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EMG Results
Jun 13, 2012
Hi,

New to this forum, but just received my EMG results and wanted to know if anyone here knew what this means.

Abnormal study with electrophysiologic evidence most consisten with a lumbosacral polyradiculopathy.

Herniated L5/S1 1 year ago.

Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Re: EMG Results
Jun 13, 2012
Welcome to the board.

The writer indicates that the EMG study you had done indicated some things that were not usual and normal...and that these abnormalities are most likely indicative of "polyradiculopathy."

Radiculopathy is is a type of pain that radiates into an extremity, running directly along the course of a spinal nerve root. Radicular pain can be caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root. The spinal nerve root is injured or compressed in the spine but the pain radiates along the nerve path and the pain can be felt at any point along this route -- like when people have tingling or numbness in a hand or foot. (You can look up a "dermatome map" to see which nerve innervates which part of the body.) The nerve injury can be caused by conditions in the spine such as a herniated or bulging disc, spinal stenosis, etc.

Polyradiculopathy just means you have this problem in more than one spinal nerve. What you copied does not indicate whether this radiculopathy is acute or chronic. Most people have heard of "sciatica." This would be one example of a radiculopathy.

It may be coming from your disc herniation at L5-S1 or it may be that you have a new issue in the lower spine.
Re: EMG Results
Jun 13, 2012
thank you so much for the information.

The report did not indicate whether it was chronic or acute..

Is this serious and do you know what treatment options I have??

report also stated: bilateral lumbosacral paraspinal regions reveals fibrillations in the L5 interspace..
Re: EMG Results
Jun 13, 2012
Well, it depends on how bad the nerve compression is. It may be able to be handled with conservative treatments or if badly compressed, to the point that there is danger of permanent nerve damage, it might be necessary to intervene surgically. Usually if the compression is that bad, the report would make some indication...but, I don't know for sure.

[B] bilateral lumbosacral paraspinal regions reveals fibrillations in the L5 interspace..[/B] I think this means that there are signs (showing from the EMG) of muscular twitching in the area surrounding L5. These are not visible under the skin, but are picked up during the EMG exam, and they are a sign that something is not quite right with the nerve....

These findings are consistent with an L5-S1 issue. It may be that you have herniated that disc again, or it never healed to begin with.
Re: EMG Results
Jun 14, 2012
I probably should have mentioned that I have had severe pain for about 6 months.... finally took action.. last wednedsay (6-6-12) i had an epidural injection to relieve the pain... however, I still have alot of pain 8 days after.

I had the EMG 5 days after the injection, so i was hoping that the compression would be somewhat relieved, that doesn't seem to be the case.

I have a call into the DR. regarding, so maybe he can shed some lite on the situation.

I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me... I am a little scared about what is happening... my calves hurt, and my groin even after the injection... just want to get some relief..
Re: EMG Results
Jun 14, 2012
I assume you did not have a surgery on that disc herniation at L5-S1? If that is the case, I would guess that the herniation has increased in size or changed to some extent. It may be that some material from the disc is leaking out which can either cause further nerve compression or it can put off a chemical that is very irritating to the nerve and results in the same type of pain.

In any case, when a nerve is compressed for a period of time, there may not be much response to the steroid...and it is not unusual to still have pain. Sometimes the injections cause minimal pain, but other times the person can be laid up from it for some time. It may be that if you have a second injection in a couple weeks, it will respond to the steroid. There is just no way of knowing ahead of time.

Do you have both in both legs and did you have this prior to the injection? What have been your symptoms during the past six months?
Re: EMG Results
Jun 14, 2012
I haven't had any surgery for this problem.

I have weakness in both my legs, so bad at times i can barely walk up my stairs, knumbness from the knees down on both legs when i wake up, pain in my calves, also pain in my butt... literally, and pain in my lower back. I have herniated this disc twice, did physicall therapy before.

I work full time, and have 2 small kids, my husband has stage iiia lung cancer.. I never took care of this problem of mine because i was taking care of my husband and kids... i know it sounds like an excuse but this is really the way it is...

What prompted me to go to the dr finally, was i jumped off a 5 ft ledge at work and my legs gave out on me and i landed on my butt...it really scared me.

I have been icing it everyday when i get home from work.... but i really thought i was going to be pain free after the epidural.....
Re: EMG Results
Jun 14, 2012
Well, I'd say you have plenty of reasons to be ignoring your own health issues. I'm sorry to hear of your husband's battle.

