EMG - Nerve Conduction

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EMG - Nerve Conduction

Postby PamelaS » Fri May 25, 2007 1:19 pm

I am reasonably sure that my primary MD is going to request an EMG to evaluate the ongoing pain and numbness in both of my hands. Is this test safe for someone with lymph. in the arm?

I need to do something as the pain is getting worse and it's harder to distinguish things by touch. Even the Kinesio tape is having little effect at this time.

She will not prescribe even a mild pain reliever (which was what I requested) until tests are done. She is aware I have lymph. but not sure how many patients she has treated or referred with the condition.

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Postby patoco » Fri May 25, 2007 1:56 pm

Hi Pamela :)

First, gotta say the old disclaimer that I am not a physician or trained medical personnel. Just a layperson with 54 years experience with lymphedema.

I completely understand what an EMG is and why it is used.

However, and this is a tough one, in an arm with lymphedema I would be against this procedure.

While the general risks of complications such as an infection are very low with this test, one has to remember that a lymphedema limb (arm or leg) is immunocompromised.

The risk of infection from any type of instruvie teset is dramatically higher with that limb.

My biggest other concern is that with the insertion of these tiny needles, you obviously create tiny little needle holes. I would be very concerned about triggering leakage of lymphorrhea (the fluid in the arm).

This in itself can present its own complications, which include kin degradation of surrounding areas that the lymphorrhea may be in contact with.

It is well documentated that lymphedema can cause nerve problems due to the pressure of the swelling against the nerves and/or the pressure of tissue fibrosis (hardening) of the institial tissues.

The best manner of treating this pain with be through treatment of the lymphedema itself and would included mild arm exercises, use of compression bandages, garments.

If you don't have your lymphedema therapist involved in this situation I would.

Hope this helps.

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Postby PamelaS » Fri May 25, 2007 4:35 pm

Pat, :)

I appreciate the concern in your answer and realize that there would be risks involved in anything with a needle.

My PT for lymphadema was aware when I began therapy that I had pre-existing Carpal Tunnel. It was she who said "When the pain gets to be more than you can stand check with your MD for ways to relieve the pain." I am still in touch with her and she is recommending this. I am doing the arm exercises, massage, wrap nightly and wear a compresssion sleeve and gauntlet during the day.

In the absence of surgery (which I am frankly leary of for all the reasons you mentioned), would there be a problem with a mild pain reliever? It is the activities of daily living that are being interfered with.

Many thanks again.

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