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Hi all, I have searched the boards but can't find the info I seek.

I am curious IF you have had an EMG test, what were your neurogenic symptoms to prompt the test, what IF ANY surgeries did you have prior to the EMG OR bulges/herniations/nerve impingements on MRI with no surgery, and what were your results.

It seems some have nerve pain, yet a negative EMG, and some have sensory pain *which is not ususally measured with EMG* and a negative EMG.

I have read conflicting scenereos where peeps have severe nerve pain during the test, yet negative, others positive.

Some have no feeling DURING the test of the electrical stim they use, and negative or positive results.

Just trying to get a roundabout idea regarding results vs symptoms.

I will be scheduled for my first EMG soon so I will post here when I am through with it with my symptoms, surgeries, and result.
Hi, rosespetal

I had an EMG due to having symptoms of nerve problems in my legs from my spine degeneration. I started having back pain then the onset of leg pain at age 17 and have suffered ever since. Of course docs have done nothing to help me with it - "just take painkillers and get on with your life" was all the advice they ever gave me, sometimes even saying I am mental and that it is "all in your head" and trying to prescribe me antidepressents! I think they need to learn more about patients and how back pain is the invisible illness and stop saying such discriminating and hurtful things to their patients who they are supposed to be helping. I am studying health and social care and it has even got about all this.

Anyway, I am 21 now and just could never hold down a full-time job as I have episodes of crippling (when I say crippling, I mean it has me on the floor!) back pain that goes all the way down my legs.

No nerve impingment was apparently found on MRI - bare in my mind I only had plain MRI (they never bothered doing contrast for some reason and do not intend to either from what they said). It was also a lying down MRI. I was never offered a standing MRI either.

My leg symptoms are numbness, weakness, tingling, hot/cold feelings and feelings like water trickling down my legs as well.

Sorry to go on a bit. I just wanted to mentione the sort of background of the illness that prompted the EMG.

Anyway, the EMG results I have no idea about as my surgeon (neurosurgeon) did not talk much about them. I would assume that although I have symptoms of nerve damage the EMG test was negative. I have read that EMGs are not that indicative of anything and that there are better tests nowadays. The neurologist who did them said that I had extremely fast and abrupt reflexes and was wondering if this is normal or not as one doc said that it can be a sign of damaged nerves. Although I do not understand why if it is damaged it did not show up on MRI?

Kind regards

the thing about the EMG/NCV studies is it ONLY will show one thing, actual nerve flow impairment going on at the time of the test, period. if you happen to have some type of spinal issue going on that is causing a 'constant' direct impingment of a particular nerve all the time? that would show(it woulkd state on the first page, 'abnormal EMG" then it runs down the flow velocity). but if you are suffering even severe but only intermittant types of synmptoms like i had with my herniation in the c 6-7 area, its kind of dependant upon the posistion and if it is actually numb/painful or the symptoms are there DURING that actual test. while an EMG is a great test to show or rule out direct impaired nerve flow, thats about it as far as what it really is good for.

with my very firat EMG, despite having some very severe but intermittant syptoms of pain and on and off tingling and solid numbness my EMG actually came up totally normal,despite a herniation and stenosis. now move ahead a few years where i had to have a spinal cord surgery that just knocked out all of my fine motor functions in my left hand?? totally different story. that one was a freaking mess with abnormal popping up all over the place and totally 'DEADENED' AREAS OF NERVE FLOW TO SPECIFIC FINE MOTOR MUSLCES/NERVES THAT INNERVATE THEM? sorry hit that dam caps lock again. that difference was ONLY becasue true nerve flow had either stopped totally or lessened greatly. but my latest EMG showed that i actually got some perviously pathetic areas back to some degree anyways. but you just HAVE to have a very direct impingment going on at the time of that test just to actually show true changes in flow velocity. so if you have a great EMG it does NOT mean there is not a real problem, it just means it is coming and going and the nerve is not being constantly compressed or impaired in any real way, and that IS good for youer nerves,trust me.

your symptoms combined with a really good contrasted MRI really tell much more of how things are being impacted than an EMG can when it comes to severity of findings. just know that you CAN have some very significant pain and other radiculopathic types of symptoms going on and still have a perfectly normal EMG. just been down this road many times with different issues.

just what are you experiencing as far as symptoms and what were the findings upon an MRI? or have you not gotten that far yet? marcia

niad, in most cases, 'brisk' reflexes are not a normal finding. if you have hyper reflexia it is usually stemming from the spinal cord itself. do you actually have your own copy of your last MRI? and how long ago was it done on you? were there ANY hard findings at all in that summary at the very end? marcia
Hi, marcia

My symptoms come and go and certain things set them off. They are not there all the time. This may explain, from reading your post on what you have said, why I had a normal-ish EMG.

The neurologist and neurosurgeon did not seem bothered at all about the brisk reflexes. Perhaps they do not know about brisk reflexes and I should go get a second opinion from a more experienced neurosurgeon?

