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EMG on Monday

GreyEagleGGreyEagle Posts: 350
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone:

I saw my spine doctor last week. I told him my second opinion neurosurgeon recommended an EMG. I don't really know if that second opinion surgeon would have sent his report to my spine doctor.

The neurosurgeon who will be doing my surgery referred me to the second opinion surgeon. I know that this second opinion neurosurgeon was going to send his recommendation to my surgeon and to my primary care doctor.

The EMG I am having is the same kind I had when I was diagnosed the end of last June. I remember a probe being put in various places on my left arm. Sometimes my arm or hand jerked. It was kind of painful.

I wonder if this will tell the doctors how much nerve damage has occured? How much information does this kind of test give the surgeon? I don't know I see my surgeon again March 2nd. I am hoping he will finally say, "Ok, this is the surgery I am going to do and this is the date."

Ken GreyEagle


  • HI Ken,

    I am having my first EMG on Monday, too. We will have to compare notes- lol. I hope that yours goes well for you !!!

    Take care,

  • I can relate when you said your EMG was painful. So was mine :''( I think they will be able to compare the results from the new test from the one done last June. This would give them some idea how much deterioration has been occurring. The frustrating part is that sometimes the pain we experience doesn't correspond with how much nerve damage is being done. What surgery your dr decides on will be probably be influenced by how much nerve damage has progressed. Good luck on Monday! Remember, no hitting the neuro :))(

  • I don't really remember details of my first EMG in June. I do know that EMG told my spine doctor my problems were in my neck and not in my arm or elbow.

    It will be interesting to see how the doctor compares this one to the one in June. I will let you guys know how it goes!

    Ken GreyEagle
  • i had emg done July 1st 2009 came back fine no nerve damage. With in month of this test, terrible nerve damage had happened right arm and leg. pain from nerve damage awful, put on high dose of neurontin 2700 mg a day. surgery done feb. 4th still have nerve damage and take neurontin high dose and many other meds. legs do feel stronger.
    they said arm would feel better after surgery and leg prolly would not change. the opposite has happened. but im happy to have stronger legs.
    nerve pain is awful and my neurontin helps with it
    back to why i started this one day my emg (i had done whole lower half and both arms came back perfect one day i have paper for proof. and over one week slowly getting worse from day of test nerve damage got worse so bad i was ready to tear arm off) (did all that messing they did with those needles cause damage i will never know) also my bill for the 4 areas cost 5000 dollars which i had done on july 1st (same day new ins. took affect)it will take me over year to pay that one.
    I'm kinda new out of surgery so excuse my confusing of trying to get my words out.
    If anyone would like to know more about my experience of my EMG .... im here please email me
    I know everyone is different But I have learned alot
    just my opinions,
    My Surgeon in Madison was a peach and so all other Dr.s. for the stay in hospital I wish I could say same. my opinion.... Never stay in room at anytime day or night by self. all the words I have typed are my opinion only. I can be P.M.ed anytime and email is ladybug@patsynow.com Patsy
  • I know the emg I had in June didn't cause any problems afterwards. I sure don't remember results other than the doctor finally figuring out the severe pain I was having in my arms and hands and elbow were coming from my neck.

    I really want to know what a comparison of the emg in June would be like to the one I am having today.

    I'll post here later today on how this all went.
  • Its good you are getting a follow up EMG. I had mine done in Sept 2008, and like others showed C6 nerve pathway problems. It wasn't too painful, particularly because I a so numb...They used probes, which were like a very mild prick. All and all the only thing I got out of it was that C6 nerve was the one giving me the problem between the C5/6 herniation. Best wishes and I hope you have some answers you need. If you ever wanta talk pm me. Take care, blue
  • I am home from my EMG. The Doctor compared it to the one I had early last year. I can hardly type right now. My fingers are all jittery. lol.

    Anyway, he said I have extensive permanent nerve damage pretty much everywhere he tested. He said, 'All bets are off' as to whether the surgery will make any difference. It looks like I'm headed to permanent SSDI disability.

