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Sigurd H. Berven


Orthopedic surgeon

Dr. Sigurd H. Berven has a strong interest in the care of children and adults with spinal disorders. He has expertise in pediatric and adult deformities, degenerative conditions of the spine, spinal tumors and spinal trauma.

In research, Berven is interested in the assessment of outcomes for patients who have orthopedic surgery. He also studies minimally invasive techniques in spinal surgery, and he is exploring cellular and molecular techniques to biologically regenerate components of the spine, including the intervertebral disc.

Berven studied human biology as an undergraduate at Stanford University. He was a graduate student in philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and then completed his residency in the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program, which provides training at four major city hospitals. Next, he advanced his training in spine surgery as a clinical fellow at UCSF and in pediatric orthopedic surgery as chief resident at Boston Children's Hospital.

Often invited to speak at national and international conferences, Berven has lectured on topics including measurement of outcomes in spine surgery, evaluation and management of spinal disorders, and advanced techniques in spinal surgery.

  • Education

    Harvard Medical School, 1993

  • Residencies

    UCSF, Orthopedic Surgery

  • Fellowships

    UCSF, Surgery

  • Academic Title


Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    380 Ratings
    About our process
    Feb 28, 2023
    Dr Berven deals with serious issues but after discovering my cyst had not come back he still prescribed physical therapy for my pain and maybe an injection if pt does not work. No surgery!!
    Feb 25, 2023
    Dr. Talked to me but never answered me about what the MRI's or scan showed. Frustrating.
    Feb 18, 2023
    Great experience
    Feb 11, 2023
    Beyond exceptional listened to all my concerns and brought up items I didn't even consider. Very detailed and informative discussed everything in depth and detail.
    Feb 07, 2023
    Dr.Berven also will be addressing the Lipoma during his plan if care thanks for listening
    Dec 16, 2022
    I always recommend Dr. Berven
    Dec 08, 2022
    Dr Berven is the best!!
    Oct 25, 2022
    Dr. Berven is very thorough he listens to every concern and he takes his time with you and I've never felt rushed or unheard.
    Oct 20, 2022
    Tremendous appreciation to all
    Oct 13, 2022
    My experiences with Dr. Berven and his assistant has always been very good.
    Oct 03, 2022
    Any info I might have missed at the visit was available to me in the AVS and visit notes
    Oct 01, 2022
    Better than very good! So thankful for their time!
    Sep 04, 2022
    It is beyond refreshing to have a surgeon who doesn't rush to suggest surgery!!
    Sep 01, 2022
    Provider listened to me patiently and carefully described treatment options
    Aug 25, 2022
    The care provider gave me sufficient time and was patient regarding my hearing deficiency
    Aug 23, 2022
    I have complete trust in Dr. Berven. Not only has he performed my surgery 15 yrs ago he also took in my late husband performing his 4th lumbar surgery giving him quality of life for 10 years. I'm blessed to have him as my doctor.
    Aug 17, 2022
    Would never go any place else
    Aug 16, 2022
    From my experience I believe Dr. Berven truly cares about being a good provider for his patients and a good mentor/instructor .
    Aug 13, 2022
    Dr Berven is the best and would highly recommend him to anyone with back problems.
    Aug 11, 2022
    I like the doctor but getting in touch with staff is horrible holdvtimes awful and no return calls half the time
    Aug 07, 2022
    Thank you
    Aug 04, 2022
    He was rude during one question..instead of listening to my answer of his question he became angry thinking Inwas answering a work comp question. This was in front of a student Dr. After the student left the room his demeanor softened up. He was nice and kind.
    Aug 02, 2022
    The surgery I had done a year ago wasn't a success and created a new problem. Doctor never discussed this new problem with me or proposed how to fix it.
    Aug 01, 2022
    Dr Berven is always pleasant extremely knowledgeable through and always expresses care.
    Jul 30, 2022
    He's an excellent doctor that makes sure everything is covered and makes sure that all my concerns are addressed
    Jul 11, 2022
    Both the Doctor & PA patiently gave me detailed information on my spine problem & how it could be resolved with consistent physical therapy. I was dreading having to have surgery but the doctor explained and demonstrated how physical therapy could help me. I was so relieved that my condition could be corrected with proper physical therapy instead of surgery. The doctor himself demonstrated how certain types of physical therapy would correct my "hump" problem & this showed me his concern and compassion for helping me. He presented pictures of my past surgery results wherein I had a straight back & current pictures with my hump. This gave me hope & motive to go through consistent exercises In physical therapy. When I came to my appointment I was depressed about my condition but when I left I was thrilled that all would be okay and that I could get positive results with the treatment (physical therapy) option that he patiently explained to me.
