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AIM: PTNS is minimally invasive treatment that can be performed in the outpatient clinic. A pilot study was carried out to investigate the efficacy of PTNS in the treatment of faecal incontinence (FI).
METHOD: PTNS was performed by the insertion of a needle-electrode near the posterior tibial nerve. The electrode was connected to a stimulator. Its position was confirmed by foot sole sensation and toe flexion. Patients were treated twice a week by a 30 minute stimulation period. The patients were evaluated at 6 weeks by diary recording and CCFI scores.
RESULTS: Seventeen patients were included. The mean age was 62.3 ± 11.4 (36-81). All patients responded with a toe reflex on PTNS test stimulation and underwent the 6-week treatment. After 6 weeks 14 continued the programme, three stopped because of lack of efficacy. CCFI scores improved significantly from 11.7 to 8.1 at 6 weeks (P < 0.001) and to 6.3 at 3 months (n = 6, P= 0.007). The mean number of incontinence episodes decreased significantly from 12.9 to 6.5 (P = 0.04) at 6 weeks.
CONCLUSION: PTNS can be an effective treatment for FI. Patient selection and practical consequences have to be investigated.