BlueCross and BlueShield of Montana Medical Policy/Codes
Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation
Chapter: Medicine: Treatments
Current Effective Date: March 15, 2014
Original Effective Date: December 18, 2009
Publish Date: January 15, 2014
Revised Dates: June 1, 2011; June 11, 2012; March 27, 2013; January 15, 2014


Altering the function of the posterior tibial nerve with posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is believed to improve voiding function and control. While the posterior tibial nerve is located near the ankle, it is derived from the lumbar-sacral nerves (L4-S3), which control the bladder detrusor and perineal floor. Voiding dysfunction includes urinary frequency, urgency, incontinence, and nonobstructive retention. Common causes of voiding dysfunction are pelvic floor dysfunction (e.g., from pregnancy, childbirth, surgery), inflammation, medication (e.g., diuretics and anticholinergics), obesity, psychogenic factors, and disease (e.g., multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, detrusor hyperreflexia, diabetes with peripheral nerve involvement).

The procedure for PTNS consists of the insertion of a needle above the medial malleolus into the posterior tibial nerve followed by the application of low-voltage (10 mA, 1–10 Hz frequency) electrical stimulation that produces sensory and motor responses (i.e., a tickling sensation and plantar flexion or fanning of all toes). Noninvasive PTNS has also been delivered with surface electrodes. The recommended course of treatment is an initial series of 12 weekly office-based treatments followed by an individualized maintenance treatment schedule.

PTNS is less invasive than traditional sacral nerve neuromodulation, which has been successfully used in the treatment of urinary dysfunction but requires implantation of a permanent device. In sacral root neuromodulation, an implantable pulse generator that delivers controlled electrical impulses is attached to wire leads that connect to the sacral nerves, most commonly the S3 nerve root that modulates the neural pathways controlling bladder function.

Regulatory Status

In July 2005, the Urgent® PC Neuromodulation System (Uroplasty, Inc.) received 510(k) marketing clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation to treat patients suffering from urinary urgency, urinary frequency, and urge incontinence. The device was cleared as a class II ‘‘nonimplanted, peripheral nerve stimulator for pelvic floor dysfunction” because it was considered to be substantially equivalent to the previously cleared percutaneous Stoller afferent nerve system (PerQ SANS System) in 2001 (K992069, UroSurge, Inc.).


Each benefit plan, summary plan description or contract defines which services are covered, which services are excluded, and which services are subject to dollar caps or other limitations, conditions or exclusions. Members and their providers have the responsibility for consulting the member's benefit plan, summary plan description or contract to determine if there are any exclusions or other benefit limitations applicable to this service or supply.  If there is a discrepancy between a Medical Policy and a member's benefit plan, summary plan description or contract, the benefit plan, summary plan description or contract will govern.


Posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) administered once weekly for up to 12 weeks may be considered medically necessary for treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) when the patient has ALL of the following:

  1. OAB symptoms persisting for at least 12 months (i.e., urgency with or without urge incontinence, and usually with frequency and/or nocturia) in the absence of pathologic or metabolic cause; and
  2. Significant disability due to OAB that limits the patient’s ability to participate in daily activities; and
  3. Failed behavioral therapy (e.g., pelvic floor muscle training, biofeedback, timed voids and fluid management); and
  4. Failed at least 2 medications for treatment of OAB.

If the patient has shown improvement as a result of the 12 initial weekly treatments of PTNS for OAB, maintenance PTNS therapy may be considered medically necessary once every 3 weeks for up to 1 year.

For patients showing continued improvement from the first year of treatments with PTNS for OAB, continued PTNS therapy may be considered medically necessary when administered once every 3 weeks to maintain symptom improvement in responders for an additional 12 months, for up to a maximum of 36 months total. 

All other uses of PTNS are considered experimental, investigational and/or unproven, including but not limited to:

  1. Continued therapy after initial 12 weeks when no improvement is seen;
  2. Continued therapy after 12 months when improvement is not sustained;
  3. Continued therapy after 36 months of maintenance therapy;
  4. Stress incontinence;
  5. Interstitial cystitis;
  6. Neurogenic bladder due to neurologic impairment (e.g., spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, stroke, etc.);
  7. Obstructive urinary retention.


