Emg Test

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Long story short I have bulging disk at c6/7, neurosurgeon states from looking at spine mri that there is nerve root compression.Neurosurgeon sent me for EMG which was conducted by another neurosurgeon EMG showed bilateral carpal tunnel but it showed no evidence of cervical radialopathy (SP?). I will attach the emg results. I thought this was done to look for permanent nerve damage? My understanding the test shows no permananet nerve damage.

But does the test rule out that nerve root compression is causing problems with my right hand and arm?


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I also have EMG testing done on my left arm to rule out left ulnar neuropathy (which I do have and EMG showed positive for).

When an EMG is done, it is to try and pinpoint the location of nerve damage. Just because the test show "normal" doesn't always mean it is.

Chronic cervical nerve root compression refers to nerve irritation caused by damage to the disc between the cervical vertebrae, so that the disc presses on the nerve root as it leaves the bony spinal column. So maybe the EMG is correct and there is not permanent nerve damage as of this moment in time. This doesn't mean that the compression won't end up causing damage in the end.

This is from emedicine:

"The primary use of electromyography is to diagnose nerve root dysfunction when the diagnosis is uncertain or to distinguish a cervical radiculopathy from other lesions, which are unclear on physical examination. While electrodiagnostic studies are very sensitive and specific, a "normal" EMG in the face of signs and symptoms consistent with a cervical radiculopathy does not exclude the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy."

I can remember the doctor who did my testing saying that if the needle was not in the exact location, the reading may not be precise.

Oh, if you are taking certian medicines, like muscle relaxants and cold medicines, they may interfere with the results of the EMG test too.


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Betrayed, I am Service connected for Carpal Tunnel from a Herniated disk at C6.

We have the exact same condition.

The nerve root compression is most likely the cause of the carpal tunnel.

Do you have a copy of the MRI.

My EMG said the same thing. The bottom line is you have proof of a nerve root compression. If it has been ongoing for say 6 months or longer, It is most likely the damage is permanent and irreversable.

Edited by jbasser

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I want to caution you about doctors who do nerve conduction studies. Their are doctors who are crooks and I have ran into several. They lie and write misleading reports. There goal is to make it harder for you to get disability.

If you have a nerve conduction study that indicated carpal tunnel it is hard to get total disability from Social Security. It is also hard if you have a disc herniation that is not verified by a nerve conduction study. If you have a cervical disc herniated and it is verified by MRI with ridiculopathy verified my EMG then SS total disability is much easier to win. All this was told to me by my SS attorney. The doctors know the SS rules and some will try to cheat you by writing messed up reports.

I am confused by the report. It is hard to read the first couple sentences. It appears to me that there are some abnormalities other than carpul tunnel. Then he talks about carpul tunnel on the right side. I have to wonder if the reference to no riduclopathy refers to the right side only. I would not assume there is no ridiculopathy unless the doctor said that there was no indication of riducolopathy bi-laterally. This could be a sly doctor writing a vague report.

If you could re-type the first couple sentences maybe we could make more sense out of it.

Edited by Hoppy

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maybe these will help



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The math does not tell me much. To answer your question about hand and arm pain. I have had the same pain and was diagnosed with nerve root compression with ridiculopathy. The pain was in my shoulder and bicept. There was no question that it was caused by the nerve compression. If the pain is above the elbow they told me it had to be a shoulder injury or c-spine injury. There was no evidence with x-ray or EMG of a shoulder injury. If your pain is above the elbow then you need to suspect the c-spine. The EMG does not specifically test pain levels. You can have plenty of pain and like the others say it could be that the next EMG will show the nerve slowing. The EMG tests for nerve disfunction.

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