[B]but i really thought i was going to be pain free after the epidural.....[/B]

I am sorry you were misinformed. I think it is relatively rare that a first ESI makes a big difference. I do have one friend that had that good fortune...but I think she is the only person I know, either personally or online, that had such great results.

Were you awake for the ESI? Did the doctor use live x-ray (fluoroscopy) to guide the placement of the needle?

I know you have too much on your plate to be contemplating surgery, but with the nerve involvement you have, it may be your only option. When a nerve is compressed for too long, the damage can become permanent.

And have you been told that if you suddenly develop bladder or bowel issues (like incontinence) or a sudden weakness like foot drop, you must call your doctor ASAP or go to the emergency room? This MIGHt be a symptom of cauda equina syndrome which is one of the few ailments of the lumbar spine that is considered a true medical emergency.
Re: EMG Results
Jun 14, 2012
Yes I was awake and he did use fluoroscopy to guide the injection...it hurt like a MF'r.....

No they did not tell me that but i knew it from the research i have done...

I just faxed over the EMG results to my Dr. so we will see if he calls me about it.... I too think that surgery may be my only option at this point...

i need to be well to take care of my family... so i may just have to do it!

I really appreciate you responding to my posts... it is really refreshing to know that someone does care.....and is willing to take the time to respond...

Very Respectfully,

Jude
Re: EMG Results
Jun 14, 2012
Did you hear from your doctor? I'll be interested in hearing his opinion.
Re: EMG Results
Jun 15, 2012
Yes, he called me... he is very concerned with my EMG results and my Muscles... He wants me to have an ABI test with a vascular Dr. prior to him doing anything with me.. He needs to rule out other possibilities.

He did give me a prescription for a very strong muscle relaxer which actually helped with some of the pain..
Re: EMG Results
Jun 15, 2012
That is not necessarily "good" news, but at least it looks like you are moving ahead and will rule something in or out. Please let us know what you learn.
Re: EMG Results
Jun 15, 2012
I most certainly will!

Thank you and have a nice weekend!
Re: EMG Results
Jun 15, 2012
Hi there -- it sounds like you have a lot on your plate.

I did have good relief (90 percent for 13 months now!) from one cervical epidural, but my disc was only bulging and was caught quickly. Sometimes a second or third epidural will have a cumulative effect.

Since you may need to simply manage symptoms, I wanted to let you know that I have gotten good relief from muscle spasms with acupuncture. I wish I had realized how helpful acupuncture could be two and a half years ago. I think sometimes muscle spasms can keep the disc so compressed that it can't heal itself. My acupunturist applies the needles directly in the spasming muscle. Heaven! (Of course make sure that you don't have any vascular problems first.)

Good luck with your doctor's appointment.
Re: EMG Results
Jun 17, 2012
Thanks SweetPeainSF,

I always wanted to try acupunture... but i never got around to it...

Got some bad news regarding my husband... so i will not be moving forward with anything invasive on my back... will have to stay tough for a while until things settle with him...
Re: EMG Results
Jun 17, 2012
Sunshine88-
I am sorry to hear about your husband. Please take care of yourself and keep us up to date.

Tammy
Re: EMG Results
Jun 22, 2012
thank you for your reply's... i will keep you all posted
Re: EMG Results
Jun 23, 2012
How are you doing?? Please take care of yourself, too.
Re: EMG Results
Jul 4, 2012
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to update, the oncologist thinks that my husbands enlarged lymph node is begnign and his confirming with the surgeon to double check!!
Hopefully, he concurres..

My dr. called me back and wants to do a second epidural injection and possibly start me on some meds for the nerve issues... Not sure if i really want to go through that again...

Once we get the final concurrence from the surgeon for my husband, i will think long and hard about the second epidural injection...

He didn't seem to concerned about my leg cramping and nerve issues...
this dr business is really baffeling..so hard to understand where they come from sometimes...

thanks again for everyones concerns and comments...

Sunshine88
Re: EMG Results
Jul 4, 2012
Good news regarding your husband! My doctors never much cared about my pain or cramping. I have deduced that they are concerned with numbness or loss of function and that the pain must signify that the nerves are working.

I hope that the second epidural works for you, if you choose that option. I am currently taking 3600 mg per day of neurontin, mostly for a different condition. However, it has somewhat helped with the nerve pain.





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