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Thread: EMG test shows I have severe nerve damage?

  1. #1

    Question EMG test shows I have severe nerve damage?

    I am a C3/C4 quadriplegic injured 12 years ago. I recently went to get an EMG test done on my legs. The results came back with moderate to severe nerve damage in both legs. My legs are very thin with no muscle, only small amounts of. There is an extreme amount of pain shooting down my sciatica and all over the leg.


    The neurologist I went to said he had never seen anything like this and he has done EMG tests on people with spinal cord injury many times. My rehabilitation Dr. says that the results are normal and the nerves are simply dying in people with spinal injury.


    Who is most likely right?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Denervation is most common in lower motor neuron injuries. Do you have flaccid (no spasms) paralysis?
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    They're are electrical stimulation units for denervation like the Den2x:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ana...3Fformat%3Damp

    But that one's not available in the US.
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

  4. #4
    Peripheral nerves don't deteriorate in most people who have cervical or thoracic SCI/D. It could be from another cause though; diabetic peripheral neuropathy, alcoholic peripheral neuropathy, nerve root compression, severe peripheral vascular disease, etc.

    I agree with Mize, did you also have lower cord damage either from your original injury that was undiagnosed (fairly common prior to the 1990s), or do you have a syrinx or myelomalacia in your lower cord that could be impacting the lower motor neurons like this? Why did you have a lower extremity EMG? Was an SSEP also done?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Peripheral nerves don't deteriorate in most people who have cervical or thoracic SCI/D. It could be from another cause though; diabetic peripheral neuropathy, alcoholic peripheral neuropathy, nerve root compression, severe peripheral vascular disease, etc.

    I agree with Mize, did you also have lower cord damage either from your original injury that was undiagnosed (fairly common prior to the 1990s), or do you have a syrinx or myelomalacia in your lower cord that could be impacting the lower motor neurons like this? Why did you have a lower extremity EMG? Was an SSEP also done?

    (KLD)
    I'm not sure if I had lower cord injury. I've had an MRI done last year that showed no syrinx or myelomalacia. I do not have diabetes nor do I drink alcohol. I had the EMG test done because I was having severe pain in my lower extremities. I'm not sure what SSEP is.

    I know that I have constant autonomic dysreflexia during my bowel program and throughout the day or symptoms that present themselves like AD. Could that be damaging the nerves?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by This Sucks View Post
    I'm not sure if I had lower cord injury. I've had an MRI done last year that showed no syrinx or myelomalacia. I do not have diabetes nor do I drink alcohol. I had the EMG test done because I was having severe pain in my lower extremities. I'm not sure what SSEP is.

    I know that I have constant autonomic dysreflexia during my bowel program and throughout the day or symptoms that present themselves like AD. Could that be damaging the nerves?
    An SSEP is a more advanced form of EMG which can identify if a neurologic lesion is in the brain, cord, or peripheral nerve. It stands for somatosencory evoked potential.

    AD does not damage either sensory or motor peripheral nerves, in fact, damage to sensory nerves can remove the risk for AD caused by body pain in those areas. The AD is actually controlled by autonomic nerves which don't travel in the same pathways with your motor and sensory nerves. Chronic AD can cause damage to the heart though, and of course, untreated, it can lead to stroke or hemorrhage/bleeding in other body organs.

    Did your MRI look at the entire spinal cord (not just the cervical cord)?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by This Sucks View Post
    I have constant autonomic dysreflexia during my bowel program and throughout the day or symptoms that present themselves like AD.
    If you do digital stimulation, AD during your BP and AD throughout the day could simply be caused by hemorrhoids. It's a rather common problem for people with SCI.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    An SSEP is a more advanced form of EMG which can identify if a neurologic lesion is in the brain, cord, or peripheral nerve. It stands for somatosencory evoked potential.

    AD does not damage either sensory or motor peripheral nerves, in fact, damage to sensory nerves can remove the risk for AD caused by body pain in those areas. The AD is actually controlled by autonomic nerves which don't travel in the same pathways with your motor and sensory nerves. Chronic AD can cause damage to the heart though, and of course, untreated, it can lead to stroke or hemorrhage/bleeding in other body organs.

    Did your MRI look at the entire spinal cord (not just the cervical cord)?

    (KLD)
    This is very strange. I'm going to go get the SS EP. I believe my MRI looked at the whole spinal cord I'm going to get another one.

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