NERVE CONDUCTION STUDIES
A nerve conduction study is an objective evaluation of nerve function. Electrodes are placed on the skin in various places along the nerve pathway. The nerve is stimulated with a small electric current. As the current travels down the nerve pathway over a standardized, measured distance to the electrode, the time to reach the electrode is recorded. By knowing distance and time, the velocity and “strength” of the signal can be calculated. If the nerve is damaged, the signal will be slower and weaker. By stimulating the nerve at various places, Dr. Yadava can determine the specific site of injury. Nerve conduction studies may also be used during treatment to determine if healing is progressing as it should. Although you may initially be startled by the suddenness of the stimulation, it is not painful. Our patients are kept comfortable during the testing procedure and we have never had anyone not tolerate the study. The shock is often described as feeling similar to when you hit your “funny bone”.
An EMG records and analyzes the electrical activity in your muscles. It is used to learn more about the functioning of nerves in the arms and legs. With an EMG, a small, thin needle is placed in a muscle to record the electrical activity. When a normal muscle is at rest, it is electrically silent.
Dr. Yadava will ask you to relax the muscle and then to tense it slightly. He will listen to and watch the computer monitor to determine if there are any abnormalities. You will be able to hear the signal sounds as you move the muscle and Dr. Yadava analyzes the waveform. There are zero side effects to this testing with the exception of potential bruising.