EMG length question

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Active member
Sep 27, 2007
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Hi Everyone,
I just had an EMG/NCV and was wondering how long they usually last. The NCV part (shock part) lasted about 20-30 mins, but the EMG portion was very fast. The doctor put all the needles in my arm and leg and listened for about 2 mins and said everything was normal. Is this a normal amount of time? The EMG part seemed very fast to me.:confused:
Sounds very normal. Congratulations! That's fantastic news.

Now get off the ALS boards and back to a normal life! If you find that difficult, seek help for your anxiety. Don't let your fears for something you don't have ruin your life.
Thank you for your response. It just seemed very quick to be able to say it sounds normal.
In my case they saw issues so they kept going. Three limbs, both arms and a leg, as well as hips and back. The fact that they finished quickly is a good thing. This means there was nothing showing to give them reason to look deeper. Having said that I still think my first EMG was less than 30 minutes although it's hard to tell with someone stabbing an electrode into your muscle.
Thanks Jeff. So you think even just a couple of minutes is adequate for the EMG part?
I think that the doctor will look until they don't need to anymore. I'm not an expert nor am I medically trained. If you don't believe this doctor go to another and get a second opinion. That sounds rather snide after reading it and its not meant to be. I guess a better way to put it is like this: If you trust your doctor then trust his findings, I'm not saying don't question - always question. If you don't trust your doctor find another doctor. Did you discuss this with the neuro at the time? What did he/she have to say?

My first EMG/NVC was about, it seemed 2 hours. It was 2003. I asked if I could have MS or ALS as I had been having trouble writing checks about 6 months and she could see muscle waisting in my hand - NO pinched nerve. End of September 2006 I could not move my baby finger at all. My legs and back ached but I had arthritis and thought it was getting worse. I went to a hand surgeon but no broken finger. He sent me to a neuro. So I went on my lunch hour. This Dr. warmed my arms first and then gave me the EMG"/NVC but as ZenArcher said, he kept going and going and growing obviously concerned. He asked me if I had heard of ALS and was sure I had it but wanted a second opnion. He had seen many ALS patients before (I understand some neuros never have). That EMG/NVC lasted about 45 minutes it was a 30 minute appointment. I was a few minutes late for a meeting so I remember.

My EMG/NVC at the U of M ALS clinic lasted about 3.5 hours and included the clinical eval and they gave the DX MMN or "Atypical ALS." Results were found as abnormal in (3 limbs) 2 arms and one leg. I asked the Doc on Aug 30, 2007 if they only test 3 limbs and assume the 4th is abonormal too and she sid yes. It seems its not the length of time but what they find. Hope this helps, Peg
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