The Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure: Everything You Need to Know 

July 13, 2023

Have chronic back pain? The world of medicine has witnessed several advancements in recent years, with dozens of new “non-invasive” treatments having been developed for treating all kinds of pain conditions. One such procedure, Indirect Spinal Decompression, also known as “the Minuteman Procedure” is a way to treat chronic back pain. 

In this informative blog, find out what this innovative procedure is, how it works, and who it's for, so that you can determine if it's something that's right for you.

What is the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure?

The Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure is a groundbreaking alternative to traditional surgery for spinal issues, offering patients a less intrusive, minimally invasive option. By applying a negative pressure on the spine to reduce stress and create a decompressive effect, the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure can decrease pain in the spinal joints and the surrounding tissue. This can help reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve mobility, without having to remove any parts of the spine. 

How Does the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure Work?

Patients suffering from spinal stenosis or degenerative disease often undergo immense pressure on the nerves, leading to excruciating back pain. In such cases, the spine can collapse due to severe disc disease, further aggravating the situation. This is where the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure can help. By placing a relatively small device laterally within the vertebrae, which then expands to create a space, the Minuteman procedure can help expand the spine and alleviate the pressure of your nerve endings—reducing pain.

Who Is It For?

Anyone suffering from debilitating back pain caused by either spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease can benefit from the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure. Particularly those in dire need of an intervention, but are hesitant about undergoing major surgery could find this an attractive option. It’s also helpful for patients who are at risk of severe disc collapse caused by undue stress on the nerves. 

Before deciding that the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure is the right option for you, be sure to talk to a pain doctor about your medical history and the severity of your condition. This procedure is not for everyone, and your doctor will be able to help you determine if it is the best course of action for you.

How Does The Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure Compare To Traditional Surgery?

Traditional surgery often involves removing sections of a bone to relieve pressure, which, though helpful initially, can lead to further complications. Removing bones can destabilize the spinal structure and weaken it over time. This usually leads to the expansion of incisions or further removals, contributing to the instability.

In contrast, the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure strengthens the spine by inserting an expansion device that spaces the bones, relieving pressure on the nerves. The process does not involve removing any part of the patient's body and is, therefore, less invasive and more stable in the long term.

What Is Recovery Like?

One of the biggest advantages of the Minuteman Procedure is the faster, more comfortable recovery phase. Given the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, patients may be able to return to their regular activities soon after the procedure, allowing them to forgo protracted recovery periods spent in bed.


The Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure is a ground-breaking advancement in spinal treatment. Its minimally invasive nature, combined with its lower recovery time, make it a viable alternative to major surgery for those with spinal stenosis or degenerative disease. 

Consider consulting with your healthcare provider about the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure before opting for more extensive surgical options. It could offer you an innovative solution that fits your needs while providing the relief you seek. 

Interested in having the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure in San Marcos, Texas? Contact the Greater Austin Pain Center! Our pain specialists are experts in chronic back pain, and have the skills and experience to perform the Minuteman Procedure as well as other minimally invasive procedures. 

Contact us today for a consultation in San Marcos and find out for yourself whether this minimally invasive treatment is right for you!

Lunch & Learn With Our Doctors

Curious about Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation? Join our doctors for an in-person lunch and learn session to find out more about these treatments and ask any questions you may have. This event will be 12–1pm, sign up below to receive more details and RSVP.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Take the First Step to a Pain-free Life

People often experience different levels of pain that need different types of pain care management. We can help you find a customized pain relief regimen that addresses the root issues. Please contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Austin, Kyle, Dripping Springs, and San Marcos!

Schedule an Appointment

Relieve Your Pain Today!
Disclaimer: Using this form does not establish a patient-physician relationship. This form is not to be used for emergencies or urgent requests. Please call 911 if you have a life-threatening emergency.
All information is secure and confidential.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Greater Austin Pain Center Is Hiring! Apply Online Today