Mary Rodts, DNP's portrait
Mary Rodts, DNP
Associate Professor
Rush College of Nursing
Chicago, IL
Dr. Rodts is a member of the SpineUniverse Editorial Board.

About Mary Rodts, DNP

Board certified as an Orthopaedic Nurse, Mary Rodts, DNP, CNP, ONC, FAAN, is a Surgical Nursing Practitioner/Teacher of Surgical Nursing at Rush University Medical Center. She is part of the medical practice Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. In addition to nursing, education is a major part of Mary's work. Mary holds a faculty appointment at Rush College of Nursing, Rush University, where she is currently an Associate Professor. She is a preceptor to graduate students from Rush University and many local universities. The Howmedica Endowed Scholarship recognized Mary's dedication to education in orthopaedic nursing.

She is a member and former past president of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON). NAON twice awarded Mary the Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition of her contributions to the continued growth and development of the association. Currently, she is the Editor in Chief of NAON's journal, Orthopaedic Nursing. She is also Guest Editor of specific issues for the Nursing Clinics of North America. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

In addition to nursing associations, Mary is one of very few nurses who is a member of the Scoliosis Research Society. She is a recipient of the Scoliosis Research Society's Walter P. Blount award. Mary has presented her extensive medical research at international and national speaking engagements, contributing 24 articles in peer-reviewed scientific publications and eight chapters to medical books.



1. Restriction of Cervical Spine Motion after Milwaukee Brace Treatment for Scoliosis. Orthopaedic Transactions, 1977.

2. Anterior and Posterior Spine Fusion for Scoliosis. Orthopaedic Transactions, 1978.

3. Spondylolisthesis in the Adolescent. Orthopaedic Nursing, Vol. 6, No. 5, May, 1979.

4. Anterior and Posterior Spine Fusion for Paralytic Scoliosis. Spine, Vol. 4, No. 5, September/October, 1979.

5. Severe Spondylolisthesis in Adolescents and Children: Reduction and Staged Circumferential Fusion. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, April, 1981.

6. Musculoskeletal Assessment. Nursing, May, 1983.

7. How to Remove a Cast. Procedures, Intermed Communications, 1983, pg. 663.

8. Associated Practice: A Case for Professional Collaboration. Journal of Nursing Administration, November, 1983.

9. Bone Banking: Its Role in Skeletal Tumor Reconstruction. Orthopaedic Nursing, September/October, 1985.

10. Surgical Intervention for Adult Scoliosis. Orthopaedic Nursing. November/December, 1987.

11. Cotrel-Dubousset Instrumentation for Scoliosis. Nursing Yearbook. Springhouse Corporation, 1988.

12. Zielke Instrumentation: Indications, Technique and Review of 25 Cases. Orthopaedics, October, 1988.

13. The Rush ISIS Experience: Initial Results. Orthopaedic Transactions, 1990.

14. Sprains and Strains. Patient Teaching Looseleaf Library. Springhouse Corporation, April, 1990.

15. The Rush ISIS Experience: Initial Results. Backtalk, Vol. 14, No. 2, Summer, 1990.

16. HIV Precautions for Prevention in the Workplace. Orthopaedic Nursing, September/October, 1992.

17. Spinal Surgery for Adults. Handbook of Therapeutic Interventions. Springhouse Corporation, 1993.

18. Competitive Athletes and Injuries: A Rehabilitation Performance Perspective. Orthopaedic Nursing, Vol. 13, No. S., September/October, 1994.

19. In Memory of Jane Callahan. Orthopaedic Nursing, May/June, 1995.

20. Spinal Cord Injury without Radiographic Abnormality (SCIWORA). Orthopaedic Nursing, Vol. 16, No. 5., September/October, 1997.

