A nerve conduction study is used to measure the how fast an electrical impulse can conduct through a nerve. The speed in this procedure can be obtained from a calculation of the time taken for electrical impulses to travel, and the distance between electrodes. By obtaining such measurements, medical professionals can determine nerve destruction and/or damage as well as test for other conditions that affect the overall nervous system, including trapped nerves.
When is Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) Needed?
When doctors perform electromyography, nerve conduction studies are also carried out to make a distinction between a muscle disorder from a nerve disorder. The former is designed to detect whether the patient’s muscle is functioning properly in response to the nerve’s stimulus and the latter is used to detect a problem with the nerve that inhibits proper muscle function.
The Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) Procedure
Doctors utilize a machine that produces small electrical pulses to mimic the electrical signals made by nerves. Before stimulating a patient’s nerves with those small electrical pulses, electrodes are attached to the skin and the machine. When the machine is activated and the electrical signal is sent, the patient’s muscle contract or clench. By attaching the electrodes to the toes or fingers with another wrist or ankle, sensory nerves can be tested.
Northern Neurology Specialties, Dr. Jill Bressler – Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)
At our neurology practice, our technicians and Dr. Bressler are highly trained at performing nerve conduction studies. Usually this is one part of the EMG testing procedure(see EMG page) but can be performed by itself especially for patients who take blood thinners.
Whether you are an existing patient or have been referred to us by your orthopedic surgeon, other specialist physician or your insurance carrier, call us at 516-364-4484 if you have any questions about this procedure or need to schedule your NCS procedure.