What is Electromyography (EMG/NCS)?

An Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) help in the diagnosis of conditions or diseases affecting the peripheral nerves, muscles, neuromuscular junction and motor neuron.

General Indications for EMG & NCS are:
Numbness, tingling, burning sensation or pain, limb pain (arm or leg), muscle weakness and/or atrophy and “worm-like” movements of the muscles

Indications for EMG & NCS are:
• Facial nerve palsy
• Carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve entrapment at wrist)
• Cubital tunnel syndrome (ulnar nerve entrapment at elbow)
• Tarsal tunnel syndrome (plantar nerve entrapment at ankle)
• Nerve injuries or lesions
• Peripheral neuropathy such as diabetic neuropathy
• Radiculopathies – cervical, thoracic and lumbar
• Brachial and lumbar plexus injury
• Guillain Barre syndrome
• Congenital and acquired neuropathies
• Myopathies, i.e. muscular dystrophy
• Neuromuscular junction disorders such as myasthenia gravis
• Motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

How do you prepare for an EMG & NCS?
There is minimal preparation required on the part of the patient for an EMG & NCS. You can do any of your normal activities such as eating, drinking, or exercising prior to the test. Patients are encouraged to take their normal medications as prescribed.

Patients are urged to keep the area of testing clean and free of fragrance, lotion and/or cream.

Your test will generally take between 30–60 minutes depending on the study that has been ordered.

Patients may experience some discomfort or pain during the testing. This is reported during the insertion of an electrode (EMG). However, most patients test without difficulty. Following the testing, muscles may be tender and sore. Patients may also experience some mild bruising for a few days.

During the nerve conduction studies (NCS) a brief but intense electrical stimulus is provided to a nerve to measure the conduction of the impulse.

Be sure to tell your physician about any medications that you are taking, specifically aspirin, blood-thinners (i.e. Coumadin/Warfarin), if you have any bleeding disorders, or implanted electrical device and/or stimulators. It is also important to report any allergies including latex.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. specializes in electromyography and all exams are done by licensed PM&R physicians.

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