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I had Nerve Conduction Study and EMG

Posted by Sue B. on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003917)

I had a nerve conduction study and EMG last week.

I didn't really know what to expect so for those of you who are interested--the Nerve Conduction Study checks the nerves and little wires are attached in various places on the feet and ankles one at a time and you feel a shock. Apparently the machine is able to distinguish between a normal rate for the shock to travel and a rate that indicates a problem with a nerve.

The EMG is a little more uncomfortable.--it checks the muscles. A little needle is put under your skin and something is moved around a bit. They check a # of places in the foot in this manner.

I belong to Kaiser and the doc who did the test didn't really explain much. I felt like he would rather be any place than doing the test.

However, my podiatrist called with the results. He said that I did not have TTS, but I had a 'peripheral neuropathy.' He didn't say much more--I kept questioning him and basically it sounds like there is not cure for a peripheral neuropathy--absolutely nothing he can do for me. I thought I might have TTS because I often have pain that starts at my ankle and radiates up my leg. He didn't say, but somewhere I read that TTS doesn't necessarily show up on these tests.

Any information anyone has regarding 'peripheral neuropathy' would be greatly appreciated.

Oh yes, he did say that the reason I find Birkenstocks so painul is because of my peripheral neuropathy. (I'm adding to my vocabulary--a year ago I had never heard of plantar fasciitis or peripheral neuropathy, much less be able to spell them!)


Re: I had Nerve Conduction Study and EMG

Bobbie on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003940)

I am going in for the same tests on the 1st so was interested in what you had to say. What are your symptoms? I have the stabbing pain in my heal with pain in the side of my foot, ball of my foot, top of my foot to my toes and up to my ankle. It feels like I have a band around the ball of my foot and over the top which gets tighter as the day goes on. Sometimes my toes feel tingly. I don't hold out much hope for any results but if they could do something to fix it I would certainly consider it. As it is now, my foot tends to want to turn in and under as the pain gets worse and by the end of the day I can hardly walk. I will report back with the results of my tests too.

Re: I had Nerve Conduction Study and EMG

Sue B. on 1/26/99 at 00:00 (003947)


My symptoms are different from yours--my feet tingled (no pain) for all of 1997. Then in Jan. 1998 I developed heel pain and was told I had PF. However, orthotics and Birks hurt my arches so much that I can only wear them for a few hours. I still have the tingling if I am on my feet too much. My left foot is the bad one--the right foot isn't too bad. I have pain below my heel bone and today the pain is going up my leg--I don't get the pain up my leg too often--hopefully it will ease up soon as it has in the past. I also often have pain in the ball of my left foot. Usually all the pain stops when I sit down, but today the pain up my leg doesn't seem to want to stop.

As I said in the previous post, the nerve conduction test isn't bad. The EMG is a little worse because they put little needles in your feet. Hopefully your doc will be more friendly than mine was and tell you how many times he is going to stick you--knowing that would have helped me.

Good luck and do keep us posted.

Sue B.

Re: I had Nerve Conduction Study and EMG

Rick on 1/27/99 at 00:00 (003956)

Hi Sue,
Peripheral neuropathy is a general term for damage to the peripheral nerves. These are nerves that lead from the brain and spinal cord to muscles, internal organs, skin, etc. It can be caused by a # of things. One of the most common occurrences is diabetic neuropathy; and it is frequently experienced in the feet and legs of diabetic patients (have you ever been tested for diabetes?). It can also be caused by trauma to the area, among other things.

There is some very good info on the Intelihealth web site, (Johns Hopkins). Go to http://www.intelihealth.com . You can get to 'peripheral neuropathy' through a key word search using their dictionary function.

Hope you will start to see some improvement. It's important to protect your feet, since lack of sensation means you can injure yourself and not even realize it. I hope this info will help.