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Successful Treatment of Paradoxical Puborectalis Contraction and Intractable Anorectal Pain With Sacral Neuromodulation

Roth, Ted M., MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: July/August 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 4 - p e21–e22
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000570
Case Reports

Background Paradoxical puborectalis contraction (PPC) is a syndrome of obstructed defecation associated with a cluster of complaints including rectal pain, incomplete evacuatory sensation, prolonged repetitive straining with bowel movements, and the need for digital manipulation. Traditional treatment has yielded mixed results.

Case We present a case of PPC successfully treated with staged sacral neuromodulation and review her diagnostic features, medical regimen, and prior unsuccessful interventions tried. Symptoms were analyzed using a visual analog scale pain score (0–10). Criteria to progress to implantation of the pulse generator included a pain score less than 3 during test stimulation and/or greater than 50% decrease in the pain score compared to baseline.

Our patient had a pain score of 0 (baseline 8) with stage 1 sacral neuromodulation. In addition, she had dramatic relief in her straining with bowel movements and need for digital manipulation. Her pulse generator was implanted after a 2-week trial, and she has experienced a lasting improvement at her follow-up of 2 years.

Conclusions Sacral neuromodulation is an established therapy for overactive bladder syndrome, urinary retention, and fecal incontinence. In urology, the use of sacral neuromodulation has been described to benefit some patients with pelvic floor pain. Sacral neuromodulation can be a successful treatment for PPC and functional anorectal pain with resulting improvement in quality of life without the sequelae of an invasive and irreversible surgery.

A case report of a patient with paradoxical puborectalis contraction and intractable pain who had failed conservative therapy had relief of her complaints with sacral neuromodulation.

From Central Maine Urogynecology, Central Maine Medical Center, Lewiston, ME.

Correspondence: Ted M. Roth, MD, Central Maine Urogynecology, Central Maine Medical Center, 287 Main St, Lewiston, ME 04240. E-mail:

T.M.R. is a preceptor for Medtronic. The author has declared that there are no conflicts of interest.

This article was previously a nondiscussion poster at the International Continence Society Meeting Florence 2017.

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