Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for the treatment of urge fecal incontinence

Dis Colon Rectum. 2010 Apr;53(4):432-7. doi: 10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181c75274.


Purpose: Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation has been shown to be an effective treatment in patients with urinary disorders, but its benefit in fecal incontinence is uncertain. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in the treatment of urge fecal incontinence.

Methods: This prospective study, conducted over a 14-month period, assessed 31 patients with urge fecal incontinence treated with percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation. The outcomes measured were: 1) reduction in fecal incontinence episodes, 2) improvement in Cleveland Clinic incontinence scores, and 3) improvement in ability to defer defecation. All analysis was performed on an intention-to-treat basis.

Results: The median follow-up was 9 months (range, 3-14). Twenty-one (68%) patients improved following percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation and remain satisfied with the clinical response. Median fecal incontinence episodes per week declined from 4 (range, 0-30) to 0 (range, 0-27) (P < .0001). Median Cleveland Clinic incontinence scores declined from 13 (range, 5-20) to 7 (range, 0-20) (P < .0001). Ability to defer defecation was improved significantly (P < .0001). No morbidity was encountered for any patient.

Conclusion: This preliminary study demonstrates that percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation is an effective and very well tolerated treatment for patients with urge fecal incontinence with particular improvement in reducing fecal urgency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Fecal Incontinence / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tibial Nerve / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome