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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
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Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

Hi All, My doctor has ordered nerve conduction study for my hands. I have RSD on both hands. I want to know whether or not the EMG or nerve conduction study make the RSD worse or spread? Also is the EMG helpful in treating or dealing with the mess of RSD?
Anita

 
Old 07-25-2007, 06:07 AM   #2
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

EMG is not a good idea with RSD. IMO avoid it at all costs.

 
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:51 PM   #3
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

I agree....my husband had an EMG and it was so painful on his RSD hand I thought he was going to cry. It doesn't matter to him if he has nerve injury or not. I don't know the point in doing an EMG with RSD. Does it matter if there is a nerve injury? If it was a nerve injury, he wouldn't have surgery to correct it anyway.

 
Old 07-25-2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

On the other side of the coin, I have also heard of people being misdiagnosed with RSD and it was a nerve compression.
I've had EMG on both hands and feet (twice on the hands). It is a painful procedure but you should weigh out the pros and cons with your doctor.
Jeanne

 
Old 07-25-2007, 07:07 PM   #5
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikonKid View Post
On the other side of the coin, I have also heard of people being misdiagnosed with RSD and it was a nerve compression.
I've had EMG on both hands and feet (twice on the hands). It is a painful procedure but you should weigh out the pros and cons with your doctor.
Jeanne
Nikon...I agree. I have also read that nerve injureis have been misdiagnosed as RSD. In my husbands case, by the time he had the EMG, it was clear that what he had was RSD and the EMG was horrible for him. He would think long and hard before having that done again.

 
Old 07-25-2007, 07:19 PM   #6
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

Martra
I'm with your husband on not getting the repeat EMG's...when my RSD spread from hands to feet doctor just wanted to verify that it was the spread and not something else. When they did the EMG on feet neurologist wanted to do a third EMG on hands and I said No.
The good thing I've learned through all of this is to be able to speak up for myself with the doctors...I don't have a problem with doing something that may be helpful (even if it may cause pain) but that just seemed excessive since I already have a diagnosis. Sometimes I feel like they are milking the insurance companies with these procedures with no thought to the patient
Jeanne

 
Old 07-25-2007, 11:42 PM   #7
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

Hi All,
Thanks for sharing your experience! First doctor i saw on monday dx with RSD but wants to do a EMG on my hands to rule out carpel tunnel. Today i went to see his partner, a neurolgoist, he wants me to go through with the EMG as he is not 100% confidence in rsd dx although i do have signs of RSD but he said the pattern does not quite fit. My reply was is it still early to show all signs. He said it is possible. He also said it may or may not make RSD worse or spread. So i am confused. For those of you had EMG done, did it make your symptoms worse temp or permenantly? Please advise!
Anita

 
Old 07-26-2007, 05:28 AM   #8
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

Anita,
I had two EMGs one on the upper extremities and then lower. They basically did it to rule out. For me it wasn't that bad. I've been it alot more pain then that before.. I think they're in the right direction. I think you should get it.. It only helps the drs dx you.. Nerve damage can mimic RSD. So its best to be dx right.
Michelle

 
Old 07-26-2007, 12:01 PM   #9
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

Hi All, Thank you for your thoughts on this EMG! Now i really need to think about whether or not i should go through this.

Anita

 
Old 07-27-2007, 10:28 AM   #10
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

I have nerve damage in my R knee/quads (botched surgery). While the Pain Doctor was trying to rule out all causes for my spreading pain(it had gone from R knee/Quads to Left leg Quad),they ordered a EMG.

They started the EMG at my toes and worked up.When they tried to test my Quads,I screamed from the pain and came off the table.They tried a different location on Quads with the same result. This was level 20 pain on a 10 scale.They couldn't finish the test.
Sadly the terrible burning pain spread down to my toes and then mirrored to my opposite leg.
Its has since been determined I have RSD type 2. Its taken months to control the pain.
Don't do the EMG if the area they are testing is sensitive to touch.

 
Old 07-27-2007, 11:38 AM   #11
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Re: Is EMG/nerve conduction study bad for RSD?

Anita,
I think they do the EMGs to rule any other type of nerve damage.. It only helps the Drs dx you correctly... Sounds like its been most of our course of treatments and steps towards diganosing RSD.. There is no one test for RSD. Its all history and ruling out other diseases etc.
If anything I would talk to your pain management dr about it.. Tell him your fear of it spreading.. It may not.. You just don't know..
I've had 2 EMGs., two epidurals and five days of an IV in me, plus lots of blood work while in the hospital.. not once did my RSD spread. So that just shows how much everyone of us are differant.. I think the important thing is here. Is for you to be properaly DX first.. Then go from there..
Good luck and let us know what you decide
Michelle

 
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