During the course of evaluation the physician will order tests to diagnose your condition and plan treatment. Some of the tests will be done in our facility and you might be referred to other laboratory, imaging center or even hospitals for other tests, treatments and therapies. Our clinic will assist you in the referral process.
Tests done at outside facilities take a few days to process. Once available, you will be asked to return for a follow-up visit. All results will be discussed in person.
Some of the common tests ordered by us include:
MRI: An MRI uses a strong magnet to produce pictures of the human body. It does not use X-ray radiation. Some people, including those with pacemakers, foreign bodies and metal fragments are unable to have MRIs. If you are claustrophobic, an open MRI or sedation can be used. An MRI may be given with or without dye depending on your condition. If needed the MRI dye, called gadolinium, is given through an IV. It is very well tolerated and virtually free of allergens.
CT scan: A CT scan, also called computerized tomography or just CT, combines a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles to produce cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body. If needed, contrast is used in patients who are NOT allergic to it.
EEG: This is a brainwave study where the activity of the brain is studied with 20 electrodes on the scalp. Patient is monitored in a quiet environment for approximately 45 minutes. This is a painless procedure and is especially helpful in diagnosing seizures or epilepsy. It also may be ordered in patients with “black out spells” or who have passed out. This procedure is performed at our clinic.
Ambulatory EEG: This is a brain wave study performed over a longer duration. If the initial EEG is normal, longer data is required to diagnose seizures or epilepsy. With this study we examine the brain activity for 24 hours or longer. This increases the chance of diagnosing seizure activity. Patients typically carry the device home and bring back the data once the recording is complete. This test is done at our office.
NCS / EMG: These studies can be helpful in evaluating weakness, numbness, pain and symptoms such as fatigue, cramps and abnormal sensation. Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and the electromyographic (EMG) are used to examine the muscle and nerve. These studies, unlike many routine medical tests such as urinalysis or a blood study, are an extension of the doctor’s physical examination. They are performed by the physician in the office.
NCS: Nerve conduction studies help to assess nerve damage; this is a common test for carpal tunnel. During the test a small electrical current will be applied in various locations along the affected limb. This test may be uncomfortable, but causes no harm or injury. This is a non-invasive test performed in the clinic.
EMG: An EMG is useful in determining nerve damage and the muscle’s response to that nerve damage. A small needle is placed in various muscles of the affected limb and in the muscles near but not on the back bone. This test may be uncomfortable but causes no harm or injury. If you are worried, please be sure to share your concerns with your doctor. This test is done by the physician in the office.