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Electrical stimulation of the posterior tibial nerve reduces neuropathic pain in patients with polyneuropathy

Authors Dabby R, Sadeh M, Goldberg I, Finkelshtein V

Received 18 March 2017

Accepted for publication 14 June 2017

Published 29 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2717—2723


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr E Alfonso Romero-Sandoval

Ron Dabby,1,2 Menachem Sadeh,1,2 Ilan Goldberg,1,2 Vitaly Finkelshtein1,2

1Department of Neurology, Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, 2Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Abstract: Peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP) is caused by neuronal damage to the peripheral nervous system and usually affects the distal extremities. This open-label study examined the effect of short-term peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) on individuals with PNP due to polyneuropathy. A total of 12 patients (mean age, 63.0 ± 10.0 years, 41.7% male) with daily bilateral PNP for at least 6 months (mean duration, 7.4 ± 7.8 years) received a total of six direct electrical stimulation therapies to the posterior tibial nerve at 3–4-day intervals. Eight patients completed the study and were included in the efficacy analysis. The average pain at baseline was 36.6 ± 3.80 estimated by the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire. After the last stimulation, pain was significantly reduced by 85.5% to 4.88 ± 3.1 (p = 0.008). Six patients (75%) had over 50% decrease in pain after the first stimulation therapy and 99.2% after the final stimulation therapy. The patients also reported statistically significant decreases in pain level (measured by visual analog scale), ranging from 54.85% to 87.50% after each of the stimulations as compared to the pain experienced prior to the stimulations. The procedure was safe without any serious adverse events. PNS has demonstrated excellent efficacy and improvement of PNP symptoms. Further studies in larger patient populations are warranted.

Keywords: peripheral nerve stimulation, posterior tibial nerve stimulation, peripheral neuropathic pain, quality of life

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