Am I a good candidate for Minuteman®?
If you suffer from chronic back or leg pain, and have not found relief from conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend Minuteman. The following questions may help determine if the Minuteman System is right for you:
- Does your back or leg pain worsen with prolonged standing or walking?
- Does your back or leg pain improve while you are sitting?
- Does leaning forward improve your pain?
What is the Minuteman® Device and why could it help me?
The Minuteman® is a device designed to help create more room and stabilize your spine. The pain and weakness you feel in your legs, low back or buttocks could be caused by clinical instability, the narrowing of your spinal canal, or the slipping of a vertebrae over another vertebrae. The spinal canal can be looked at like a room with 4 walls.
Over time, the walls have been closing in on your spinal canal, and the Minuteman® will move the walls back and up to create more room in your spine. This allows your nerves to breathe, which is what could be causing the pain in your legs. The Minuteman could also better align your spine, which could be causing pain in your low back.
After I’ve decided that the Minuteman® is for me, what should I do in preparation for the procedure?
Before the procedure, make sure you have been fasting 12 hours prior. Please arrange for transportation to the surgery center and then home after the procedure, as you will not be allowed to drive home after the procedure is done. Make sure you have medical clearance from your primary care or physician specialist. If you are on blood thinners or NSAIDs, please check with your primary care doctor when you are to stop taking those medications.
What does the procedure day look like?
When you arrive at the surgery center, you will be greeted by the surgery center staff. You will change into a robe provided by the hospital, and they will begin the prep work for your procedure. After your IV is inserted and all the preparation is finished, you will be asleep during the entire procedure. Your doctor will make a small incision less than one inch on the side of your body where the implant will be placed into your spine area that is causing pain, with a special lateral surgical approach, which is very safe and could speed up your recovery and help your pain post op be reduced.
When you wake up in the recovery room, some soreness at the surgical site is normal and should be expected. Your doctor will most likely send you home with some antibiotics and will recommend some Tylenol, or anti-inflammatory medications, to take for a few days after the procedure.
What should I do when I get home after the procedure?
In general, for about 4-8 weeks after the procedure, you will want to avoid bending, lifting and twisting. Avoid lifting anything over 10-15lbs or any strenuous activities such as swimming, running, jogging, golfing, tennis, other rec sports or sexual activity. You can increase your light activity, such as walking, as tolerated. The surgical site will have a few stitches or staples that should be kept clean and dry for 7-14 days. Avoid scrubbing the surgical site for 72 hours and don’t take baths or submerge the surgical site. Clean with soap and water and change the bandage daily or anytime the bandage gets wet.
Report any changes in the wound such as redness, bleeding and or swelling to your physician.
What kind of physical therapy should I expect after the procedure?
Physical Therapy after the Minuteman® implantation will help you get back to your daily activities. Usually PT will last for about 8 weeks after the procedure and will need to be completed 2-3 times per week. This could be done at home or in clinic, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. Some goals for PT will be to decrease pain and inflammation for the first 2 weeks, strengthen your muscles and flexibility in the next 2 weeks, and for the remainder of PT, advancing your lifting and posture training to get you back to work and daily living.
Please note: This is a typical timeline and your physician may change your Physical Therapy goals based on your individual needs.
What diagnosis could make me potentially eligible to receive the Minuteman® implant?
It is important you talk to your doctor about the best way to treat your back and/or leg pain. Your doctor will decide if the Minuteman® implant is the right choice for your condition.
The Minuteman® is intended for plate fixation/attachment to spinous processes for the purpose of achieving fusion in the following conditions: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, and Spondylolisthesis.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Degenerative Disc Disease
What are Minuteman® Patients Saying?
Listen now to genuine stories from Minuteman® patients and discover the transformative effect Minuteman® has had on their back and leg pain.