Elite Spine

Research & Innovation

Our Lead Surgeon at Elite Spine, Prof. Joseph Butler, is an Associate Professor at University College Dublin and a Clinical Principal Investigator at Trinity College Dublin. He is an active clinical and laboratory researcher. He has a PhD in bone biology and leads the Butler Research Group.

Prof. Butler has over 100 publications and 100 presentations at national and international scientific meetings. He has 40 major national and international awards for his research work and is on the editorial board of several major journals in the fields of Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery and Spine Surgery. His h-index is 20 and he has over 1000 citations of his research.

For Prof Butler’s research profile please click here. For his Trinity College Dublin Profile click here. For his University College Dublin Profile click here

Areas of Active Research

Robotic Navigation Technology to Improve Outcomes in Spine Surgery

Robotic Spine Surgery offers improved surgical accuracy, greater patient safety and enhanced recovery. Robotic navigation allows minimally invasive spine surgery and complex revision spine surgery to be performed safely. Mr Butler is the Clinical Lead of the Robotic Spine Surgery Program at Mater Private Hospital. This is the first robotic navigation spine surgery program in the UK and Ireland. Mr. Butler sits on the Robotics and Navigation Committee of the North American Spine Society.

Improving Outcomes following Spinal Injuries

Mr Butler is a spine surgeon in the National Spinal Injuries Unit at Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. He manages tertiary referral spinal injuries and spinal cord injuries from around Ireland. He has a longstanding interest in improving clinical outcomes following spinal trauma and has published extensively in this area. Mr. Butler is the Secretary of the Irish Spine Society.

Improving Outcomes following Spinal Surgery in Older Patients

With an aging world population and increasing prevalence of osteoporosis, there are significant risks and technical challenges associated with performing spinal fusion surgery in the elderly. Mr Butler is leading a major laboratory study at the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering targeting skeletal stem cells to develop new treatments to improve outcomes following spinal fusion surgery. Mr. Butler sits on the Biologics and Basic Research Committee of the North American Spine Society

Impact of Sarcopenia on Low Back Pain

The reduction in skeletal muscle mass associated with aging is known as sarcopenia. It has been shown to have a detrimental impact on quality of life in the elderly, with an increased incidence of low back pain, osteoporosis, falls and difficulties with the basic activities of daily living. Mr. Butler is leading a major clinical study looking at non-surgical strategies, such as enhanced physiotherapy, to treat sarcopenia and low back pain in the elderly. Innovative Strategies to improve Surgical Consent Informed consent is an important part of surgical care in which patients need to understand the risks, complications and alternatives to surgery and the natural history of their conditions should they choose to decline treatment. Mr. Butler and his team are passionate about developing and testing innovative ways to improve information delivery and retention to enhance the surgical consent process.

The Butler Research Group

The Butler Research Group (BRG) is an exciting initiative set up 2018 by Mr Butler with the aim of conducting and promoting research related to the spine and spinal surgery. At present the group has 10 active members including Surgical Specialist Registrars, a PhD, Senior House Officers, Academic Intern, Medical Students. The research group has a particular interest in helping young doctors to develop an interest in research. This summer the research will be offering a Summer Surgical Research Initiative for Medical Students. Email: butlerresearchg@gmail.com


Email: butlerresearchg@gmail.com

Contact Us

If you wish book an appointment you can get in touch with us as listed below.

Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 16:00
Saturday - Sunday : Closed
St. Raphael's House
81 - 84 Dorset Street Upper
Dublin 1
The Gables
Torquay Road, Foxrock Village
Dublin 18
Elite Spine

Patient Testimonials

Elite Spine

I was recently referred to Elite Spine by my local G.P. as I had severe pain in my lower back and right hip. From the moment I arrived at the hospital door I was treated in a most professional and caring manner by the full team at Elite Spine. Diagnosis and treatment was swift and most professional. I am now fully recovered, pain free and leading a normal life again. Thank you Elite Spine. FMcG


From the time where my health began to be significantly impacted - the speed, efficiency and professionalism of Mr.Butler and his team was exceptional. From my doctors initial referral to Mr. Butlers clinic, Conor McBride, Mr. Butlers executive assistant did everything he could to work my hectic work diary around Clinic times, while Clinical Nurse Specialist Andrea was on hand post op to deal with all worries and queries. It's a great relief to know that your interests are what matters when life throws you a serious curve-ball.


Had a recurring, (over two years), back problem and on attending the Mater Private Hospital requested that remedial attention, if necessary, should be undertaken by Mr Joseph Butler. He was strongly recommended to me by a Health Professional who knew of his acknowledged expertise. Upon diagnosis I had, some two days later, a Lumbar Decompression and was up and about (timidly) the following day. I can strongly reccomend Mr Butler and his Clinical Nurse Specialist Andrea Flannery fortheir expert and "down to earth" approach.


During the past year I experienced severe neck and arm pain. I was referred to Mr Butler from my GP. Having a background in the medical field I was very apprehensive when surgery was suggested as the long term answer. I met with Mr butler and Nurse Andrea. They calmed my fears. When I arrived at the Mater Private I was welcomed by them. In surgery I was wheeled in and both were there. What a sense of safety!. My recovery went excellent and they were there for me daily. My recovery was fast and straightforward. They are at the other side of the phone if I need them, Thankfully I haven’t. If one could say it was a good experience, then it was excellent.

Sr McG

I was fortunate to be referred quite quickly to Mr Butler but in advance of my first consultation, I had spoken with the Elite Spine Team on the phone, they were very reassuring and once my condition was diagnosed and the date set for surgery, I felt a certain degree of relief. After surgery, it was wonderful to be pain free. To be able to sleep uninterrupted is like winning the health lotto. The care received from the entire team was fantastic."


Earlier this year my husband suffered from a very severe back condition. On arrival at Elite Spine Clinic we were treated with the utmost kindness and reassurance. The team of Mr.Joseph Butler, Consultant Spine Surgeon, Andrea,Spine Clinical Nurse Specialist,and Conor were each available to us at all times and we can’t thank them enough for the quality of care he received which was always professional and administered with great kindness.


Having endured and ignored a disc problem in my neck for many years I finally decided that the time had come to address the issue. Mr. Butler of Elite Spine was recommended to me and after an initial consultation, he recommended I have surgery but psychologically I wasn’t ready. At no time did he pressure me to take his advice. Eventually I had to accept that I needed to heed his recommendation. From my initial consultation to my final consultation I found Mr. Bulter to be quietly reassuring and extremely diligent. I met with his specialist nurse who continues to this day to follow up on my progress. At all times I felt I was in competent and capable hands. I cannot recommend Elite Spine highly enough and I am a very fussy ex-nurse!!