    May 28, 2022
    Provider is always very thorough and caring.
    May 18, 2022
    Dr. Berven is usually excellent but on this day he seemed very rushed and a little distracted.
    Apr 25, 2022
    He clearly outlined the steps I need to take in order to return to full health!
    Apr 23, 2022
    Needed better recommendations for follow up care with other providers to alleviate my health concern. Left to navigate on my own where to go from here with serious issues.
    Apr 19, 2022
    Great service
    Apr 19, 2022
    Was patient helpful and understanding
    Apr 18, 2022
    The Dr. And all assistants were very pleasant.
    Apr 18, 2022
    Referral to another provider recommended which I accepted but am not sure about how to make an appointment with them or when I should receive a call or directions to make the appointment.
    Apr 17, 2022
    Doctor Berven was very engaged and showed concern for my ongoing problems and ordered an MRI to try and figure it out.
    Apr 14, 2022
    Very patient centered
    Apr 06, 2022
    I asked about how long I should wear the brace and never got an answer and when I asked about my neck nobody fully addressed that again.
    Apr 02, 2022
    Dr Berven is an outstanding surgeon with a wonderful patient centric demeanor. He has talented and friendly staff to boot.
    Mar 29, 2022
    There seems to be a very comprehensive system in place to address all of my concerns as a patient
    Mar 22, 2022
    Mar 21, 2022
    Dr Berven is a fantastic surgeon and human being. He went above and beyond to make my surgeries happen in a safe and timely manner.
    Mar 19, 2022
    Outstanding explanation of the issues and my options. I left feeling heard and understood. From the options and the pros and cons he provided about themI chose the treatment that seemed best for me now. Dr Berven has such deep knowledge and explains things so clearly and makes the patient feel valued.
    Mar 19, 2022
    Would have liked greater depth about post collision differences in my surgical outcome. Probably somewhat outside if the scope of the visit and suffering from a concussion I neglected to ask as many follow up questions.
    Mar 19, 2022
    I was hoping for a definitive decision but Dr. Berven ordered more tests.
    Mar 15, 2022
    Very informed
    Mar 08, 2022
    I have the utmost respect for dr. Berven; but in this instance he was unable to give me an explanation of what was causing the pain I was experiencing.
    Mar 05, 2022
    Very familiar with my condition and recommended remedies.
    Mar 01, 2022
    Dr Berven was thorough informative patient and respectful every step of the way.
    Feb 14, 2022
    The provider went over options I had and explained them to me. He also listened to possible options I presented to him and explained them to me...why and whether they could be effective or not.
    Feb 11, 2022
    Dr. Berven has always explained his reasoning for his treatment politely and has always treated me with respect.
    Feb 08, 2022
    All appropriate recommendations for a successful outcome.
    Feb 02, 2022
    The care provider was very kind went over my MRI and the next steps.
    Jan 11, 2022
    Care provider and resident where great
    Jan 11, 2022
    Like I stated earlier Dr Berven is very caring. Sometimes doctors as renowned as he is can be a little arrogant but he is not.
    Jan 08, 2022
    Dr. Berven is the very best of the very best - the gold standard. He elucidated my condition with clarity precision and in a manner ICould fully comprehend. He provided me peace of mind that I found the best surgeon and hospital; this after seeing a number ofSurgeons who presented me with impressions that were contradictory and frankly off the wall. Finally I was blessed to find a physicianAnd surgeon who cared and isolated the issue.
    Jan 04, 2022
    De. Berven is the best cares for his patients and very informative and helpful non explaining the answers to my questions .
    Dec 07, 2021
    Very good and impressed
    Dec 05, 2021
    Ordered ct myeograk
    Nov 22, 2021
    Dr. Berven is the gold standard for professionalism understanding the complexities of my condition and conveying same in a mannerWhich was understandable. Thorough and well prepared knowledgeable yet kind and congeniel. No wonder he is one of the bestSpine surgeons in the world. He alleviated doubt and gave me confidence for the future.
    Nov 21, 2021
    Dr. Berven responded to my concerns & showed me physically that my neck had more mobility in it than I assumed which was very relieving & instructive
    Oct 27, 2021
    It's hard to say how bad this experience was for me. Berven had not so much as looked at my chart knew nothing about my former procedures misunderstood completely one of the procedures and said my providers were "stupid" for providing it became hostile when I questioned his recommendation for an epidural (which had not worked for me previously) and walked out of the room abruptly at the end after he had declared his opinion.
    Oct 26, 2021
