This examination evaluates the function and health of your nerves and muscles. It is usually ordered when a patient complains of radiating or shooting pain into an arm or leg, but can also be ordered when a patient is complaining of a sensory problem such as numbness or tingling in the arms and legs. The test is very useful for determining the presence of carpal tunnel syndrome, compression lesions, muscle pathology and/or radiculopathy.
Nerve Conduction Velocity or NCV is usually performed first. Small electrical impulses are sent to the nerve being evaluated and the impulse is picked up by sensors attached to the skin over the nerve. The information is then sent to a computer that records the results.
Electromyography or EMG is the second part of the evaluation. A small needle is used to evaluate the health of the muscle being tested. The doctor will ask you to relax the muscle and then contract it while the needle electrode is measuring the electrical activity of the muscle. This information is then recorded to the computer.
The examination usually takes about 20-30 minutes per arm or leg being evaluated. Please inform the doctor prior to the test if you have a pacemaker and/or are on any blood thinners.