City to Coast


Dr Johnson and the City To Coast Neurosurgery team prides itself on providing a comprehensive boutique neurosurgery service with a difference.

Our focus is to personalise your care in a professional and compassionate manner.

We expect to get to know you and your family and of course your neurosurgical problems inside out and we want you to feel comfortable talking to any of our staff.

City to Coast Neurosurgery prioritise clinical communication and personally staying in touch with your progress particularly after surgery. Dr Johnson is always contactable and will personally reply to your queries in a timely manner.

We understand that neurosurgery is a huge ordeal for you and your family. We feel privileged that you have entrusted us with your health. Please know that our team will do the utmost to assist you back to good health.



City To Coast Neurosurgery is the clinical arm of the Back Pain and Functional Movement Training Centre.  We are world leaders in understanding, defining and of course reversing the disease that causes back pain symptoms through the application of unique and distinctive NeuroHAB Movement Therapy.  We pride ourselves on delivering clinical excellence in non-surgical and surgical management of back pain that is not available through any other health or rehabilitation service.

City To Coast Neurosurgery and its collaboration with The Back Pain and Functional Movement Training Centre and St Andrews Hospital Emergency Department allows for expedited management of acute back pain regardless of whether you have private health insurance. The most significant contributor to the development of chronic low back pain is poorly managed acute low back pain. The early warning signs of back twinges should not be ignored. Simply managing symptoms with rest or couch-based physical therapies such as; Massage, adjustments or deep tissue release will not effectively reverse the root cause of your symptoms. Similarly, over the counter pain medications may temporise symptoms but they will invariably recur. This poor management approach that is so often delivered by the back pain therapeutic industry is precisely why back pain has become such an epidemic in our society and constitutes Failed Back Pain Rehabilitation Syndrome.

This is a highly specialised form of management for severe back pain that is deemed to be present when even minor or trivial normally painless stimuli cause back pain such as coughing, standing, or walking. These types of patients become severely disabled with their condition. Incredibly there is often very little structurally compromised in the spine. Patients are often in disbelief when they are informed by skilled professionals who are able to interpret spinal MRI Imaging that their back looks remarkably healthy. Extensive education and counseling along with NeuroHAB is delivered to patients staying in hospital with this condition to set them on a slow but steady road to recovery.

It is conservatively estimated that approximately 1.5 million Australians are living with chronic low back pain today.  There are even more patients with a relapsing and remitting history of pain. If you are unfortunate to not have received effective treatment for the earlier warning signs of acute and relapsing / remitting back pain then a slow steady tissue break down is likely to occur. In this instance you may benefit from a Surgical Structural repair thus allowing for effective NeuroHAB Rehabilitation to be implemented. This is imperative to reinstate the Functional repair for your spine. You can be reassured however that most people with Back Pain symptoms assessed by Dr David Johnson do not need surgery.  Surgery, when it is required is performed at St Andrews War Memorial Private Hospital and at the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital.

Dr Johnson has a wide range of expertise that cover artificial disc replacement, fusion via the abdomen, referred to as anterior or oblique approaches or via the back, referred to as posterior approaches. Dr Johnson is one of the more limited number of surgeons that have been performing key hole side approach lumbar fusion, referred to as XLIF and key hole pedicle screw fixation since the very early days of when this technology was available in Australia pioneered in Brisbane at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Royal Brisbane Hospital where Dr Johnson trained and later worked as a consultant.

Literature supports that this condition is a much over looked cause for low back pain. Dr Johnson has been a national educator for the management and training of Computer Navigated Key Hole Rialto Sacro-Iliac Joint Fusion.

Like back pain, the upper or cervical region of your spine may become chronically painful. You may describe associated arm pain too. This requires comprehensive assessment. Fortunately most of the time surgery is not required and The Functional Movement Training Centre Neck NeuroHAB program will resolve Movement Dysfunction that is the root cause of your neck pain symptoms. However, if you have serious spinal instability or spinal cord or nerve root compression appropriate surgery may be required. Dr Johnson has expertise in the area of minimally invasive artificial disc replacement and cervical fusion.

Dr Johnson’s expertise cover a wide range of Neurosurgery including Neuro-oncology, Acute Cerebro-vascular surgery, brain and spine trauma, trigeminal neuralgia, CSF diversion surgery, anterior skull base surgery and peripheral nerve surgery.

Dr David Johnson has career long experience with this exciting and rapidly advancing cutting edge technology that has wide areas of application from Migraine Management, Neck Pain, Occipital Neuralgia, Back Pain, Neuropathic Lower and Upper Limb Pain including Peripheral Neuropathy and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.

St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, Sunshine Coast Currimundi Clinic and if appropriate Dr Johnson is pleased to conduct tele-consultations with you via Skype. You can be in attendance with your General Practitioner or from your private location.

We have performed over 1000 tele-consultations with extremely high patient and GP satisfaction.

Back pain is overwhelmingly prevalent in our society and in accordance with World Health Organisation data is the leading cause of disability world wide. Too many patients wait for long periods, up to 12 months in public hospitals to receive management advice. This is detrimental to a productive and definitive recovery. We established a fast track multidisciplinary and multimedia Group Conference Clinic to provide high quality assessment, education and implementation of definitive back pain symptom management to combat this significant problem. 

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Many patients remain in long wait public hospital outpatient ques because of a lack of private health insurance. Specialists Neurosurgical assessment and onward referral to public hospitals may assist with speeding up this process.

Pre-consultation investigations can be arranged and often bulk billed through our associations with trusted partners based on information provided by your referring General practitioner. Serious conditions and the lack of sinister pathology on imaging investigations can reduce stress and anxiety or if identified early can trigger to expedited treatment.

Brain Neurosurgery

The term “brain surgery” refers to various medical procedures that involve repairing structural problems in the brain. The team at City To Coast Neurosurgery understands that being informed that you require brain surgery may be one of the most daunting moments of your life. Rest assured that our team are experts in managing your condition and will provide you with the world-class care that is required for safe outcomes from this most complex form of medical treatment. There are numerous kinds of brain surgery. The type of brain surgery done depends highly on the condition being treated. For example, a brain aneurysm can be repaired using a catheter that’s introduced into an artery in the groin. If an aneurysm has ruptured, an open surgery called craniotomy may be used.

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Spinal Neurosurgery

It is important to seek expert help early and be guided by the correct road map. Be aware there are thousands of very poor road maps to follow when it comes to low back pain symptom management and if you are following one of those then no matter how hard you try, how disciplined and supported you are, you will never reach your objective “destination” of a pain free healthy back.

Clues that you are on the wrong road map are, being told your core is weak and that you need to exercise more or lose weight, receiving regular manual therapy, releases or massages for “tight” muscles, being referred for more spinal injections or medications for your back pain and finally that you are just getting old with disc degeneration and arthritis. These are all fallacies and an indication that your physical therapist, doctor or personal trainer does not understand the disease which causes back pain symptoms

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P: (07) 3255 9356
F: (07) 3255 9357
A: Level 4, Yellow Block, St Andrew’s Hospital, 457 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane QLD 4000