What is the role of EMG in the evaluation of ulnar neuropathy?

Updated: Jun 08, 2018
  • Author: Charles F Guardia, III, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies are indicated to confirm the area of entrapment, document the extent of the pathology, and detect or rule out the possibility of double-crush syndrome. [132, 133, 134, 135] In recent entrapments of the ulnar nerve, motor and sensory conduction velocities are more useful, whereas in chronic neuropathies, conduction velocities and EMG are useful because EMG is capable of showing axonal degeneration.

EMG is not essential when the diagnosis of cubital tunnel syndrome is obvious on clinical examination; a false test result can be misleading and hinder rather than aid diagnosis. However, it is important to perform EMG when the diagnosis of cubital tunnel syndrome is unclear or when it is necessary to determine the efficacy of conservative treatment. [136]


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