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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Persons with back, neck, and limb symptoms constitute a major referral population to specialists in electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine. The evaluation of these patients involves consideration of both the common and less common disorders. The EDX examination with needle electromyography (EMG) is the most important means of testing for radiculopathy. This test has modest sensitivity but high specificity and well complements imaging of the spine. Needle EMG in combination with nerve conduction testing is valuable in excluding entrapment neuropathies and polyneuropathy―conditions that frequently mimic radicular symptoms. In this first of a two-part review, the optimal EDX evaluation of persons with suspected radiculopathy is presented. In part two, the implications of EDX findings for diagnosis and clinical management of persons with radiculopathy are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-473
Number of pages12
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • electromyography
  • nerve conduction
  • radiculopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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