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Nerve Conduction Study?

katmisonkkatmison Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:54 AM in Spinal Injections
Not sure if this is the right forum to post in, but here goes...

I've had 4 FJIs (2 on each side), all on 2 levels of L4/L5 and L5/S1, 2 epidurals, and as of today I've now had my second round of RF. PM said today that next step is more diagnostic studies to find out why I'm not getting better but actually worsening. Next week he has me scheduled to get a Nerve Conduction study done and is also sending me for a Bone Scan of the lumbar area. Has anybody here had experience with either of these two diagnostic tests? Do they hurt? How long should I expect them to take? He said that after those tests are done if I'm not finding relief from the RF he did today then he will do a discogram and refer me to a spine surgeon for a 2nd opinion and possibly a surgical consult.

Thoughts, anyone? Are there other options that we should be considering that he's not telling me about? What types of things should the Nerve Conduction study and Bone Scan show up? Will the results of those tests alter the treatment he's doing on me? If so, what types of different treatment might he use after getting the results of those 2 tests?

Thanks!
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Comments


  • I can't answer any of your questions, but I am interested in the answers too as I have just been told this week that my neurosurgeon wants me to have nerve conduction tests.

    I haven't had any cervical injections (or lumbar) yet, but have been referred for those too.

    How did you find them?

    This is quite an adventure, but I've had enough now. Can I get off?

  • Howdy Kat,

    Welcome to Spine Health!! I haven't had a bone scan, but plenty of Nerve conduction studies. Except for one of them, all were done as the NCV & EMG portion.

    The NCV = Nerve Conduction Velocity. This test is done on the surface of your skin via an electrical pulse through electrodes. It tests for sensory nerves, and is useful for example in detecting Peripheral Neuropathy or Carpel tunnel etc. This measures the speed the electrical pulse passes through the nerve.

    The EMG (needle test as some call it) = Electromyogram. This method is useful for testing motor nerves and neurological deficiencies or disease. This is where your "electrical potential" is tested within muscles along those nerve areas your doctor is interested in. This method is conducted using a needle like probe, and it is inserted into specific muscles. An electrical pulse is then introduced to a relaxed muscle, and then at other times your hand, arm, foot or leg is positioned, or you are asked to contract a muscle so they can see the health of your nerves within the muscle, again based on the potential within the muscle.

    Some folks find both of these to be painful, others not so much. Most times the technician will work with you if you are sensitive. For the EMG portion *I* only allow the Neurologist to perform it. That is my preference as a tech years ago totally screwed up my results - just my opinion there.

    I hope this helps. Please PM me if I can offer more help, or if something isn't clear. Again, Welcome aboard!! :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I recently had an EMG test done. Easy as pie! I giggled the whole time. When they do the electrical shock on the nerve to me was more humorous. (mine was on my arm) It would jump! There is a little zing when he turns it up, But no where close to any pain. And then they stick a little needle in to see if there's any nerve damage in your muscle. You don't feel a thing. The test is not long. 15 minutes maybe. The wait in the waiting room was longer than the test. I had an EMG done which showed no nerve damage, and just received my first ESI. Depending on the doctor you will get different answers for everything. I had one that was just going to put me on pain pills. If something doesn't seem right you can always get a second opinion before making any rash decisions. I've had 4 opinions..
  • jbnms99jjbnms99 Posts: 182
    edited 12/03/2013 - 4:03 AM
    I just had a nerve study done yesterday, they didn't use needles, just put pads on the palm of my hand. My left hand which is my bad arm from a herniated disc in my neck, I didn't feel anything not even when the moved some kind of electrode up my arm before the test. The right arm when they moved that electrode up my arm it made my whole arm jump, she said it was the same intensity as the other arm. But with the pads on the palm of my hands, I didn't feel anything from either arm, just the initial zing on my right arm only. My left arm I felt absolutely nothing. Is that normal? I get my results next tuesday but I am kinda freaking out because I felt it so strong in my right arm and nothing in my left??? The lady that took the test said she couldn't tell me anything she wasn't allowed but said that she seen some kind of carpal tunnel going on or maybe something in my neck. That is all I know... please help me out!!!
  • The nerve conduction study is done to check the health of the nerves in your body and to see if there is anything that shows up to give a reason for why you are having difficulty with strength or motor coordination.
    The technicians are not the doctors so usually will not provide the results at the time of the test.
    If there is nerve impingement , then the surgeon may offer surgery or send you for a consult to discuss the condition and findings of the exam with the surgeon.
    If a nerve is impinged, you may in fact, need surgery to remove the impingement and to regain the feeling/ muscle strength in your arm/hand.
    Surgery is usually done in two situations when it comes to spinal problems, mechanical problems or nerve impingement concerns, and the longer you try to wait it out when it comes to nerve problems, the worse the outcome can be , resulting in permanent damage if the compression is left too long.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 12/06/2013 - 8:49 AM
    If you have spine pain - nerve conduction tests don't hurt at all. A bone scan doesn't hurt either - they picked up things on a bone scan that didn't show up as much on an MRI. Don't worry about these, they didn't me hurt at all. They say you can only feel the strongest pain in your body at any one time. My spine pain was so bad that's all I could feel. Honestly both these tests are a breeze and are good diagnostic tools..
  • jbnms99jjbnms99 Posts: 182
    edited 12/10/2013 - 2:22 AM
    I understand that the technician can't give me the results because a qualified doctor has to look at the test and the technician can only administer the test. I looked the test up on youtube and they show peoples fingers twitching and when I googled the test everybody says that the test hurt or they felt zings the whole time. I just get concerned because I felt absolutely nothing in my left arm...nothing. My right arm I felt the initial zings when the moved the electrode thing up my arm but then that was it. I didn't realize that there was electrical current running through the pads on my hand because I didn't feel it like everybody says they did. I am trying to avoid surgery if at all possible but the way that test went I am wondering if I am going to get bad news from this test. The waiting...sucks
    Thanks everybody for your help
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