When I was younger, I dreamed of being a physicist, to create something incredible and maybe even work for NASA. I loved physics, calculus, math and to solve logistic problems.
Being a doctor never crossed my mind, until I found out that my pre-med requirements were loaded with physics. The rest is history.
Some specialists are very familiar with how electrodiagnostic medicine can help their patients. We discuss studies over the phone, read the graph, etc. The study involves two parts — a nerve conduction study and a needle electromyography. The nerve conduction study is performed using cables that are connected to measure the speed and intensity of electrical signals that travel along nerves and the time it takes to respond to these signals. The needle electromyography is conducted by using a needle to measure the electrical activity of muscles.
Numbness, tingling, pain and weakness are the most common indicators for most patients. The study is highly sensitive and specific for large fiber neuropathies, such as: carpal tunnel syndrome; cubital tunnel syndrome; peripheral neuropathy; radiculopathies (with motor involvement). Pathologies with small fiber involvement or sensory only radiculopathy have low sensitivity.
So, why might you need an electrodiagnostic study?
— The electrodiagnostic study effectively excludes other conditions that mimic radiculopathy, such as peripheral polyneuropathy or entrapment neuropathy.
— Medical, legal or workers compensation cases; it is necessary to document timing, presence or absence of a disease, progression or prognosis.
— Last, but certainly not least, solidify a diagnosis and make a correct treatment.
Electromyography can be very important and also a key component of a person being diagnosed or misdiagnosed. This is what my life is all about. Here I am, many years later, a doctor of electrodiagnostic medicine. When people ask me why do you like to do electrodiagnostic studies, I get excited and my heart becomes overjoyed. I don’t like it, I love it. I can measure velocities, amplitudes, durations, frequencies and help a patient and a colleague make the next step in the therapeutic arena. When in doubt, just call me, I would love to help.
Dr. Monica Carrion-Jones is associated with the Southeastern Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Center, an affiliate of Southeastern Health. She is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as electrodiagnostic medicine. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call 910-735-2831.