Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

EMG today. Confused as to what it means for my neck. Will they still want to fuse? Sad

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hey everyone!

Well I had my EMG today and it is good. The doc who performed the test said there is no nerve damage occuring in my neck. He did say that I have mild carpal tunnel which is strange because I had CT realease in Feb of 2005. He also said the Ulnar nerve in the Cubital tunnel is slow. Well in march of 2207 I had Cubital tunnel Ulnar nerve trasposition so that makes a little sence. Nerve damage probly happened becuase no one would listen to me during the workers comp arm injury about the elbow bothering me. Finally a year later they found the proble and moved the nerve surgically.

I am cunfused though. If there is no nerve damage in my neck then what is causing the arm weakness??? What is causeing me to have a heavy arm that goes numb?? The OS and the NS have already both said I need an ACDF at C 4-5 and C 5-6. So will they now want to wait??

Could it be the nerves are not compressed anymore because I had the posterior cervical foraminotomy at C 3-4 and C 4-5 in Jan of this year.

Both docs said I will always have a bad neck. I am totally afraid of what they will want to do. I just can not live my life in this kind of pain. I have no money left. All my savings is gone. The money I recieved for my WComp case for my arm was supposed to last 2 years. But, because of the car accident (seperate cases MVA not wcomp) I have used the money to pay $500.00 a month out in prescriptions and medical treatments for my neck. (My health Ins. Changed 1 month after the MVA so they say the neck is pre existing. so some of the medical cost has come right out of my pocket and will be reimbered in the settlement.) Not to mention I have had other medical bills not to do with my car accident and just the regular money it takes to operate my household.

I am the only person to take care of everything! I am not married and hove no kids...so everything gets done by me. All payments and bills are all my responsibility. Now I am faced with getting help from my family.

What exactly does it mean when they say no nerve damage?? Does it me there is no nerves involved?? I am sooo cinfused. This doc said the EMG only tells if nerves are damaged...nothing else.

Can someone please explain to me what they think might happen?

I asked the doc who did the test what he thought the results meant for my neck and he said "well Dr. Jones will probably want you to try some other things like injectsions and blocks, or he may just have you wait and see you in 3-6 months"
OK MY MOUTH HIT THE FLOOR WHEN HE SAID WAIT :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop:

Are you kidding me??!! I live my life cooped up doing not much of anything and now I have no money to boot. I have a poor quality of life.
Right now I am having a hard time with the reeling thoughts in my head and I am sorry for taking it on here, but I really need some help to sort this out and calm down.

I need to take a rest because my pain levels are to high and I am really exhausted.

Please I hope someone has some insight!



  • Prior to any surgery I had on my neck my emg was also good but I had arm pain and weakness......my surgery was needed because my neck was not stable. Now after acdf C4-C7 and a revision surgery my emg/ncv shows denervation at C5C6....I supposed the never was compressed for so long that damage was done and I have no clue as to why it did not show up prior to surgery.....when I see my surgeon in October he for sure will have to explain this to me.

  • Hey Sharon,

    Interesting that it showed nothing until after surgery.

    My neck is not considered to be "unstable" that I know of. No doc has ever said that. My NS and now the OS have both said that I have a bad neck and need to be fused. The NS does not seem reall happy to do it because he says he does not like to do them on people my age. I will be 39 in December. He actually thought I was in my 20's for whatever reason so maybe he has chaged his thinking. The NS sent me to the OS to get the OS's opinion. This OS is the best around and the nS is the best around. I do seem to like the Ortho;s office better so will eventually continie with him for further treatment I think.

    A discogram back in May of this year shows that I do have annular tears at several levels along wit the moderate to severe disc bulging.

    The pain I wake up with in the morning is awful and very excruciating. My left arm is always heavy and weak.

    I am just at a loss and hope they will still plan on doing the ACDF and not make me jump through any more hoops.

    I am open to hearing anyone else's story or experiences.

    Sorry about all the ranting in the first post. I was in total resentment mode! Sometimes I just think up every single thing that could possibly happen and my mind goes off on them and I get really upset.

    I felt better to rant. The I got on my bed and laid down for a fe w hours. I slept for 1 hour and then got up. I will take any bit of sleep I can get right now. I feel like I am just really strugglinig. I have a lot on my mind right now.

  • Chrissy,

    I don't think EMG's are the end all in telling if there is nerve damage or not. I had a negative EMG- even when I had an entire tricep muscle atrophy overnight- the neurologist said that she knew there was nerve damage there and had no idea why it didn't show up. I also had no reflexes in that arm and pretty bad myelopathy - you can't tell me there isn't nerve damage LOL I haven't had a repeat EMG since my surgery. My muscles, to date, have not returned to normal, including my pectorals, biceps and triceps.

    Are you taking anything for nerve pain? Have you had any Physical Therapy? Both these can really help with that arm pain and weakness.

    Good luck to you,

  • Hey Griff,

    Thanks for reminding me that the EMG is not always right. I remember now way back during my workers comp case for my arm that it showed no Carpal tunnel issies but the MRI clearly showed it. I forget sometimes!! LOL

    I also feel I overreacted and I am very sensitive about all this stuff. I am just tired of jumping through all the hoops.

    As for the PT ... The last time I went to PT was in march I think. I had the foraminotomy in Jan 2008. I went for about 3 or so visits and I got so flared up that I had to discintinue going. My PM had ordered it and told me to stop going if it was causeing me so much pain. He did tell/show me some simple exercisis that I can do for my neck and I do those at home, but nothing else in the way of PT.

    I do think it is a possibility the Ortho Surgeon will send me to PT for the bursitis the MRI says is in the shoulder.
    Who knows any more.

