Beaumont Health System research finds that symptoms of overactive bladder, or OAB, were reduced in those who received tibial nerve stimulation. The 3-year results published recently show participants with urinary frequency, urgency, and involuntary loss of urine maintained significant improvement in their symptoms.
Tibial nerve stimulation is a painless procedure that takes place in an outpatient setting. A slim needle electrode is inserted in the ankle, near the tibial nerve. It carries electric impulses from a hand-held stimulator to the nerves in the spinal cord that control pelvic floor function.
Principal investigator Kenneth Peters, M.D., chief of Urology at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and a team of researchers reviewed data of 29 patients who initially responded to 12 weekly neuromodulation system treatments for OAB. Study participants were followed for 3 years.
Participants received an average of one tibial nerve treatment per month. After 14 weeks of treatment, 77 percent of patients maintained “moderate or marked improvement” in OAB symptoms.
For those who participated in the study, results show frequent trips to the bathroom during the day decreased by nearly 30 percent, or from 12 to 8.7; nighttime trips decreased by almost 40 percent, or from 2.7 to 1.7; and urge incontinence episodes per day decreased by 100 percent.
“This study demonstrates that with ongoing therapy, patients with overactive bladder can have fewer symptoms and can return to daily activity without disruption or embarrassment that is often caused by this condition,” says Dr. Peters.
Illustration: Electric impulses from a hand-held device travel from the nerves in the ankle to the nerves that control pelvic floor function. –Beaumont Health System.
Beaumont Health System News Release (05/30/13)
Science Daily (05/30/13)
e! Science News (05/30/13)
Abstract (The Journal of Urology; Vol. 189, Issue 6, 2194-2201 (06/2013))