Overactive bladder

Randomized controlled trials

Two key randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for treating patients diagnosed with overactive bladder syndrome have been published. In 2009, Peters and colleagues published an industry-sponsored non-blinded comparison of PTNS and extended-release tolterodine (Detrol LA) in women with overactive bladder syndrome (the OrBIT trial). (1) The study included 100 patients (50 per group); more than 90% were women. Study participants were identified at 11 centers between June 2006 and September 2008. Subjects had to have symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB), with at least 8 voids per 24 hours; the mean daily voids for those entering the study were 12.3. A total of 87 of the 100 (87%) patients completed the study and voiding diary data were available for 84 patients, 41 of 50 (82%) in the PTNS group and 43 of 50 (86%) in the tolterodine group.

The primary outcome was the non-inferiority of PTNS in the mean reduction in the number of voids per 24 hours after 12 weeks of treatment. Non-inferiority was defined as no more than a 20% difference in the mean void reduction. Study findings showed non-inferiority of PTNS based on results for 84 patients. The decrease in number and standard deviation (SD) of voids per day was 2.4 (4.0) in the PTNS group and 2.5 (3.9) in the tolterodine group.

The study also reported a number of secondary outcomes, and findings on these were mixed. There were no statistically significant differences in the PTNS and tolterodine groups for other symptoms recorded in the voiding diary; this includes mean change in episodes of nocturia (-0.7 and -0.6, respectively), episodes of moderate to severe urgency per day (-2.2 and -2.9, respectively), and episodes of urge incontinence per day (-1.0 and -1.7, respectively). In other secondary outcomes, 35 of 44 patients (79.5%) in the PTNS group and 23 of 42 (54.8%) in the tolterodine group reported symptom improvement or cure. This difference was statistically significant (p=0.01), favoring the PTNS group. However, the proportion of patients reporting symptom improvement (excluding the 3 patients reporting that they were cured) did not differ significantly between groups, 34 of 44 (77.3%) of those receiving PTNS and 21 of 42 (50%) receiving tolterodine. For the adverse event data, responses were obtained in person for the PTNS group in conjunction with their weekly treatment sessions and over the phone for the medication group, using standard checklists. It is not clear how response to treatment or quality of life data were collected

Limitations of the OrBIT trial included the lack of blinding of patients and providers and the lack of comparative data beyond the end of the initial 12-week treatment period. Moreover, there was no sham or placebo group to mitigate the potential bias due to subjective outcomes. In addition, the authors did not clearly define criteria for “improvement” or “cure”, a key secondary outcome, and did not report the extent of compliance with medical therapy and used different methods of data collection in the 2 groups for adverse event outcomes and possibly also for other self-report outcomes.

In 2010, MacDiarmid and colleagues reported 1-year follow-up data for patients from the OrBIT trial who had been assigned to the PTNS group and had responded to the initial course of treatment, defined as reporting symptom improvement at 12 weeks. (2) Thirty-three of the 35 responders were included. They received a mean of 12.1 (SD=4.9) additional treatments between the 12-week and 12-month visits, and there was a median of 17 days between treatments. Data were available for 32 of the 33 (97%) participants at 6 months and 25 of the 33 (76%) participants at 12 months. The mean reduction in number of voids per day from baseline (the original primary outcome of the study) was 3.2 (SD=3.7) at 6 months and 2.8 (SD=3.7) at 12 months. Other voiding diary outcomes at 12 months, based on 25 responses, were mean changes in nocturia episodes of -0.8, in episodes of moderate to severe urgency per day of -3.7, and in episodes of urge incontinence per day of -1.6.