21. Ready for the Challenge of Change, Editorial. Orthopaedic Nursing, March/April, 1999.

22. Just When You Thought You Knew it All, Editorial. Orthopaedic Nursing, May/June, 1999.

23. Keeping Them Safe, Editorial. Orthopaedic Nursing, July/August, 1999.

24. Building Strong Bones, Editorial. Orthopaedic Nursing, September/October, 1999.

25. Let Them Know Who We Are, Editorial. Orthopaedic Nursing, November/December, 1999.

26. Alternative Therapies: Hocus Pocus or In Between, Editorial. Orthopaedic Nursing, January/December, 2000.


1. Orthopaedic Emergencies. Nursing Interventions: The First Sixty Minutes. Aspen Publishers, 1986.

2. Spine Nursing, Chapter 1. The Textbook of Spinal Surgery. Eds. Bridwell, K. & Dewald, R.L. Philadelphia. J.B. Lippincott, 1991.

3. Spine, Chapter 17. Core Curriculum for Orthopaedic Nursing. Pitman, N.J. National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, 1991.

Disorders of the Spine, Chapter 16. Comprehensive Orthopaedic Nursing. Eds. Maher, Salmond & Pellino. W. B. Saunders, 1994.

5. Spine, Chapter 17. Core Curriculum for Orthopaedic Nursing. Pitman, N.J. National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, 1996

6. Perioperative and Postoperative Care of the Spine Surgery Patient, Chapter 2. The Textbook of Spinal Surgery, 2nd. Edition. Eds. Bridwell, K. & Dewald, R.L. Philadelphia. J.B. Lippincott, 1997.

7. Disorders of the Spine, Chapter 17. Comprehensive Orthopaedic Nursing. Eds. Maher, Salmond & Pellino. W. B. Saunders, 1998.

8. Lumbar Spine, Chapter 6. Primary Orthopedic Care. Ed. Crowther. St. Louis. Mosby, Inc., 1999.


1. Degenerative Spine Conditions. Certification Review Series. Pitman, N.J. National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses, 1998.


1. Spinal Science Advancement Foundation. Patient information website on Spondylolisthesis.


Articles Written by Mary Rodts, DNP

Spondylolisthesis: Treatment, Restrictions, Bracing, Medication

Approximately 5% of the population has a spondylolisthesis, but many of those people will never need any treatment. The grade of slip (grades 1-5) and your symptoms will help determine your treatment.

Spondylolisthesis; Surgical Procedures, Preparation, and Postoperative Care

Be prepared for surgery with this article, which covers all aspects of before, during, and after your procedure. An excellent article for anyone who has questions about what happens once you get to the hospital.

Ergonomics: The Human Body and Injury Prevention

Ergonomics is concerned with how our environment interacts with our work. It also looks for ways to decrease the risks of injury and illness.

Your Healthy Spine

To understand a spinal condition, it is helpful to first understand some basics about the spine.

Ergonomic Chairs and Seat Adjustment

While most people believe sitting is relaxing, sitting is actually hard on the back because it transfers the full weight of the upper body onto the buttocks and thighs.

Ergonomic Standards

It doesn't matter whether you work in a factory, office or at home; how you treat your body during work affects your spine.

Espondiolistesis: lesión lumbar y tratamiento

Bienvenido a la sección Explicación de Espondiolistesis, diseñada para ayudarlo a saber más sobre la espondiolistesis y su tratamiento.

Las vértebras brindan apoyo a la columna

La columna vertebral se compone de huesos individuales llamados vértebras, los cimientos que le proporcionan apoyo.

Su columna sana

Hoy en día muchos pacientes y sus familias desean comprender el trastorno médico que enfrentan.

La columna vertebral normal

Una vista lateral de la column ilustra las regiones y las curvas naturales.

Can Therapeutic Massage Help Relieve Back Pain?

Therapeutic massage is an alternative treatment for people with a variety of spine conditions. Here are 5 things to know about therapeutic massage.

Spondylolisthesis: Back Condition and Treatment

This in-depth discussion about spondylolisthesis explains what causes a vertebra to slip and what the different grades (eg, grade 1 spondylolisthesis) look like.

What Is Post-operative Care?

Post-operative recovery starts in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU).