    Pretty scary stuff but I am willing to accept the results. It will just take some time.

    I need to rest for awhile now.

    Ken GreyEagle
  • Sorry to hear what the news was from the doc today. But I didn't think they could tell with a EMG study that a nerve has permanent damage until they decompress the nerve. If the nerve is still compressed then it will still show active denervation going on. Which i would assume in your case since nothing has been done to decompress the nerve that it still has issues. I was told by my surgeon that the emg also send false positives and false negatives and can't always be relied upon. Have they sent you for any selective nerve root blocks to see what happens when the nerve is blocked out. Anyway wait till you see the surgeon and see what they have to say. Keep us posted.
  • Yep, I do have Nerve Block Studies done. I remember from those they took away some of my pain temporarily. When it wore off all the pain was back just as bad as before.

  • Sorry to hear about the test results. Those EMG tests are very painful. I hope some injections help. Your surgery is coming up also? Take care. Charry
    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
  • Sorry the results were so bad. But at least your surgeon shouldn't put off your surgery now. Hopefully after nerve decompression, your nerves will get a chance to improve. Not the results you wanted, I know, but it is what you suspected. Hang in there. Not long now until you see the surgeon. At least after surgery you won't be getting any worse. Take care.

  • Thanks Maggie and everyone!

    Yeah, at least with the surgery out of the way it shouldn't get worse. I was not surprised today at the results. He thought I'd be shocked and surprised. I wasn't

    I'll keep ya all up to date as to how my surgery goes.

  • Well I have had all of my MRI's CT's and x-rays and the Pain Management Doc wants to do an EMG..I have protrusions/herniations at the c4-5,c6-7 as well as stenosis..There is also some disc protrusion at the T2-t3...Gee the EMG sounds like a painful procedure..From what I understand this will help determine the next step...I'm really worried about having to have surgery..They have tried steroid treatment, PT, and the pain in my should arm and hand keeps getting worse,,,I'm scared about the test and the future..What typically will indicate that surgery is necesssary if it can be determined now with this test..Thanks and best wishes to all....Amy
  • Hi Amy

    Well, in my case surgery is being performed to prevent further damage to my nerve roots. My neurosurgeon and spine doc have already told me surgery will not likely improve my pain levels due to permanent nerve damage.

    I would think surgery is performed to prevent damage and/or further damage as well in many cases improve pain levels.

    I don't worry about the surgery a whole lot. I'll be very apprehensive and I'm sure scared the morning of my surgery. But I think of it this way: They are going to knock me out. I won't know anything until I wake up and its all over. I'll have lots of pain and pain medication and recovery takes lots of time. Other than that, its not so bad probably. This is just my take on it.

    Ken GreyEagle
  • Try not and worry bout pain of EMG . I had all four limbs done and it was so so. I will never have it done again because for me I had one of those false positive results and a bill close to 5000 dollars.
    I already had all the MRI's I could of had
    I already had and have all the pain a person can take.
    I have already been thru surgery. 5 weeks or so ago
    tiny tiny bit of nerve pain gone lower half.(after surgery)
    R arm hand fingers cant use.(have to use walker)(no more cane)
    I could go on and on like everyone could but...
    EMG did me no good what so ever(actually test came out perfect cept for tiny area in dang foot no biggie as docSays)EMG was done july 1st-days later Bad Nerve Damage-(2700 mgs neurontin)needed and still do even after surgery.
    days later lots of pain.MRI done hmmm no inflammation now its gone , they say )(and lots of PAIN.) nerve damage NOW go figure I dont no and they dont now.
    ITs as inflammation was keeping nerve damage and pain under control. for last 10 years at least even my spinal tap showed high inflammation.
    Now when I hear Nerve Block, I wanna run whats it really gonna numb no guarantee.
    if any one wants to hear about my great epidurals just ask.
    hey on a good note ... my surgery was a piece of cake. now hospital stay another story. NEVER stay alone specially at night the nurses can be mean.... my hubby and son stayed at motel close. next time and their will be next time they are staying with me.
    I worked in health field for long time shoulda known better.Patsy
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