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Mr John O’Dowd


Consultant Spinal Surgeon

Specialty: Orthopaedic Surgery, Pain management, Spinal Surgery

Location: London

Professional Profile

John is a consultant spinal surgeon who uniquely combines his rich clinical knowledge with excellent interpersonal and communication skills to effectively diagnose and treat people with spinal problems. He holds an established and respected position in the world of back pain and in combination with his ever-present keen interest he has become an expert in this field.

John is in full time clinical practice in London as a consultant spinal surgeon and has been exclusively managing spinal conditions since 1994. His clinical history includes being a honorary consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square, as well as reconstructive spinal specialist surgeon, performing complex reconstructive procedures in adults, and scoliosis surgery in children. He has a real interest in all conditions affecting the spine and takes a unique biopsychosocial approach to treating each person.

John has always had a strong interest in non-surgical management and treatment options for back pain and he has been involved in numerous revolutionary projects. He was the founder and director of the RealHealth Institute in London which is an evidence-based organization providing multidisciplinary assessment and treatment programmes for patients with chronic and complex spinal pain, including functional restoration and pain management programmes. He is now the clinical director of the RealHealth Institute in Holland, which is a national referral centre for non-surgical care in complex low back pain.

John’s research interests have led to publications and scientific presentations in relation to spinal injury, scoliosis, low back pain, non-operative spine care, spinal outcome measures, thoracoscopic and laparoscopic spinal surgery and undergraduate education.

He is a reviewer for the leading spinal journals, including Spine and the European Spine Journal, as well as the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Injury. He is the President of the Society for Back Pain Research. He is a member of the British Association of Spine Surgeons, the British Scoliosis Society, the Spine Society of Europe and the North American Spine Society.

He lectures and teaches extensively on all aspects of spinal disease. He was one of the founders of AOSpine, which has become the largest professional support and representative organisation for spinal surgeons across the World. He was their director of education worldwide, and has lectured in and chaired courses in all parts of the globe. To this day he continues to teach surgical skills to surgeons in training.

John has acted as a medical expert in spinal injuries, whiplash injury and workplace back injury. In addition, he has always had an interest in clinical guidelines, back pain pathways and implementing effective and integrated services. To name a few, John has been closely involved with several key guidelines in the UK (CSAG, 1994), he has been working as an educational advisor for AO Spine courses and he is involved in many other exciting projects, all of which recognize him as a true expert in the world of back pain.

Specialises In

Spinal Surgery
Pain Management

Professional Memberships

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