Prescription Medications and You

There are some important things you should be aware of when taking prescription medications.

Safety First: Prescription Medications and You

Safety first! Prevent dangerous problems with prescription medications.

Recent blog posts from Mary Rodts, DNP

October 26, 2010

Can Adults Develop Scoliosis?

Adolescent girls aren't the only people who have scoliosis. Adults can develop it, too. Adult scoliosis can actually cause significant back pain.

June 16, 2008

Scoliosis Treatments: How Do Doctors Know if Your Spine's Curve Will Get Worse?

There is emerging research that suggests a genetic component in scoliosis. To determine skeletal maturity and how much growth a child has left to do, doctors look at a couple of things:

More from Dr. Rodts' blog "A Nurse's Perspective"

Articles Reviewed by Mary Rodts, DNP

Ultrasound Warms Neck or Back Muscles for Active Physical Therapy

Ultrasound is a passive modality: a supplement to the primary treatment (e.g. exercise). Passive modalities typically are used to relax the patient, a distraction from pain, and/or to warm muscles for exercise.

Occupational Therapy: Questions and Answers

The purpose of Occupational Therapy (OT) is to help people increase their functional independence in daily life while preventing or minimizing disability.

Radiographs, CT Scans, Myelography, MRI, Bone Scan, Electrodiagnostic Tests and Discography

Plain radiographs of the spine can identify deformity, most fractures, destructive lesions, spondylolisthesis, and spondolytic changes but are less sensitive for soft tissues.

Massage Therapy Helps Ease Neck and Back Pain

Massage is a treatment option for back pain and neck pain. Learn the basics of massage therapy and find out how it can help reduce your back or neck pain.

Biofeedback: Questions and Answers

Biofeedback can help a patient to affect a particular function specific to a problem through mental or physical exercises, such as relieving neck pain due to muscle tension.

Spinal Blood Supply

The function of the vascular system is to nourish each cell in the body.

Scoliosis Center

SpineUniverse's Scoliosis Center offers accurate information about the diagnosis and treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, adult scoliosis, and degenerative scoliosis.

Vertebral Column

Get an expert-written spinal anatomy lesson on the vertebral column (your spine) by reading this article.

Intervertebral Discs

The intervertebral discs are fibrocartilaginous cushions serving as the spine's shock absorbing system, which protect the vertebrae, brain, and other structures.

Anatomical Planes of the Body

Medical professionals often refer to sections of the body in terms of anatomical planes (flat surfaces). These planes are imaginary lines ? vertical or horizontal ? drawn through an upright body.

Spinal Curves

Spinal curves are either kyphotic or lordotic. In a normal spine there are four types of spinal curvatures important to balance, flexibility, and stress absorption and distribution.

Spinal Muscles: A Comprehensive Guide

Muscles are named according to their shape, location, or a combination. They are further categorized according function such as flexion, extension, or rotation.


Read this article to get a basic anatomy lesson about ligaments, which are fibrous bands or sheets of connective tissue linking 2 or more structures together.

Discharge Instructions for Lumbar Fusion Surgery

Collar care instructions for patients who have undergone lumbar fusions (anterior, posterior).

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Scoliosis symptoms in children and adults are similar. Included is a list of potential signs that a scoliosis is developing.

Financial Disclosures

SpineUniverse, a Vertical Health, LLC website, is committed to ensuring that the medical information it presents is accurate, balanced, objective, and trustworthy. 

To help achieve this goal, SpineUniverse requires all authors, editors, and reviewers to disclose any financial relationships or affiliations they have with companies whose products or services may be mentioned in the content they author, edit, or review.

The intent of this policy is to identify any perceived, potential, or real conflicts of interest so that readers can make their own judgments about the value of information being presented.

Author's Statement

I, the undersigned, declare that neither I nor members of my immediate family have a financial interests or affiliation with commercial companies whose products and / or services may be mentioned in the materials I have authored, edited or reviewed for presentation on Vertical Health, LLC’s websites.