What is an Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure? 

An Indirect Spinal Decompression, also known as “the Minuteman Procedure,” is a procedure used to treat symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy (pain that radiates into the lower extremities), disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. 

How Does Indirect Spinal Decompression Work?

The Minuteman procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and only a small incision is made to perform. It’s often used as an alternative to more invasive surgeries such as a lumbar laminectomy or fusion. During an Indirect Spinal Decompression, your doctor will use instruments inserted through a small (approximately 1 inch) incision in your low back to place a small spacer between the spinous processes (bony ridges at the back of your spine), creating more space where the nerves exit your spine. 

What to Expect from the Indirect Spinal Decompression procedure?

The incision in your lower back will typically heal within a few weeks. That said, with the exception of the recommendation to avoid bending and twisting for the first few weeks following the procedure, there are no other restrictions, and you can expect to recover fully over a period of several weeks.  The results from this procedure are usually noticed within a few weeks of the procedure and are long-lasting. 

What Does the Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure Treat?

Indirect Spinal Decompression treats symptoms of lumbar radiculopathy (pain that radiates to the lower extremities), disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. As the spine degenerates over years of wear and tear, the openings at the sides of the spine, where the nerves exit to start heading into the legs, become narrowed. This causes the nerves to be pinched, which can lead to symptoms including back pain as well as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the legs. By placing a spacer between the spine bones, more space is created in the openings at the sides of the spine where the nerves exit, leading to improved symptoms.

Risks of the Indirect Spinal Decompression “Minuteman” Procedure:

The most common side-effect of Indirect Spinal Decompression is post-procedural soreness that generally resolves over several days with ice packs and over the counter medications. It should be noted however that extensive precautions are always taken to minimize these risks prior to treatment. 

Woman at elevators in front of San Antonio Eye Specialists sign.

The Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure Process


Schedule an Appointment

Schedule an appointment with us today to see if you’re a good candidate for an Indirect Spinal Decompression Procedure. We’re happy to provide this state-of-the-art procedure at our offices in Austin, Kyle, and San Marcos, and can work with you to provide convenient accommodations.


Initial Evaluation

During your initial appointment, we’ll conduct a thorough medical assessment to determine if the Minuteman procedure is right for you, as well as the best course of treatment.



Once the evaluation is completed, we will discuss the recommended treatment plan, which may include the spinal decompression procedure and/or other procedures and pain treatment interventions. We’ll also answer all of your questions and address your concerns prior to proceeding with treatment.



After the treatment plan is complete, we’ll recommend next steps to ensure a speedy recovery, so that you can return to your normal routine as soon as possible.


"Dr. Jarzembeck is AMAZING. I HIGHLY recommend her for anyone suffering in pain. She goes above and beyond to make sure her patients pain has been dealt with."

Genia G.

"Everyone is so friendly and helpful, Dr. Bednar came to me and explained the procedure and answered my questions. Highly recommend!"

Maggie G.

"Dr. Julia is the best! The staff is professional and friendly to all. Best of all, Dr. Julia is finding solutions for my chronic pain! Never thought that it would be possible. It's a journey for me, but it seems like there is a solution."

Nancy M.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Minuteman procedure covered by insurance?

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Yes, it is approved by Medicare, Medicare replacement plans and many commercial insurance companies.

How long does the Minuteman procedure take?

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The procedure is often completed in less than 1 hour.

How long will the benefits last?

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The effects are known to be long-lasting. Many patients experience relief for years after the procedure and are able to achieve a higher quality of life.

How long is the recovery time for the Minuteman procedure?

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Most patients can return to light or normal activity within 24-48 hours of the procedure and will see improved functionality over time. However, for the first few weeks after the procedure, significant bending and twisting motions should be avoided.

Do I need general anesthesia when undergoing this procedure?

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No, most patients can undergo the Minuteman procedure with moderate sedation that does not require a breathing tube.

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.

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Treat Your Chronic Pain in Kyle and San Marcos Texas! 

Are you suffering from chronic pain and need relief? Look no further! We’re proud to provide the Indirect Spinal Decompression “Minuteman” procedure at both our San Marcos and Kyle Texas locations. Schedule an appointment today to find out if this procedure is right for you, and discover how our pain management solutions can help you experience relief. 

Get the relief you deserve by booking your appointment at the Greater Austin Pain Center today!

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