Muscle/Nerve Tests

cheerful1_gwJuly 23, 2008

My husband has had tingling and numbness in his right leg for the past year. He finally went to a specialist and had a nerve conduction study and an electromyography. The next thing will be an MRI on his back. I've been reading the possible diagnoses from these tests, and none are good.

Has anyone ever gone through this?

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I have had EMGs and MRIs. Neither of them DO anything, good or bad. However, they will show problems that cannot be seen any other way. Some will be correctable and some will not. If the tests are negative, then the solution, if possible, requires further testing.

There is nothing to be gained by not having the tests. If his doctor thinks that they will reveal what his problem is, he should certainly get them. There are many things that could be causing the numbness and tingle. The most likely is a problem somewhere along the spinal cord that doesn't show on a regular X-Ray.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 10:25AM
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I've had all of those tests and none of them led to a diagnosis. My that nerve conduction study was painful! I still assume that what I have is diabetic neuropathy, but my doctors said it couldn't be that because it wasn't bi-lateral, but now it is. It doesn't really matter because so far as I know there is no cure for it anyway.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Yes, I had tests a long time ago because I have tingling and numbness down my left leg. It turned out to be
from a (bulging, if I recall) disk in my back pressing against a nerve. I opted not to have back surgery because I have absolutely no back symptoms and my numbness and tingling is fairly mild, and never got any worse. So I just decided to live with it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 8:27PM
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His MRI shows his upper lumbar is arthritic. The next lower lumbars are ruptured all the way to the first sciatic area; there's loss of spinal fluid.

Physical therapy is recommended.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:48AM
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? loss of spinal fluid? Do you mean that your husband has herniated/ruptured discs and there appears to be loss of fluid in the discs?

Unless he has very serious neurological deficits, the standard treatment is to start with conservative treatments of a 6-8 week course of physical therapy to strengthen his core muscles, and to learn to stand, walk and move correctly.

Usually the discs will heal on their own with physical therapy. If a problem still continues then they may want to try a course of epidural steroid injections before discussing any kind of sugery.

If his symptoms get worse during the physical therapy he would need to see his spinal surgeon again right away.

I would also suggest that if his spinal surgeon decides that surgery would be the recommended route, to get several other opinions first.
It is always recommended that you get a minimum of one other opinion before consenting to any spinal surgery and to be sure that you have those opinions with either an orthopedic surgeon who specializes only in spines or a neurosurgeon that specializes only in spines.

Good luck and let us know how your husband does. I know many people who have had the same problem and the course of physical therapy was all that they needed.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:06PM
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I think the discs are ruptured to the first Sciatic area.

There are no neurological problems that I know of.

He's starting the physical therapy tomorrow. I still don't quite understand what's going on, but it's not good.

The way my husband put it, his spine is degenerating quicker than it should (he's only 54), so we have to be proactive, but also realistic.

We're taking it one step at a time. Hoping that the physical therapy is the key to him getting better.

I will keep you posted. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:50PM
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