Electrodiagnostic testing, often abbreviated EDT, includes a variety of different nerve testing, the most commonly known are the electromyogram (EMG) and the nerve conduction study (NCS).
Nerves use electrical signals to send and receive communication from the brain. If a nerve is impaired or injured, it may cause weakness, pain or numbness. Physicians use EDT testing as one of the indicators to tell if there has been an injury to the nerve or if the nerve has been damaged by compression, as in the case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
An electromyogram uses a small needle to record electrical activity in a muscle while you relax and flex it. Muscles are tested one at a time. This can cause some discomfort, but most patients report it as minimal.
A nerve conduction study uses electrodes taped to the skin to test how quickly nerves process an electrical stimulus. If the electrical signal is lost or slow to arrive at the nerve’s destination, it indicates that the nerve is damaged. Nerve conduction studies are reminiscent of the static shock you’ve received when touching a metal object after walking across a carpet.
These tests can vary in time and expense depending on how many nerves are being tested. Billed charges can run from $800 – $1,000, and patient responsibility from $100 – $500. You should check with either our office or your insurance company to determine what your benefit level is. One consideration is whether your annual deductible has been met and whether you have co-insurance of a certain percentage.