The second key RCT on overactive bladder syndrome, also industry-sponsored, was published by Peters and colleagues in 2010. (3) This study, known as the SUmiT trial, had a sham-comparison group. Prior to conducting the trial, the researchers performed a pilot study in healthy volunteers to determine the adequacy of a sham PTNS intervention. (4) Findings were that 10 of 30 volunteers (33%) correctly identified the sham procedure. This percentage is below the 50% that could be expected by chance; the investigators concluded that the procedure was a feasible sham. The SUmiT trial included patients with overactive bladder syndrome. Eligibility criteria included a score of at least 4 on the overactive bladder questionnaire (OAB-q) short form for urgency, self-report bladder symptoms lasting at least 3 months, and having failed conservative care. Data were collected from 23 centers in the U.S. A total of 220 patients were randomly assigned, 110 to the PTNS group and 110 to the sham group. Both groups received 12 weekly 30-minute intervention sessions. In the sham group, a blunt (placebo) instrument was used to simulate the location and sensation of needle electrode insertion in active treatment. An inactive PTNS surface electrode was used and also 2 active transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) surface electrodes. The TENS unit was used to deliver low-level sensation to simulate the PTNS intervention. The 12-week course of treatment was completed by 103 of 110 (94%) in the PTNS group and 105 of 110 (95%) in the sham group.

The primary study outcome was response to treatment based on a single-item global response assessment (GRA) variable at 13 weeks. Possible responses were that symptoms were markedly worse, moderately worse, mildly worse, the same, slightly improved, moderately improved, or markedly improved. The proportion of patients who responded to treatment based on the GRA (i.e., answered that symptoms were moderately or markedly improved) was 60 of 110 (54.5%) in the PTNS group and 23 of 110 (20.9%) in the sham group; this difference was statistically significant, p less than 0.001. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis was used for the primary endpoint only. Several secondary outcomes also favored the PTNS group. The mean reduction in a symptom severity score (a lower score indicates less severity) was 36.7 (SD=21.5) in the PTNS group and 29.2 (SD=20.0) in the sham group, p=0.01. Similarly, the mean reduction in a quality of life scale, the SF-36 (a higher score indicates higher quality of life), was 34.2 (SD=21.3) in the PTNS group and 20.6 (SD=20.6) in the sham group, p=0.006.

For the 4 voiding diary variables used, there was a statistically significant difference between groups favoring PTNS. The mean change from baseline in the number of voids per day was -2.4 (SD=2.5) in the PTNS group and -1.5 (SD=2.4) in the sham group (difference between groups 0.9 voids per day, p=0.01). The mean change in nocturia episodes was -0.7 (SD=1.2) in the PTNS group and -0.3 (SD=1.4) in the sham group (difference between groups 0.4 nighttime voids, p=0.04). The mean change in moderate to severe urgency per day was -3.7 in the PTNS group and -2.0 in the sham group (difference between groups 1.7 episodes, p<0.001). Finally, the mean change in urge incontinence episodes was -1.3 in the PTNS group and -0.3 in the sham group (difference between groups 1 episode per day, p<0.002). (Standard deviations were not reported for the latter 2 outcomes)

Advantages of the SUmiT trial were that it included a sham comparison and the primary endpoint analysis was ITT. A limitation was that the primary outcome, the GRA, was a single-item subjective measure. For the more objective measures, the voiding diary variables, there was statistically significantly greater benefit with PTNS compared to sham treatment; however, the clinical significance of the difference between the PTNS and sham groups was unclear e.g., on average, there was 1 fewer episode of urge incontinence a day in the PTNS group. In addition, as in the OrBIT trial, the SUmiT trial only reported comparative data immediately following the initial course of treatment; the study did not evaluate the long-term effectiveness of PTNS. Unlike medication which can be taken on an ongoing basis, PTNS involves an initial 12-week course of treatment followed by maintenance therapy, which to date has not been well-defined. Therefore, the assumption cannot be made that short-term treatment effects will be maintained.

As with the OrBIT trial, there was a SUmiT extension study including only those patients who had been assigned to the PTNS group and initially responded to treatment. That is, the extension study did not collect additional follow-up data from patients in the PTNS group who failed to meet the 12-week primary effectiveness endpoint or from patients assigned to the sham-control group. Among the 110 patients assigned to the PTNS group, 60 were initial responders and 50 of these entered the extension study. (5, 6) Data were available on 34 patients at 24 months and 29 patients at 36 months. After enrolling in the extension study, patients underwent a 14-week transitional protocol consisting of 2 treatments with a 14-day interval, 2 treatments with a 21-day interval and then 1 treatment after another 28 days. Following this 14-week period, a personal treatment plan was developed for each patient. PTNS treatments were delivered based on the patient’s reporting of symptoms; patients knew that PTNS sessions were available to them as needed when their symptoms increased. Between 6 and 36 months, patients received a median of 1.1 PTNS treatments per month. In a per protocol analysis, compared to baseline, 28 of 29 patients (97%) who completed the 36-month follow-up met the primary efficacy endpoint of moderate or marked improvement in overall bladder symptoms on the GRA. In addition, compared to baseline, all voiding diary measures were significantly improved in this group of patients at every 6-month follow-up.

