EMG/NCS in the evaluation of spine trauma with radicular symptoms

James A. Charles, Nizar Souayah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In the management of spine trauma with radicular symptoms (STRS), EMG/nerve conduction studies (NCS) often have low combined sensitivity and specificity in confirming root injury. The anatomic level of injury may not correspond to the root level. Paraspinal studies are nonlocalizing and can be falsely positive and negative. UnlikeMRI and CT imaging, EMG/NCS do not reveal the biological morphology of the lesion. There are no studies that confirm the efficacy of EMG/NCS in the management of STRS. EMG/NCS may be indicated if there is a differential diagnosis between a root and distal neuropathic/myopathic lesion. Otherwise, as shown in this series of cases typically referred for outpatient EMG/NCS testing, there is limited evidence to support the use of often uncomfortable and costly EMG/NCS in STRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalNeurology: Clinical Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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