Evaluation of persons with suspected lumbosacral and cervical radiculopathy: Electrodiagnostic assessment and implications for treatment and outcomes (Part II)

Timothy R. Dillingham, Thiru M. Annaswamy, Christopher T. Plastaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The electrodiagnostic (EDX) examination with needle electromyography (EMG) is the most important means of testing for radiculopathy. This test has modest sensitivity but high specificity and complements imaging of the spine. In this second of a two-part review, the implications of electrodiagnostic findings for diagnosis and clinical management of persons with radiculopathy are reviewed. An EMG confirmed lumbosacral radiculopathy is associated with better clinical outcomes for persons undergoing aggressive conservative management. A positive EMG test portends a better clinical response to epidural corticosteroid injections. If a person undergoes spine surgery, a positive pre-operative EMG for radiculopathy is also associated with better outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMuscle and Nerve
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • electromyography
  • nerve conduction
  • radiculopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)

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