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EMG Confusion

MomofthreeboysMMomofthreeboys Posts: 73
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had fusion l3-l5 in Jan of 08 with worsening symptoms after. I also have some mild cord compression in my Thoracic spine. My EMG last year showed some chronic nerve damage in my legs. My symptoms have progressively worsened, including weakness in my legs and falls. My pain management doctor refered me to a neurologist who did an EMG today. Oh, BTW, I'm 8 weeks postop of having my hardware removed. Anyway, the neurologist said the EMG was completely normal other than changes in my l-spine from the surgeries! I'm in agony everyday of my life. I have severe pain in my upper back, lower back and both my legs. Both my surgeon and pain management doctor have told me that it is nerve pain and now I'm told it's not. I'm at a loss. Can anyone shed any light on this for me? I've tried lyrica and neurontin and both have taken away the pain but I couldn't handle the side effects. How can this not be nerve related? I know I should be relieved and happy but I actually feel like I've hit a brick wall. How can they help in my recovery without a diagnosis?


  • Don't feel alone. Many of us have had the same thing happen. Unfortunately the EMG is a rather finicky test. If the doctor gets the probe in just the right spot at the right moment and all the planets are aligned he might get a good reading. Plus it's more of a lack of results test..meaning that no conduction means there is a problem.

    What did your doctor have to say? Since the neurontin was working that would indicate to me that it is a nerve problem. I had the same thing by the way. And stopped the neurontin when it wasn't enough and started causing instability problems. There are other meds that can help with nerve pain, but it's a long, slow process to find the right one.
  • simply dismissed that is was a nerve problem at all. He said he believed I was in pain but in no way was it my nerves. He said I never should have had surgery in the first place and believes it has caused all my problems. I have an appointment Wednesday to discuss everything with my pain management doctor. Thank you for your reply!
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