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Got my EMG results, my nuerologyst says it's radiculopathy positive, workerscomp says it's not

Hi Dear Forum members!

I had a work related back injury, I had very strong back pains and left leg pains, that sometimes moved to my right leg.

I got shots for pain, and walked with a cane for a few months, got steroids pills, and had the MRI done, they found some mild disc bulging , and a small annular tear on S1-L5, in addition to mild bulging on the same disc.

I had the EMG done, and the neurologyst found that I have "Positive sharp waves and complex repetitive discharges in the left lumbosacral musculature at approximately the S1-L5 level, compatible with radiculopathy"

He mentioned that he did not find abnormalities on my limbs, but that he is convinced that the diagnostic is Radiculopathy.

My treating physician(Pain management Dr.) at workers comp does not accept the results regarding Radiculopathy, because he says that the limb must also show abnormalities in order to confirm Radiculopathy.

Can someone please help me to understand who is right and can the findings as described above be enough for confirming Radiculopathy? or would the limb also have to be abnormal to approve it?

One last question, does the tear on S1-L5 correlates with the Positive sharp waves and complex repetitive discharges on the same S1-L5 level?, do you think that there's reasonable reason to believe that there's a connection between the two?

Thank you very much for any piece of information!



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'm really happy that you were able to get the EMG done. The results are good because they prove thur discomfort is real. If your worker's comp doctors are like mine then now they should believe you. However, they will not. It's their job as worker's comp docs to prove the patient is lying & save the company money. I was injured on the job as well & my docs have done nothing to help me. My injuries have deteriorated my body to the point were I have arm & leg weakness with, radiculopathy on both sides of my body. My neck & back have herniated & bulging discs & annular tears. My last appt with Ortho surgeon, he told he saw no reason surgery would help me & to get a neurologist that wasn't associated with worker's comp. As for who to believe, believe in yourself. You know your body better than they do & you know what your body can/can't do now. Thank you for sharing your story you have giving me the courage to fight. This site has valuable information that will help you understand your condition more because those doctors will not explain it to you.
  • Thank you for your kind words !

    I am happy to be here, the workers comp system is terrible, I am not sure whether their doctor is right about this though.

    Do you know if the abnormalities that were found in my back is enough to determine Radiculopathy, or does Radiculopathy diagnostic has to show abnormalities in the limb as well?

    Thanks !
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