North Texas Orthopedics & Spine Center is pleased to be able to offer patients diagnostic testing in our office by Dr. Christopher Tucker and by Dr. Raul Llanos. Both Dr. Tucker and Dr. Llanos are board-certified in electrodiagnostic medicine. They can use EMG/NCV testing to identify muscle function as related to nerve input and to help diagnose neuromuscular disease, neurologic disorders, muscle disease, and nerve abnormalities associated with pain or numbness in the arms or legs. You may schedule an evaluation with either Dr. Tucker or Dr. Llanos for diagnosis and treatment, or your family physician can order these tests if needed. A detailed evaluation along with the testing results will be sent to your physician to help aid in the decision of treatment options.
What is EMG?
Electromyography (EMG): An electrical recording of muscle activity that aids in the diagnosis of neuromuscular disease.
EMG Purpose: Muscles are stimulated by signals from nerve cells called motor neurons. This stimulation causes electrical activity in the muscle, which in turn causes contraction. This electrical activity is detected by a needle electrode inserted into the muscle and connected to a recording device. Together, the electrode and recorder are called an electromyography machine. EMG can determine whether a particular muscle is responding appropriately to stimulation, and whether a muscle remains inactive when not stimulated. EMG is performed most often to help diagnose different diseases causing weakness. Although EMG is a test of the motor system, it may help identify abnormalities of nerves or spinal nerve roots that may be associated with pain or numbness. Other symptoms for which EMG may be useful include numbness, atrophy, stiffness, fasciculation, cramp, deformity, and spasticity. EMG results can help determine whether symptoms are due to a muscle disease or a neurological disorder, and, when combined with clinical findings, usually allow a confident diagnosis.
Procedure Description: During an EMG test, a fine needle is inserted into the muscle to be tested. This may cause some discomfort, similar to that of an injection. Recordings are made while the muscle is at rest, and then during the contraction. The person performing the test may move the limb being tested, and direct the patient to move it with various levels of force. The needle may be repositioned in the same muscle for further recording. Other muscles may be tested as well. A typical session lasts from 30-60 minutes. A slightly different test, the nerve conduction velocity test, is often performed at the same time with the same equipment. In this test, stimulating and recording electrodes are used, and small electrical shocks are applied to measure the ability of the nerve to conduct electrical signals. This test may cause mild tingling and discomfort similar to a mild shock from static electricity. Evoked potentials may also be performed for additional diagnostic information. Nerve conduction velocity and evoked potential testing are especially helpful when pain or sensory complaints are more prominent than weakness.
To learn more about our electromyography and nerve conduction velocity services, please call (817) 481-2121, click on the Appointment Request button or use the link provided.