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  • What is an EMG/NCV?
    EMG stands for electromyography; NCV stands for Nerve Conduction Velocity. The test is a combination of both EMG and NCV, and usually is called “EMG”. The test is performed to determine how a nerve actually works. Unlike an MRI or ultrasound which indicates how a nerve looks, an EMG test allows the examiner to know exactly how the nerves (and muscles) are working.
  • How is the EMG/NCV test performed?
    The video on this website is the best way to understand what to expect during an EMG examination. The examiner will use electrical current to stimulate the nerves and the physician will also use a fine pin to “listen” to the muscles to determine how the nerves and muscles are working together. Once the test is complete, the physician will review all the data and provide a preliminary result to the patient and answer questions related to the test.
  • Why am I being charged to schedule an appointment, and why is there a charge for late cancellation?
    You will be charged a set amount to initially schedule your appointment (some exceptions apply). The money will be used to offset your co-pay and/or cost of your procedure. If there is a balance due to you, The Rehabilitation Group will promptly refund you the difference. If you do not show up for an appointment and have not contacted our office within 48 hours of your scheduled visit, you will be charged a fee; this fee will be deducted from your initial charge and the difference will be sent to you.
  • How do I prepare for the test?
    Nothing is required to prepare; you may eat and take your usual medicines.
  • Does the test hurt?
    While each patient has a different threshold for pain, patients find the test to be tolerable despite the “odd” or “weird” feeling the test produces. Every effort is made to ensure the test is as tolerable as possible. However, if you find the test too difficult to tolerate please let the examiner know and the test will be stopped.
  • How long does it take to complete the test?
    Once the test is begun, it usually takes about 30 minutes to fully complete.
  • Will there be needles? Am I being injected?
    There is a pin electrode which is inserted through the skin into several muscles. The pin is similar in size to an acupuncture electrode. No, you are not being injected with any material. The purpose of the pin is to “listen” to how the muscle and nerve are working together.
  • Is the test safe?
    Yes. An EMG test is safe when performed using standards outlined by the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. The Rehabilitation Group Electrodiagnostic Laboratory has achieved the highest standard of excellence and was the first in the San Antonio area to achieve this prestigious distinction. We follow all the safety guidelines so you can be confident that the test is safe.
  • Who performs the test? Does the doctor perform the test?
    The physician will interview you, examine you, and may perform the initial part of the test. The physician will definitely perform the second part of the examination and will then review the data and provide you with a preliminary result of the findings. He will also answer your questions regarding the findings.
  • When will I find out about the test results? How long will it take for the referring physician to get the report?
    After the procedure is complete the physician will inform you of your results. Those results are considered preliminary since he will need to review all the data after you leave. The referring physician will receive the official consultation report within three business days after the test. If the referring physician requires the report sooner, our office will work to ensure that physician receives the report earlier.
  • Should I remove my rings/bracelets before the test?
    Yes. You will need to remove all your rings/bracelets, or any other jewelry to the upper limbs prior to having the test.
  • Will an EMG affect my pacemaker or spinal stimulator?
    No. Please let the physician know if you have either a pacemaker or spinal stimulator. The test does not affect either electronic device.
  • Can I take my current medications? Can I take my pain medicines?
    Yes. You may take all your medications as per your usual schedule, including your pain medicines.
  • Do I have to fast?
    No. You may eat prior to the exam.
  • Can I get and EMG/NCV test if I’m pregnant?
    Yes. You may undergo an EMG/NCV test if you are pregnant (or think you may be pregnant).
  • Can I still bathe on the day of the procedure? Can I wear deodorant?
    Yes; you may bathe as usual on the day of the procedure. Yes, you may wear deodorant. If you are receiving an EMG test of your back/legs, you are encouraged to meticulously clean your feet/legs.
  • Why can I not apply lotion to my arms or legs on the day of the examination?
    The EMG test produces an electrical current which requires dry skin. Lotion may affect the quality of the results of the test and you are encouraged not to apply any lotion to the areas where the test is going to occur, such as the arms or legs.
  • I have had a recent epidural steroid injection (ESI), or other injection. Can I still proceed with the test?
    Yes. Having a prior injection—even a recent injection—will not prevent you from receiving an EMG test.
  • What should I wear?
    Loose-fitting clothing is best for any EMG study. You may be asked to change into a tank-top or shorts once you arrive depending on your study.
  • Can I drive afterwards?
  • Can my family member come into the exam room with me?
    A single family member may accompany the patient during the initial assessment, including the physical exam. After that, the family member will return to the waiting room while the test is being performed (except in the case of a minor). Afterwards, the family member can return to the EMG room to review the preliminary results.
  • What should I know about the EMG test and my visit?
    We realize you likely have not had an EMG test before, and may be a bit nervous about such a procedure. Rest assured, the physicians and staff are highly trained professionals who will prioritize your comfort and well-being throughout the entire procedure. If you experience any discomfort or anxiety, please don't hesitate to communicate with us. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the procedure, please reach out to your physician. We appreciate the opportunity to care for you, and we look forward to meeting you!
  • Can I bring a pet or service animal into the EMG room during my test?
    No pets or service animals are permitted in the EMG laboratory room. Please leave any service animals outside the building prior to arrival.
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