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    Old 10-02-2007, 08:45 AM   #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Atlanta
    Posts: 15
    babsinga HB User
    Questions about EMG and NCV

    Hi Everyone,

    I am really confused. I have DDD and most of my problems have been with my neck so far because I have had two serious car accidents that have exacerbated my problem.

    Cervical MRI reveals multilevel issues with osteophytes, thecal sac compression and severe formaminal stenosis.

    I have cervical and lumbar DDD with 5-6 being the worst. Visited three neurosurgeons about my neck with three opinions;

    1) Need surgery 2 level fusion
    2) Get epidurals and see what happens. If no improvement, go get an EMG
    3) Dont need surgery, just have neuralgia and DDD. Get epidural and wait it out for a year or two.

    Last week, I had a cervical epidural. I felt a small improvement in pain, but I am still popping two or three 5 MG valiums a day and taking Celebrex. In the last 5 months, I have exhausted all conservative treatments. PT, Qi GOng therapy, traction (chiro not an option), 11 pain meds including every muscle relaxant known to man, Vicodin, Skalaxin, Flexiril, Valium, Naprosyn, Percocet, Darvocet, Lyrica and some others I cant remember.

    I am not in excruciating pain, but the occipital headaches are awful, the muscle spasms and the electrical shooting type pain is still uncomfortable even after the epidural.

    Strangely enough, my back started acting up last week again and other than an X-ray taken after my may 07 accident, nothing else but PT has been tried to resolve an L-5 problem. It went into remission but is back with a rage (L-5). So heres the deal: Had two EMG/NCV studies done last week and the cervical one came back normal wiht no electrophysioloigic evidence of cervical radiculopathy. The lumbar one came back with the following result:

    "THis is an abnormal NCV/EMG study. There is electrophysical evidence of lumbar radiculopathy at multiple levels including the L4/L5 and L5/S1 nerve roots bilaterally and corresponding myotomal distributions R>L, L5/S1>> L4/L5 This neuropathy is chronic, axonal and severe in nature.

    I know that EMGs are not accurate, but can you get a false positive or false negative. Any statistics out there to support either direction? I dont know whether or not I should have fusion surgery (cervical). Three different opinions and no real answers. I am presently getting a lumbar MRI done this week. Should I go see someone about both neck and back or keep these two issues separate?

    Are there any other tests to confirm which levels of my neck need to be fused or whether some other surgery is needed other than ACDF? Please inform. Thanks!

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    Old 10-02-2007, 11:46 AM   #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Aiken, SC
    Posts: 146
    Janatee HB UserJanatee HB User
    Re: Questions about EMG and NCV

    Hello babsinga, glad you have joined our family here on the board. These post do help with a lot of info. First let me say, that I have DDD also, and have had a De-compressive Lumbar Laminenctomy 03. Then just 5 weeks ago, I had a 4 level ACDF with a Corpectomey. My neck is made of steel now, with plates, screws and 1 cage... My left leg started getting a heavy feeling, and numbness 8 years ago. I walked a lot back then and noticed my left leg would drag and I would stumble. I was scared thinking it was the starting of MS. After many x rays, the result was lower lumbar problem, and a mention of a bad neck. I did not want any surgery at the time, and looked for other alternative methods to easy this problem. Nothing helped, so I invested my time in searching the best doctor for the job. At this time I lived in NJ. 03Found the best doc, and finally decided to do something. The operation on my back was a God Send. That problem was now history. I could walk better with out the grinding of bones in my groin area. After about a year, I noticed my left leg problem started up again, and I was getting worse. Day by day, this went on, and then I noticed it going into my right foot. Starting all over again just like the left leg. It got so bad, I started walking with a cane. I'm just to young for that!!! So I decided to start getting some answers again, no matter what the out come. After talking with many doctors, I took a trip to Atlanta, for the new stand up MRI.. I can't go in the other ones unless I am well sedated. Anyway, after this MRI, in which I had them x ray me head to toe, I was told about the disc in my neck compressing my spinal cord, AND causing me all these walking problems. Most people with these type of compressions, it effects their upper body, like shoulders, arms and head. Like headaches...After talking with a highly recommended Neurosurgeon in Augusta, Ga. ( I now live in SC), I decided to go forward with the ACDF. I was so scared, but I put my problems in the Lords hands, and went from there. Today, as I write this I'm 5 weeks post-op and getting better each day. I wear an Aspen Collar, and will go back week 7 for my second check up. This time with x rays to see how my fusion is coming along. If I decided to do nothing, doc said in time I would end up in a wheel chair. This I did not want, so I had to have a very good attitude going in, and coming out. I know it must be very upsetting when you have 3 different opinions, but don't wait too long. See more docs if you need too. Ask questions, and get some answers. The longer you wait, if you have any compression going on, its only going to get worse in time...My surgery was not that bad at all. Neither one of them. I know I might not of answered your questions, but I hope from my post it might just give you some info and assurance that if you need something like this, it could make you so much better in the long run. Good luck , and I sure hope you find the right direction for you ...Let us know. Janatee

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