What is Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation?
Posterior tibial nerve stimulation, or PTNS, is a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with symptoms of an overactive bladder and other urinary difficulties. Also known as urge incontinence, overactive bladder is a common condition that involves urine leakage after a sudden urge to urinate. PTNS is a type of neuromodulation therapy that is delivers harmless electrical impulses to nerves to modify the way they work. With PTNS, the goal is to stimulate the tibial nerve, which leads to the sacral nerve, which controls the bladder, sphincter and pelvic floor muscles.
PTNS involves the insertion of a small needle electrode into the tibial nerve of the leg, which is connected to a stimulator. The stimulator sends electrical impulses through the tibial nerve to the sacral nerve, to help to block the nerve signals that are not working effectively. This process helps to gradually change the activity of the bladder and reduce the symptoms of incontinence. Each treatment session lasts about thirty minutes, and most patients will require a series of twelve weekly sessions. Some patients may require ongoing treatment in order to maintain the results of PTNS.