Several other RCTs have been published; none reported on the efficacy of PTNS beyond 12 weeks. Three trials used a parallel group design. In 2010, Finazzi-Agro and colleagues from Italy was a double-blind RCT that included 35 female patients who had urge incontinence and detrusor overactivity on urodynamic testing. (7) Patients were randomly assigned to 30-minute PTNS sessions 3 times per week for 4 weeks (n=18) or sham treatment (n=17). One patient dropped out of the PTNS group and 2 dropped out of the sham group; analysis was not ITT. The primary outcome, percent responders at 4 weeks (defined as at least 50% reduction in incontinent episodes) was attained by 12/17 (71%) in the PTNS group and 0/15 (0%) in the sham group. Also in 2010, Schreiner and colleagues in Brazil randomized 51 women older than 60 years who complained of urge urinary incontinence to 12 weeks of conservative treatment (Kegel exercises and bladder training) alone (n=26) or conservative treatment plus 12 weekly sessions of PTNS (n=25). (8) The response rate at 12 weeks, defined as a reduction of at least 50% in the number of incontinence episodes reported by the patient in a bladder diary, was 76% in the PTNS group and 27% in the conservative treatment only group; p=0.001. Blinding was not discussed.

In 2012, Gungor Ugurlucan and colleagues in Turkey published findings of an RCT comparing transvaginal electrical stimulation (ES) (n=38) and PTNS (n=21) in women with OAB. (9) The ES protocol consisted of 20-minute treatments 3 times a week for 6 to 8 weeks. PTNS was performed with an Urgent PC device used for twelve 30-minute weekly sessions. A total of 52 of 59 (88%) patients completed the study. The authors assessed numerous outcome variables and did not specify primary outcomes or adjust p values for multiple comparisons. Four bladder diary variables were reported. From baseline to the end of the treatment period, the groups did not differ significantly at the p<0.05 level in mean change in urgency episodes, nocturia or incontinence episodes. For example, the mean number of urgency episodes was 2.9 (standard deviation [SD]: 4.1) at baseline and 1.6 (SD: 0.5) after treatment in the ES group and 2.0 (SD: 3.1) at baseline and 1.3 (SD: 0.5) after treatment in the PTNS group, p=0.54. There was a statistically significant difference in daytime frequency. The mean daytime frequency was 7.8 (SD: 2.7) at baseline and 5.8 (SD: 1.9) after treatment in the ES group and 7.6 (SD: 2.6) at baseline and 7.4 (SD: 2.9) in the PTNS group (p=0.03). The authors reported that a significantly higher proportion of patients in the ES group described themselves as cured, but they did not provide proportions or p values.

One randomized trial, published in 2013, used a crossover design. This study, by Vecchioli-Scaldazza and colleagues in Italy, included 40 women with OAB. (10) The treatments were PTNS (twice weekly for 6 weeks) and medication (oral solifenacin succinate 5 mg/day for 40 days), given in random order, with a 6-week wash-out period between treatments. Group A received medication first and Group B received PTNS first. The primary efficacy outcome was reduction in the number of voids in a 24-hour period. Thirty of the 40 patients (75%) completed the study. The number of daily voids significantly decreased after each treatment compared to before treatment. In Group A, the mean number of daily voids pre-medication was 11.6 (SD: 1.6) and post-medication was 10.0 (SD: 2.1), p=0.004. The mean number of voids pre-PTNS was 11.5 (SD: 1.1) and post-PTNS was 8.5 (SD: 2.3), p<0.001. In Group B, the mean number of voids pre-medication was 11.4 (SD: 1.4) and post-medication was 10.4 (SD: 1.8), p=0.008. The mean number of voids pre-PTNS was 11.4 (SD: 1.4) and post-PTNS was 9.4 (SD: 1.9), p<0.001. In addition, secondary outcomes including nocturia urge incontinence and voided volume significantly improved after each treatment compared to pre-treatment values. The authors did not directly compare the efficacy of medication and PTNS.