    I just want to move on so bad and be on the road to feeling better. Right now I am having a lot of things going on not just physically but emotionally. All this stuff and then the finances being pretty well gone at this point has just sent me into an emotional state of saddness and grief.

    The high pain levels all the time are really taking a toll on me. I will see PM on Monday and I hope we can come up with a plan to get the p-levels down.

    If I have no berve damage happening then why is my arm always feeling weak numb tingly and heavy?? Very confused??
    Can I have nerve impingement without it causeing nerve damage? Does the damage start as soon as the nerve is compressed or does it take a few years for the damage to start happening???

  • Hello Crissy, Just had to agree with you there about Discogram//TERRIBLE PAIN :( !!!!!!! Good luck about your neck pain,I hope doctor does something for you Soon. Hey if you just need to talk,vent,rant,laugh,cry, anytime, send me an e-mail if you want. I understand where your at, been there myself, it can feel mighty lonely at times, your NOT alone, there is friends out here. talk to me anytime girl, I'm usually around, unless at doctor myself. hope to hear from you sometime. smallfrie E-Mail: fishinwu3@cox.net
  • Chrissy,

    Have you spoken to your doc about your depression? There is a great deal of research that clearly shows that depression increases pain. If you are on something for depression already, perhaps it's time to make a change in dose or meds. Chronic pain is a hard thing to deal with, as I'm finding out, and even the strongest of us sometimes need help to get through it. Who knows, maybe you'll feel well enough to get back to PT.

    Have you gone to get another opinion? If not, maybe it's time to do that as well. Since you haven't has the fusion yet you have a good chance of finding a surgeon to look at your films and give you an opinion. It can't hurt and puts the ball in your court. I always like to have control :)

    Hang in there, it WILL end,

  • Hey Griff,

    I have done some thinking about my up coming appointment with the PM tomorrow.

    I would like to work with him on getting better pain control and get the levels down from the 7-8-9-10's and be more like 5-6-7 with only ocassional higher levels. I have some discussing to do with the PM. I would like to give the PT a try again, because I think the Ortho (who is the second opinion) will ask that I try once more befor surgery, and because I feel it could possibly help. I have had a change of heart about the PT.
    I feel that if the PT were to be 2-3 times a week and only very mild stretching of the neck and possbily the shoulder with the focus mainly on that rather then any stregthening I may get a little relief. I think that some massaging and heat and cold therapy will be best but no arm bike no weights no thera bands or any of that. I did that last time and it really really hurt me. So lots to discuss with the PM.

    Griff my Neuro surgeon who did the Posterior Cervical Formainotomy surgery in January of this year is the primary one who is in charge of my neck at the moment. At his urgeing I went back to the Ortho surgeon whom I had a second (or assessment if you will) back at the very end of Feb. of this year because I had been feeling better a little bit after surgery and then all of a sudden some symptoms came back with a vengence and some new ones started. The Ortho at that time only said that I have and will aways have a bad neck and that it was to soon after surgery to make a good assessment. He said to come back in six weeks if I still felt this poorly. It has been much longer then six weeks since I saw him the first time.

    So at the request of my Neuro I went back to see the Ortho who's specialty is the neck and spine, and he is the one who ordered the MRI of the shoulder and the EMG. So I am actually working with both doctors at the moment.

    I will see the Neuro on this Friday the 8th to see what he thinks of the MRI and the EMG. Then on thursday the 14th I will return to the Ortho to see what he has to say about everything. The orhto and neuro have both said the fusion is needed. I just do not know if they will want to do it now or make me wait it out as much as I can. At this point I do not want to "WAIT IT OUT" My quality of life is poor.

    I tested this theroy a bit. I stayed home for almost an entire week. I did not cleaning other than picking up after myself to keep messes down. I went to do only small errands nothing more and I went to one 12 step meeting.

    The result was I felt a bit better yesterday. I needed to do some grocery shopping and go to a 12 step meeting. So I went to the meeting for 45 minutes and then shopping for 40 minutes. This small amount of activity was enough to cause the pain levels to rise back up the 7-8-9's and then in the middle of then at about 1:30 this morning I woke from the pain. It was at a ten. It was enough to make me cry. I took some BT meds and laid back down with the heating pad. I fell back to sleep for an hour and then woke up again with the pain. I just laid there in bed awake and in total pain. If I had a valium left I would have taken one of those, but I only get 20 a month and could stand to have more than that for a month. Another issue for the PM.

    SO today I will be back to the stay at home and do as little as possible to minimize the pain levels. It just goes to show me how much the simple things that all people do to keep lifes little chores and duties going can be so drasticly painful for me.

    What ends up happening is I stay at home and only go out if absolutely necessary. I have cut back on my 12 step meetings to because the chairs are som uncofortable I just can't do it. I will not make it to church today, and although God understands it is hard on me emotionally because it is just one more thing I am unable to do for today.

    The depression I think is going alright. I talk about it with my 12 step sponsor and on here so it is not as though I have not addressed the issue. I am on Cymbalta which I know helps because if I were not taking it, I would not even be able to think straight and make simple decisions. I get situational depression and right now I think the depression is right up in my face becuse the reality of the finances is setting in. I am doing my best to be carrying on as much as possible.

    Tomorrow I will be calling the attorney to address the finances issue. I have disucssed the reimbersment of some things with him before so I think if I could get reimbersed for a the EMG which was $300 and for about 3-4 months of the meds, that might be enough to hold me over for a while. My Mom and I still need to discuss how her and my father can help me and this will take place on the 14th when she is here to go to the Ortho appointment with me.

    So thats that! I just try my best to continue doing what I am supposed to do. I just have no toher clue of what can be done. I think I am already doing everything that I should.

This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.