My MRIs of my lower spine and pelvis were done quite a while ago - May 2008.

The results report states degeneration at grade 3 in the L2/L3 region and also schmorls nodes and that there is no nerve impingement - this is why I am confused about why I have brisk reflexes. My nerve is not trapped according to MRI. Although what I have heard of is chemical nerve damage i.e. where part of the disc leaks out and burns the nerve thus still causing damage similar to trapped nerves. A lot of doctors do not even know about this which is why a lot of people have what they like to term it 'nonspecific back pain'.

I had an X-Ray of my lumbar spine too in November 2007 and this showed degeneration of quite a severity and also maybe degeneration of the sacro-iliac joints. The readiologist also looked at an X-Ray of my left foot which is the one I have a lot of problems with. I had this foot X-Ray due to having severe foot pain when walking or treading on it and had to limp to college and my mother was not happy that I was having problems with it so took me to the same hospital and had it X-Rayed. Even though the doctor at the time (not all know what they are doing or talking about) said there was nothing wrong with it and to go home and take painkillers. They always say that. The radiologist found that I had degeneration of the big toe and wondered, stating in the X-Ray, if I had some sort of condition that predisposed me to all this degeneration of my body and bones at such a young age.

I also had an MRI of my head, neck and upper back. Have not got the results reports yet as the hospital does not like letting patients have them for some reason. It is a strange hospital anyway and I have never received good treatment there to be honest. It is definitely somewhere I would not recommend even though they had a really good report. Don't know how.

Even the MRI technicians do not bother helping their patients up off of the table when clearly they cannot get up due to severe spinal stiffness! That is the kind of treatment they give in this hospital. My GP sent me there thinking I would get good treatment when really these GPs know nothing about what good treatment is!

Sorry just wanted to get that off of my chest as I am fed up with the so-called professional treatment (or not as my case clearly shows) that I have received so far.

Is there another way I could maybe obtain the reports for these other MRIs behind the hospital's back?

They have not since talked about scheduling an up-to-date MRI of my lumbar spine and pelvis.

Kind regards

you simply DO have the right to copies of all medical records, espescially ANY real testing results of things that were done on you. you could go right to that hospital and to the med records dept and sign that release of information that has to be done right there then ask that they please get these for you and send them to your home, or if they can, just merely look up your name and pop up copies right then and there for you. also tell whoever is there the huge problems you have been having just even GETTING your own copies of your own testing results.

OR, go to whoever ordered those upper MRIs for you and obtain your copies from THAT referring doc. they would have to have them if they ordered them, you know what i mean? you just DO have certain rights when it comes to medical records and the releasing of them. all you should have to do is simply fill out that release form. you just simply DO NEED to know if anything that showed up in the upper MRIs is actually impacting your cord in some way. if you truely have hyperreflexia, the neuros SHOULD have been very concerned about this. if they were not, then i would very highly advise you to find another neurosurgeon who simply DOES know what certain findings mean upon a neuro eval. but either way,you just DO ahve the right to all your medical records from anyone or any place that has laid hands on you.

just what have you actually tried so far just to obtain the MRI reports? and how long ago were they actually done on the upper? marcia
Thanks for writing regarding the EMGs its perfect I was so curious on why so many discrepancies regarding this test.

I have gotten a MRI, and have the report, which only states "mild enhancement within the epidural space attributed to post operative "scar". Which is at the spot of my L4/5 fusion, no statements regarding scar tissue at my 3/4 microdiscectomy either. Who knows.

I have a mild annular bulge on S1 with posterior ridge. Arthrosis, facet joint hypertrophic bla bla and who knows what other degenerative stuff.

I've had 2 surgeries so far.

As for symptoms, I get in about 10 different spots jolts, numbness, electric shock, and in certain positions my entire leg will go dead numb and takes upto 10 minutes for it to come back to me. I have yet to review the films or report with my surgeon, as well as go for the EMG in about 2 weeks. SOO will see what it shows. I am just curious how people can have such drastic symptoms yet negative EMGs. I guess I will haveto trigger the pain(s) to an extent that I feel so I have a legitamate test.

I also get a RIPPING electric pain when I walk too much, (which is about 20 minutes), that goes from my back by the surgery area and rips down my leg and shoots out my big toe. Some of them are along my ankle and out my piggy toe. Dermaomes show they co-incide with my surgery areas as well as S1. If its going to rain, I'm dying with back and nerve pain in my legs, and for the most part, I am always having nerve pains and jolts, either down a side of my spine, or in my legs or feet on fire when I am upright too long, laying down helps supside them, but if its raining they still shoot off no matter what.
I was on 900mg neurontin, then recently dr raised it and I was on 1500, currently I am peaking at 2400mg, and need to wait out another week to see how it does regarding the nerve pains, the raise did help with the rain issues, as it rained here 2 days, and I made it the days prior to the rain, and the first day of the rain with lessened nerve pains, the 2nd day or rain killed me tho.

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