Systematic reviews

A Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBSA) Technology Evaluation Center (TEC) Assessment on PTNS for treatment of voiding dysfunction was completed in December 2010. (11) At that time, initial findings from the OrBIT and SUmiT trials had been published, as well as 1-year findings on OrBIT responders. The Assessment concluded that PTNS as treatment for voiding dysfunction does not meet the TEC criteria due to insufficient data on durability of treatment. The Assessment stated that, although there is sufficient evidence from 3 RCTs to establish a short-term benefit for PTNS, the evidence is not sufficient to permit conclusions on the long-term efficacy of PTNS treatment.

In 2012, 3 systematic reviews of the literature on PTNS for treating overactive bladder were published. (12-14) Only 1 of the 3 systematic reviews, by Burton and colleagues, conducted pooled analyses of study results. (12) The Burton review identified 6 RCTs, the OrBIT and SUmiT trials (1, 3) and trial by Finazzi-Agro and colleagues (7), all discussed above, as well as 3 RCTs only published as abstracts with sample sizes between 16 and 32 patients. A meta-analysis of data from 4 trials (2 of which were abstracts) comparing PTNS to sham treatment found a significantly higher risk of successful treatment with PTNS (risk ratio [RR]: 7.02, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.69 to 29.17). The confidence interval was wide, indicating a lack of precision in the pooled estimate. The SUmiT trial contributed 220 of 289 patients (76%) in the pooled analysis.

Also in 2012, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Health Care Program published a comparative effectiveness review on the broader topic of nonsurgical treatments for urinary incontinence in adult women. (15) The review identified 4 reports of RCTs comparing PTNS and no active treatment in patients with OAB. Two of the 4 articles reported 12-week results of the sham-controlled SUmiT trial; one of these included a subgroup of SUmiT participants and was only published as an abstract. The other 2 studies consisted of the Finazzo-Agro et al. RCT (7), which reported outcomes at 4 weeks, and the Schriner et al. RCT (8), which reported outcomes at 12 weeks. The AHRQ report included a pooled analysis of data from 3 studies that found statistically significantly greater improvement in urinary incontinence in the PTNS compared to control group (RR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1 to 3.2). This pooled analysis included a total of 405 patients; 220 in the SUmiT trial, 150 in the SUmiT trial sub-analysis and 35 in the Finazzo-Agro trial. A limit of the analysis was that the 150 patients in the SUmiT sub-analysis were included twice. The AHRQ report did not discuss evidence on the efficacy of PTNS beyond 12 weeks.

Case series

Initial research has also been published on a shortened treatment protocol (weekly 30-minute sessions for 6 weeks) using the Urgent PC device. A study by Yoong and colleagues in the U.K. included 43 women with OAB refractory to medication. (16) Thirty women (68%) responded to the initial course of treatment. Response was defined as a 50% reduction in symptoms and 25% improvement in quality of life. Two-year follow-up data on 23 of 30 (67.5%) responders were reported in 2012. (17) Additional PTNS sessions were available to women on an as-needed basis. Women received a median of 8.4 treatments per year with a median of 64 days between treatments. Among the 23 women, the mean daily frequency was 11.8 at baseline, 6.9 at 6 weeks and 6.5 at 2 years (p<0.05 compared to baseline at both time points). Findings were similar for other outcome measures. This analysis lacks a control group. The shortened protocol has not yet been evaluated in a randomized trial.

Neurogenic bladder

In 2011, 2 case series evaluating PTNS in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) were published. One study, by Gobbi and colleagues in the United Kingdom included twelve 30-minute treatment sessions with the Urgent PC device. (18) The study included 21 patients with MS who had lower urinary tract symptoms unresponsive to anticholinergics. Overall, urinary symptoms significantly improved at the end of treatment. For example, median daytime frequency decreased from 9 to 6 episodes per day, p=0.04 and median nocturia decreased from 3 to 1 episode per night, p=0.002. The other case series was conducted in France by de Seze and colleagues and used a different protocol. (19) Participants underwent 1 in-clinic treatment session and were then given a TENS device for in-home tibial nerve stimulation; they were told to use the device 20 minutes a day for 3 months. A total of 70 individuals with MS and OAB refractory to medication participated in the study. Compared to baseline, there was a statistically significant reduction in OAB symptoms. For example, the proportion of continent patients increased from 26% to 45% (p=0.005). Both studies were limited by lack of control groups and lack of long-term follow-up; the French study used a different device and different protocol than in the other PTNS studies.


Posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) is a technique of electrical neuromodulation used for treating voiding dysfunction. The RCTs report short-term (up to 12 weeks) improvements on measures of urinary incontinence, but the long-term effectiveness and the optimal maintenance regimen are poorly defined. Up to 36 months of data are available for some patients enrolled in RCTs who responded to an initial course of treatment, and have sustained improvement Long-term data are needed to show sustained improvement past 36 months in an RCT that was initially randomized to the treatment and control groups. Systematic reviews of the evidence have found short-term improvements with PTNS and have not identified evidence of long-term effectiveness. Until the durability of PTNS has been demonstrated in well-designed long-term comparative studies and its clinical impact more clearly shown, its efficacy for treating chronic urinary dysfunction remains uncertain.

Practice Guidelines and Position Statements

In 2012, the American Urological Association (AUA) and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction published a guideline on diagnosis and treatment of non-neurogenic overactive bladder in adults. (20) The guideline included a statement that clinicians may offer PTNS as a third-line treatment option in carefully selected patients. The statement was rated as Grade C, indicating that the balance of benefits and risks/burdens are uncertain.

The 2005 (reaffirmed 2009) American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists practice bulletin on treatment of urinary incontinence in women does not address PTNS or other types of nerve stimulation. (21)

In October 2010, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued a Guidance—Percutaneous Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Overactive Bladder Syndrome, which states:  “Current evidence on percutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) for overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome shows that it is efficacious in reducing symptoms in the short and medium term. There are no major safety concerns. Therefore the procedure may be used provided that the normal arrangements are in place for clinical governance, consent and audit.” (22)


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Procedure and diagnosis codes on Medical Policy documents are included only as a general reference tool for each policy. They may not be all-inclusive.

The presence or absence of procedure, service, supply, device or diagnosis codes in a Medical Policy document has no relevance for determination of benefit coverage for members or reimbursement for providers. Only the written coverage position in a medical policy should be used for such determinations.

Benefit coverage determinations based on written Medical Policy coverage positions must include review of the member’s benefit contract or Summary Plan Description (SPD) for defined coverage vs. non-coverage, benefit exclusions, and benefit limitations such as dollar or duration caps.