    While the care provider was excellent his scheduling assistant neglected to request the necessary CT scan from workers comp. When I followed up a week later to see if she had heard from workers comp yet she informed me that she had not yet sent in the referral because she had been too busy. Given the debilitating pain I've been experiencing I am highly frustrated and disappointed in UCSF. I had a similar experience at the orthopedic center but had hoped the spine center was more efficient and concerned with patient care. The support staff is as crucial as the doctor I have learned. No matter how good the doctor is if the support staff does not do its job ultimately the patient suffers.
    Oct 24, 2021
    I feel fortunate that I was able to have Dr. Berven as my surgeon. I believe he is one of the best in his field and he is very good with his patients both pre and post op.
    Oct 21, 2021
    I was very satisfied with this visit. It was handled very weill.
    Oct 20, 2021
    The doctor reviewed my current X-rays my notes about my condition listened to my concerns that my spinal symptoms were changing and progressively getting worse. I was concerned about having another surgery but the doctor provided me with options to alleviate the pain and he ordered procedures to alleviate my pain and for a follow-up exam. In some ways he was comforting in his comments. I left feeling that he properly and completely addressed my medical issues and concerns.
    Oct 20, 2021
    Dr. Berven wrote timely orders for the different departments to wrap around my clinical needs but those orders took weeks to get to right places.when they did respond the responders were over booked under staffedIt appeared and getting the doctor's orders initiated as fast as he wanted then to be done took way too long...I needed to call too many numbers to get the right people. I think a staff member no longer was there as initially thought that person would be my "home central" go to person who coordinated these different departments but the ball seems to have been dropped. Very frustrating That is not Dr. Berven's fault.
    Sep 11, 2021
    Very good experience with Dr. Berven. He took time to explain things in detail and reviewed imaging with me. I was a bit overwhelmed so I still have some minor questions but they can be addressed via messaging in MyChart.
    Sep 11, 2021
    Physician was thoughtful evidence-based caring and generally outstanding.
    Sep 11, 2021
    The provider called me later in the evening and apologized for the delay. He was friendly and discussed the 3 most important details moving forward.
    Aug 25, 2021
    Even repeated the plan for future care when I looked puzzled.
    Aug 23, 2021
    I suffer Psoriatic Arthritis. I advise all my San Joaquin friends that UCSF is EXCELLENCE IN CARE as it relates to our Rheumatology Issues especially if it relates to Spine Care and/or General R/A issues. You folks-I believe-are 7th BEST in the entire Nation; very impressive. My care has been stellar so again I promote UCSF to all my National Psoriasis Foundation friends as well as my other dear friends NOT receiving best care locally (upon their complaint to me). You folks are simply the best! I appreciate Dr. Berven and his continued concerned with my well-being. After the Cervical Spine surgery I am convinced there is no one better I could possibly find for my Rheumatoid Disease. Dr. Berven and my own local Internist have compassion and provide best care one could ever hope for.
    Jul 18, 2021
    Appreciate the pre surgery instructions with physician's nurse and very open lines of communication.
    Jul 03, 2021
    As I previously stated this was my first visit to UCSF. Need to get more comfortable with your practices and procedures. I am sort of confused and look forward to clarification.
    Jun 20, 2021
    Dr. Berven is a wonderful doctor. He explained everything in detail.
    Jun 08, 2021
    Great Doc and Staff
    Jun 07, 2021
    Very friendly excellent "bedside manor." Excellent descriptions of therapy options
    May 25, 2021
    I felt like Dr Berven heard me. I appreciate that
    May 22, 2021
    Dr. Berven is a fantastic surgeon. He also seems concerned about some problems I'm experiencing post surgery and I feel confident he will work to resolve them.
    May 18, 2021
    After meeting with the Doctor I felt that I was going to get the best care!
    May 13, 2021
    While my earlier experience has been very bad the experience with UCSF Health and Dr. Berven has been so good as to "revive" me psychologically.
    May 01, 2021
    Dr. Berven was very good about listening to my concerns explaining options for treatment and scheduling MRI scans to identify my problems with my back. Dr. Berven is compassionate and thorough about considering my symptoms and needs. For this reason I trust him to properly care for me and to be an excellent diagnostician.
    Apr 24, 2021
    Apr 22, 2021
    Dr. Berven may be a great surgeon but because he was so behind schedule (and probably hadn't had lunch) since I was only a consultation and because he knew he wouldn't be doing my surgery I left believing I was a very unimportant patient to him. I am an R.N. and have worked with hundreds of physicians in my 40 year career. It's hard to wear me down emotionally and yet I was in tears all the way home (over an hour) due to the cavalier and rather callous way with which I felt I was treated. Perhaps Dr. Berven was having a bad day ... since this was the only time I've ever met the man I wouldn't know.
    Please check with your health insurance plan regarding coverage for this type of care. Not all providers at UCSF are covered by every insurance plan.