Choosing Wisely:

Don’t do nerve conduction studies without also doing a needle EMG for testing for radiculopathy, a pinched nerve in the neck or back.

Rationale and Comments: For diagnosis of a pinched nerve in the neck or back, nerve conduction studies alone cannot make the diagnosis. Needle EMG is necessary to identify and characterize the disease process.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Neurologic
  • References: • Dillingham TR, Lauder TD, Andary M, Kumar S, Pezzin LE, Stephens RT, Shannon S. Identifying lumbrosacral radiculopathies: an optimal electromyographic screen. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2000;79(6):496-503.
    • Dillingham TR, Lauder TD, Andary M, Kumar S, Pezzin LE, Stephens RT, Shannon S. Identification of cervical radiculopathies: optimizing the electromyographic screen. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2001;80(2):84-91.

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