The Outpatient Electromyography (EMG) Laboratory at St. Joseph’s, which holds Laboratory Accreditation with Exemplary Status from the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM), provides state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and neuromuscular evaluations. Common and advanced techniques are used in the diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders, including radiculopathy (pinched nerves), carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, muscle disease (myopathy), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig disease), Myasthenia gravis, and many others. Patients with numbness, tingling, weakness, fatigue, muscle twitching or cramping, or difficulty ambulating, may benefit from an EMG evaluation to further understand their disorders.
Electromyography & Nerve Conduction Studies
A specially-trained physician conduct tests that record and analyze electrical impulses between the nerves and muscles. The results are combined with the patient’s clinical history and physical exam in order to diagnose and treat neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders.
Neuromuscular (NM) Medicine
NM medicine is the practice of medicine that involves the care of adult and pediatric patients with disorders of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and its connections with the central nervous system. The PNS includes the motor and sensory neurons, peripheral nerves, NM junctions, and muscles. NM medicine requires training and knowledge beyond that expected of a general neurologist or physiatrist.
Who performs the needle electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction study (NCS)?
The EMG specialist at St. Joseph’s is a Board-certified Neurologists with subspecialty training in electrodiagnostic medicine.
Why am I being sent to the EMG Lab for tests?
You are being sent to the EMG Lab because you have numbness, tingling, pain, weakness or muscle cramping. Some of the tests that the EMG doctor may use to diagnose your symptoms are NCS and needle EMG. The doctor will examine you to decide which tests to perform.
What do nerve conduction studies (NCS) show?
NCS show how well the body’s electrical signals are traveling in a nerve. This is done by applying small electrical shocks to the nerve and recording how the nerve works. These shocks cause a quick, mild, tingling feeling. The doctor may test several nerves.
What happens during needle EMG testing?
For this test, a small, thin needle is put into several muscles individually to see if there are any problems. A new needle is used for each patient, and it is thrown away after the test. There may be a small amount of pain when the needle is put in. The doctor tests only the muscles necessary to decide what is wrong. The doctor will look at and listen to the electrical signals that travel from the needle to the EMG machine. The doctor then uses his or her medical knowledge to determine what could be causing your problem.
How long will these tests take?
The tests usually take 20 to 90 minutes. You can do any of your normal activities, like eating, driving, and exercising, before the tests. There are no lasting side effects. You also can do your normal activities after the tests.
How should I prepare for the tests?
- Tell the EMG doctor if you are taking aspirin, blood thinners (like Coumadin® or Pradaxa ®), have a pacemaker or have hemophilia. Take a bath or shower to remove oil from your skin.
- Do not use body lotion on the day of the test.
- If you have myasthenia gravis, ask your EMG doctor if you should take any medications before the test. The EMG doctor will discuss your test results with you and send them to your referring doctor. After the exam, check with the doctor who sent you to the lab for the next step in your care.
When will I know the test results? What other tests may be recommended?
Depending on your symptoms, your physician may recommend neuromuscular ultrasound, blood tests, biopsies or genetic testing.
What if I need to change or cancel my appointment?
Patients must provide at least 24 hours notice of cancellation. It is our policy to allow rescheduling of no more than two appointments, after which another referral will be required from their physician. We strive to see all of our patients at the time of their scheduled appointment. Patients who arrive more than 15 minutes late may be rescheduled.
- Contact Us
For more information about these services, please call, 973.754.2433.