NEUROSURGERY BLOG

Back Hurts & Legs Tingle, Feel Weak or Numb? Consider Minuteman As a Minimally Invasive Alternative to Laminectomy and Fusion

For patients dealing with the effects of low back pain and lumbar spinal stenosis, the journey towards relief often seems daunting. While effective at helping leg pain, traditional fusion surgery comes with its challenges and long-term considerations. However, the Minuteman procedure is emerging as a promising alternative.

Dr. Tim Johans, a respected neurosurgeon in Boise, discusses the benefits of this innovative procedure with his patients, highlighting its less invasive nature, faster recovery times, and superior pain relief capabilities compared to conventional options like spinal fusion. He performs more Minuteman procedures than any other surgeon in Idaho, with fabulous results reported by previous patients. The Minuteman device is a fantastic alternative for most patients compared to fusion. If you are going to consider getting the Minuteman, you should see Dr. Johans first because

  • He is the only surgeon in Idaho with extensive experience in traditional surgeries and the wisdom to help you choose the best treatment option, surgical or non-surgical.
  • He would not suggest this surgery be performed at a pain clinic to anyone in his family, and suggests the same for his patients.

Dr. Johans recommends that lumbar fusion should be the very last resort to treating pain, numbness, or tingling in the legs. Patients should always seek the expert opinion of a board certified neurosurgeon to make recommendations and perform any elected surgery. This means that you can trust they will have the experience necessary on the rare occurrence of complications. You should also work with a neurosurgeon who performs the surgery in a hospital, staffed with specialty trained nurses, a certified anesthesiologist, and stocked with all the correct equipment. This will ensure you are getting the best treatment in the safest place possible.

Dr. Johans is a Diplomat and Fellow of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, board certified in Pain Management and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. He began his neurosurgical career in 1988 and has been practicing in Boise since 1993. With these credentials, you can trust that Dr. Johans has the specialized knowledge and experience to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

He is a dedicated family man who is heavily involved in his community, is involved in several hospital boards and committees and takes pride in being a faith-driven person. Dr. Johans has had a 3 level neck fusion and can discuss options from his vast personal experience.

We also work closely with other non-surgeons if necessary so that our patients can access all available resources when making decisions regarding their treatment plans. Additionally, our team is always prompt in responding to inquiries and addressing patients' concerns throughout their recovery process. Reviews on Google and Healthgrades show that many individuals who have sought treatment from Dr. Johans have found success in his treatments while feeling comfortable and supported throughout their experiences at our office.

image of a senior massaging their tingling leg

Understanding Traditional Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Traditional surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis involves a significant operation aimed at relieving nerve root pressure. This process typically includes a large incision, extensive muscle work, and the removal of substantial amounts of bone and ligament. While such surgeries have been the standard for decades and can provide significant relief, they are not without their downsides.

According to Dr. Johans, who has performed these surgeries for over 30 years, this approach can inadvertently destabilize the back, potentially leading to a fusion immediately or in the future. The goal is to alleviate symptoms such as leg pain, weakness, and numbness, but patients must understand the surgery's long-term implications on spinal stability.

The Minuteman Procedure: A Novel Approach

Minuteman surgery is a less invasive option for treating lumbar spinal stenosis. Unlike traditional surgery, this technique focuses on the indirect decompression of the nerve roots and opens up critical areas of the spine without causing instability. It enhances spinal stability by tightening down the spinous processes and lamina, offering a dual benefit of decompression and stabilization. This method can increase the space where the nerve root exits (neuroforamen) by about 30%, expand the spinal canal by 25% to 30%, and open up the lateral recess by 30% to 40%, where nerve root compression often occurs. This procedure offloads the weight on the facet joints & thus is much more likely to improve low back pain.
 

Why Choose the Minuteman Procedure?

For those suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis and pseudo-claudication (nerve compression), the Minuteman procedure could be the solution they've been seeking. Its ability to significantly open up the three major areas prone to nerve root compression without destabilizing the spine is a significant advancement in spinal surgery. Patients can look forward to an improvement in symptoms and an increase in overall spinal stability. This procedure stands out for being much less invasive than a fusion, reduced recovery times, and lower risk of long-term complications compared to traditional surgery.

Patients should consult with Dr. Johans to determine the best course of action for their specific condition. However, the Minuteman procedure represents a significant leap forward in spinal health and patient care.

image of a doctor examining their patient's back

Contact Dr. Johans for Minuteman Surgery in Boise

If minuteman surgery is a procedure you're considering, Dr. Johans is here to guide you every step of the way. His commitment is to provide personalized care that aligns with your lifestyle and health objectives.

Reach out directly at (208) 327-5621 or start your journey to recovery by completing our patient questionnaire. Together, we’ll explore the best treatment options for you and your lifestyle.


Patient Questionnaire

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