The Minuteman device is also a new interspinous spacer like the Vertiflex is, but may be considered when there is more movement of the spine than can be done with the Vertiflex device. The slippage of your spine can be up to a Grade 2. The advantage with this device is we can also do a bony fusion, better stabilizing your spine if indicated. The Minuteman can also be done for central, foraminal and subarticular stenosis. Due to not only having narrowing of the spine and also the minor instability, these patients commonly not only have the leg symptoms, but also typically have more back pain. The Minuteman may also be considered for people who are felt to have low back pain due to degenerative disc disease.
There are many advantages of a Minuteman fusion over a traditional open invasive fusion. A lateral approach is utilized, preserving the supraspinous ligament. This approach avoids nerve roots and blood vessels. The minimally invasive approach utilizes as series of dilators, which avoids cutting muscles. All of this results in minimal blood loss and less postoperative pain. The bone graft being within the core of the spacer results in much easier placement. The large graft window of the core is felt to be similar to an interbody cage, but of course much less invasive. The spacer is also coated with hydroxyapatite which allows ingrowth of bone to the implant for a more natural long lasting fusion.
Thus the Minuteman spacer/fusion not only opens up the canal, but also gives your spine more stability if needed. To learn more about the Minuteman go to www.SpinalSimplicity.com