Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is a treatment option for patients who present with urinary urgency, frequency, urge incontinence, or urinary retention. When behavior modification and/or pharmacotherapy did not adequately relieve symptoms, this treatment was found to decrease incidence of overactive bladder or retention symptoms.
PTNS is a form of neuromodulation which can be used with, or as an alternative to other treatments such as fluid modification, bladder retraining, and anticholinergic medication. Treatment targets the tibial nerve in the ankle and modifies the nerve impulses sent to the bladder which contribute to the development of urgency. A small acupuncture needle is inserted into the ankle near the tibial nerve and is then connected to a stimulator device.
The results of this study provide strong scientific evidence that the therapeutic effect of PTNS is due to the stimulation of the nerve and is not due to a placebo effect.