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(SSEP) somatosensory evoked potential studies-what in the world that?

ouchoouch Posts: 107
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
As you can see on my bio below, I am a "neckkie." My OS ordered an SSEP and I have never heard of it or known of anyone else having one. From my research, it is something they usually do intraoperatively to monitor the spinal cord. I read a lot of "stuff" about it, but don't know what it means in English, know what I mean? Anyone had one? Are the results definitive? Will this really inform the doctor of whether or not to do single, double, or triple level fusion? (He told me he is doing the SSEP to help determine how many levels to fuse). I have two herniations: C4/C5 and C6/C7 with major spinal cord compression at C4/5, and nerve root compression at C6/7. C6/7 also has pretty severe degenerative changes and large bone spurs as well as loss of disc space height. Anyone had this test or have knowledge of it?


  • DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks charry for the post. My doc says, however, that an Emg is different from SSEP. ? I will find out when I get there... hmmmmm
  • Ouch,
    Perhaps this link will help. I had this done to me in August. The NS wanted to see what damage I still have and if what they did may be helping me get better. They place sensors on different locations on your head ( sort of a miny sleep study set up) and those sensors are hooked to a computer so they can read the results. They also place sensors on you fingers/wrist and take some readings, and probably they will place them on your ankles/toes. It does make your nerves/muscles jump, more like beating. I didn't think it was as bad as the EMG since they don't stick you with needles. The NS and OS also used this same method to monitor my spinal cord during both of my surgeries. Good luck and don't worry.


  • Thank you for the site information on SSEP. It was very informative. I am glad it isn't a painful procedure. I am hoping they get whatever they are looking for.
    I was gazing at your bio too...Why did they have to do another 2 level ACDF??? Did the 1st surgery cause the other levels to deteriorate? Why did they have to remove the hardware? Sounds so very painful mark. I am so sorry they have had to do so much. How are you now? Have they stopped the myelopathy?
  • Ouch,
    It is easier to PM you with more of my history...rather long story

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