the patient’s needs.

He employs multiple advanced spine surgical techniques, including endoscopy, minimally invasive surgery, robotic-assisted spine surgery, complex osteotomies, and deformity corrections. He has a specialized interest in reducing surgical-related pain to enable patients to return home on the same day of surgery.    

In his spare time, Dr. Forsthoefel enjoys weightlifting, cycling, and spending time with his wife and rescue dog, Holmes.

I believe in listening to and educating patients to understand their diagnosis and treatment options through a collaborative approach which allows me to provide individualized treatment to satisfy patient goals of care."

Craig Forsthoefel, MD


Medical School

University of Illinois College of Medicine


University of Illinois College of Medicine- Orthopedic surgery


Johns Hopkins University- Orthopedic spine surgery

Affiliations and Associations

  • North American Spine Society (NASS)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society
  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • Mok J, Forsthoefel C, Diaz RL, Lin Y, Amirouche F.  Biomechanical comparison of unilateral and bilateral pedicle screw fixation after multilevel lumbar lateral interbody fusion.  Global Spine J.  (accepted 2022, in press).  doi: 10.1177/21925682221149392
  • Boroda N, Pradhan S, Forsthoefel C, Mardjetko S, Bou Monsef J, Amirouche F.  Motion capture evaluation of    sagittal spino-pelvic biomechanics after lumbar spinal fusion. Spine Deform.  2022; 10(3): 473-8. doi: 10.1007/s43390-021-00448-7
  • Siemionow K, Forsthoefel C, Foy M, Gawel D, Luciano C. Autonomous lumbar spine pedicle screw planning using machine learning: A validation study.  J Craniovertebr Junction Spine. 2021; 12(3): 223-7. doi: 10.4103/jcvjs.jcvjs_94_21
  • Siegel MA, Patteta MJ, Fuentes AM, Haleem AS, Forsthoefel CW, Sood A, Gonzalez MH.  Long-term postoperative total knee arthroplasty flexion scores in relation to body mass index. J Knee Surg.  2020; ahead of print. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1718601
  • Siemionow K, Luciano C, Forsthoefel C, Aydogmus. Autonomous image segmentation and identification of anatomical landmarks from lumbar spine intraoperative computed tomography scans using machine learning: A validation study.  J Craniovertebr Junction Spine. 2020; 11(2): 99-103.  doi:10.4103/jcvjs_37_20
  • Sweet F, Forsthoefel C, Sweet A, Dahlberg, R.  Local versus Systemic Antibiotics for Surgical Infection Prophylaxis in a Rat Model.  J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2018; 100:e120(1-5). doi:10.2106/JBJS.18.00105
  • Forsthoefel C, Brown N, Barba M.  Comparison of metal ion levels in patients with hip resurfacing versus total hip arthroplasty.  J Orthop.  2017; 14(4): 561-4.  doi:10.1016/j.jor.2017.07.019
  • Skariah G, Seimetz J, Norsworthy M, Lannon M, Kenny P, Elrakhawy M, Forsthoefel C, Drnevich J, Kalsotra A, Ceman S.  MOV10 suppresses retroelements and regulates neuronal development and function in the developing brain.  BMC Biol.  2017; 15(1): 54.  doi:10.1186/s12915-017-0387-1
  • Robert D. Ray Basic Science Research Award, 2022
  • Riad Barmada Academic Excellence Award, 2022
  • Best Student Technical Poster Award, Research Day, 2016
  • AOA Honor Society, Junior Inductee, 2015
  • Illinois Patriot Education Fund Scholar, 2015
  • Hispanocare Scholarship Recipient, 2014 – 2015
  • James Scholar, 2014
  • Chemistry Life Sciences Bridge Award, 2012 – 2013
  • Navy Achievement Medal, 2008
  • AOA Co-president, 2016-2017
  • M2 Research Committee Leader, 2014–2015
  • Northern Illinois Flu Drive Group Leader, 2014

View Dr. Forsthoefel's Media

Patient Stories

Do you want to share your patient story for Dr. ForsthoefelWe would love to hear from you!

Move Better. Live Better. schedule online
Please wait...