Electromyogram, commonly referred to as an EMG, is an electrical study of muscle. It is a type of electrodiagnostic testing used to help determine if there is evidence of nerve or muscle injury contributing to your symptoms.
The EMG test helps to clarify if there is any ongoing nerve and muscle damage. This is especially helpful when exam findings or other diagnostic tests are not clear. Electrodiagnostic testing cannot tell you the cause of nerve or muscle damage, it only confirms details of the damage.
An EMG is a two part procedure.
Taken together, these tests can tell us where in the nervous system the signal is interrupted on the way from the brain to the muscles.
An EMG can last anywhere from 30-90 minutes, depending on what question we are trying to answer. Based on what we are finding, sometimes we may have to add a couple extra nerves or muscles, which may make the test last longer.
We believe in performing our own testing in our office to make sure the entire test is done appropriately. The results are important and can help our non-operative and operative team determine a treatment plan specific for the patient. Your surgeon can review the results to make a specific surgical plan.
The small electric impulses will feel like brief stings. There will be a small pinching sensation when the needle is placed into the muscles. You may have mild soreness where the needles were placed after the test. The technician and the provider will be with you during the test to monitor you.
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Reviewed by: Dr. Niteesh Bharara.