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EMG Next Week--What to Expect?

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2

Comments

  • As I said, I have slight herniations. You probably know that some people can have slight herniations and no symptoms. I was sent by my internist to a neurologist who looked at my MRI and recommended a cervical epidural and emg.  I have no neck pain.
  • I hope yours goes better than mine. For me the EMG was a huge trigger for anxiety that I am still coping with. I was getting to a point of accepting my diagnosis of radiculopathy by the time the EMG appointment finally came around (it had been made a month prior). Of course, the EMG was abnormal which they attributed to my cervical issues, however that did little to ease my panic about more severe and disturbing disorders (which I try to refrain from even mentioning anymore to spare my sanity). To me the EMG basically set me back to square one of anxiety that I have still not recovered from, and the saddest thing is that it didn't even provide any new information. I regret having the EMG at this point, it just did absolutely nothing to help or pinpoint any issues and the fact it wasn't clean has haunted me since that day in spite of the doctors assurances that it's likely 99% because of the already known spinal issues.
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  • As I said, I have slight herniations. You probably know that some people can have slight herniations and no symptoms. I was sent by my internist to a neurologist who looked at my MRI and recommended a cervical epidural and emg.  I have no neck pain.

    I guess the confusing thing is that you say you have no symptoms.  But above you say you say you are having "issues" and that you don't want to hear after the EMG that "it's inconclusive and that my symptoms are a mystery."  So it is a little unclear why you had an epidural and are being referred for an EMG.

    Perhaps you mean you have no neck pain issues.  Plenty of people have no neck pain from cervical issues and only have arm symptoms.  I have been told that those people tend to have better surgical outcomes because ACDF is much better at resolving arm pain than neck pain.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

  • I didn't say *I* have no symptoms; that comment was in reference to you remark about a "normal" MRI. What I meant was that my MRI shows slightly herniating discs, which SOME PEOPLE, not I, can have without symptoms, so it is not 100% clear to me that this is what is causing my symptoms, which do not include neck pain. I started having back, upper right chest, armpit, arm, and shoulder last December, along with tingling down my arm into my ring and little finger. It has gone away & come back many times, although never as bad as that first bout which lasted a couple of months. I saw to internists; one diagnosed a shoulder disorder so I had an MRI and it was normal. The second diagnosed cervical radiculopathy, and sent me to a neurologist who ordered the epidural and EMG. The epidural didn't do anything so I got pissed and canceled the EMG. I have had a flare-up or two since then and some random twitching so I went to the PT the neurologist also prescribed and he believes it is the C-7 serve root causing the problems and encouraged the EMG. My question here was mainly about results and the mechanics of the test itself. Sorry to confuse you.
  • nz1025nnz1025 Posts: 194
    edited 09/12/2016 - 4:00 PM
    I think the placement of the needles is guided by the nerves that the dr wants to look at. I think I was told that the tests can distinguish where any damage is along the nerve (i.e. at nerve root versus elbow). My tests came back ok - this was interpreted as the nerve just being irritable, rather than damaged.  (Hope this info is correct.)
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  • Thank you. I hope it's not just a big waste of time. I don't want to hear that it's inconclusive and that my symptoms are a mystery. 

    I SO hate hearing that!  Guess I've already heard it one too many times ;)

    I had a cervical nerve EMG test done--the worst part (and the person who performs your test may very well say the same thing) of it was when they poked my hand near my thumb.  Don't worry, though--it only lasts a second!!!  I'm sure you'll do just fine, hon.  Like David G said, the worrying beforehand is worse than the test itself! 
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • So as far as where they test me...is it based on where I say it hurts or is bothering me? 
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,270
    That is the general idea.   
    But more precisely, based on all previous diagnostic testing, the doctors are going into the EMG test with you looking for something in specific areas.

    In broader terms, if you are having problems with your hand/fingers, then the EMG test will be geared up to check the nerve that are centered around that portion.

    But, the short of it, they do go in with a specific plan based on what you have already told them along with results of other tests
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • If you have an insurance policy that will cover your EMG or you only have a small co-pay, I would just say thank you and be grateful that you have good insurance. I had a high deductible insurance policy when I had my EMG and I had to pay the "discounted" rate of $1,000 out of pocket.

    I'd be down on my knees thanking the good lord if someone was giving me a low cost EMG.
    C6-C7 ACDF - January 20, 2016
    Shoulder surgery - August 2, 2016
    Interlaminar laminotomy, mesial facetectomy and foraminotomy bilateral at C5-C6 and unilateral left at C6-C7 and bilateral C6-C7 facet fusion - December 7, 2016

  • I'm going to call my insurance company today. They are good. We have insurance through my husband's job and I am thankful for that. 
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