ICD-9 Codes

04.92, 596.51, 788.20-788.29, 788.30-788.39, 788.41, 788.63

ICD-10 Codes
N32.81, N39.41-N39.498, R33.0–R33.9, R35.0, R39.15, 01HY3MZ 
Procedural Codes: 64566, 64999
  1. Peters K, MacDiarmid SA, Wooldridge LS et al. Randomized trial of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation versus extended-release tolterodine: results from the overactive bladder innovative therapy trial. J Urol 2009; 182(3-Jan):1055-61.
  2. MacDiarmid SA, Peters KM, Shobeiri SA et al. Long-term durability of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for the treatment of overactive bladder. J Urol 2010; 183(1):234-40.
  3. Peters KM, Carrico DJ, Perez-Marrero P et al. Randomized trial of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation versus sham efficacy in the treatment of overactive bladder syndrome: results from the SUmiT trial. J Urol 2010; 183(4):1438-43.
  4. Peters K, Carrico D, Burks F. Validation of a sham for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS). Neurourol Urodyn 2009; 28(1):58-61.
  5. Peters KM, Carrico DJ, MacDiarmid SA et al. Sustained therapeutic effects of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation: 24-month results of the STEP study. Neurourol Urodyn 2013; 32(1):24-9.
  6. Peters KM, Carrico DJ, Wooldridge LS et al. Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation for the Long-Term Treatment of Overactive Bladder: 3-Year Results of the STEP Study. J Urol 2012 [Epub ahead of print].
  7. Finazzi-Agro E, Petta F, Sciobica F et al. Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation effects on detrusor overactivity incontinence are not due to a placebo effect: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. J Urol 2010; 184(5):2001-6.
  8. Schreiner L, dos Santos TG, Knorst MR et al. Randomized trial of transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation to treat urge urinary incontinence in older women. Int Urogynecol J 2010; 21(9):1065-70.
  9. Gungor Ugurlucan F, Onal M, Aslan E et al. Comparison of the effects of electrical stimulation and posterior tibial nerve stimulation in the treatment of overactive bladder syndrome. Gynecol Obstet Invest 2013; 75(1):46-52.
  10. Vecchioli-Scaldazza C, Morosetti C, Berouz A et al. Solifenacin Succinate versus Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation in Women with Overactive Bladder Syndrome: Results of a Randomized Controlled Crossover Study. Gynecol Obstet Invest 2013 [Epub ahead of print].
  11. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center (TEC). Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for the treatment of voiding dysfunction. TEC Assessments 2010; Volume 25, Tab 8.
  12. Burton C, Sajja A, Latthe PM. Effectiveness of percutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurourol Urodyn 2012; 31(8):1206-16.
  13. Levin PJ, Wu JM, Kawasaki A et al. The efficacy of posterior tibial nerve stimulation for the treatment of overactive bladder in women: a systematic review. Int Urogynecol J 2012; 23(11):1591-7.
  14. Moossdorff-Steinhauser HF, Berghmans B. Effects of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation on adult patients with overactive bladder syndrome: a systematic review. Neurourol Urodyn 2013; 32(3):206-14.
  15. Shamliyan T, Wyman J, Kane RL. Nonsurgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence in Adult Women: Diagnosis and Comparative Effectiveness. Rockville (MD) 2012.
  16. Yoong W, Ridout AE, Damodaram M et al. Neuromodulative treatment with percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for intractable detrusor instability: outcomes following a shortened 6-week protocol. BJU Int 2010; 106(11-Jan):1673-6.
  17. Yoong W, Shah P, Dadswell R et al. Sustained effectiveness of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder syndrome: 2-year follow-up of positive responders. Int Urogynecol J 2012 [Epub ahead of print].
  18. Gobbi C, Digesu GA, Khullar V et al. Percutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation as an effective treatment of refractory lower urinary tract symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis: preliminary data from a multicentre, prospective, open label trial. Mult Scler 2011; 17(12):1514-9.
  19. De Seze M., Raibaut P, Gallien P et al. Transcutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation for treatment of the overactive bladder syndrome in multiple sclerosis: results of a multicenter prospective study. Neurourol Urodyn 2011; 30(3):306-11.
  20. American Urological Association (AUA) and Society of Urodynamics FPMURS. Diagnosis and treatment of overactive bladder (non-neurogenic) in adults/AUA/SUFU guideline. Available online at: . Last accessed April, 2013.
  21. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Urinary incontinence in women. ACOG Practice Bulletin, no. 63. Available online at: . Last accessed March, 2013.
  22. Percutaneous posterior tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder syndrome. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidance 362, October 2010. Available at: . Last accessed October 2014.
  23. Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Voiding Dysfunction. Chicago, Illinois: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Medical Policy Reference Manual (May 2013) Surgery 7.01.106.
June  2011 Policy reviewed no change to policy statement or coding; Updated rationale and references.
June 2012 Policy updated with literature review. References 8-11 added; other references renumbered. Neurogenic bladder added to list of investigational indications. Clinical input added.
March 2013 Policy title changed from "Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation for Voiding Dysfunction" to "Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation."   Policy statement changed from investigational to include medically necessary indications.  Removed CPT codes 97014 and 97032.
March 2014 Document updated with literature review. The following was added to Coverage:  1) If the patient has shown continued improvement from the first year of treatments with PTNS for OAB, continued PTNS therapy may be considered medically necessary when administered once every 3 weeks to maintain symptom improvement in responders for an additional 12 months, for up to a maximum of 36 months total; 2) Continued PTNS therapy after 12 months when improvement is not sustained, and/or PTNS therapy beyond 36 months are considered experimental, investigational and/or unproven.
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Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation