Nerve Conduction Study (NCS)2023-12-02T00:30:23+00:00

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Nerve Conduction Study

NCS (Nerve Conduction Studies) is a diagnostic test that evaluates the function and health of peripheral nerves by measuring the speed and strength of electrical signals

  • NCS are essential for diagnosing a wide range of peripheral nerve disorders and conditions. These include carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, radiculopathy, Guillain-Barr√© syndrome, and other neuropathies.

  • NCS can help identify the exact location of nerve injuries or compressions.

  • NCS provide information on the severity of nerve damage or dysfunction.

A nerve conduction study is an assessment of how well certain nerves are working along their pathways. This involves the stimulation of nerves with small electrical impulses applied to the surface of the skin. In certain circumstances, electromyography (EMG) must be performed. EMG is an assessment of muscle function which involves the recording of muscle activity with a fine needle.

Most people find these tests tolerable, for a few they are a little uncomfortable. These test do not affect your ability to drive and any discomfort is temporary.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?2023-10-31T22:30:14+00:00

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve is compressed as it passes through a short tunnel at the wrist. This tunnel is formed by small bones (the carpal bones) underneath and on the sides and a thick ligament (transverse carpal ligament) across the top. This tunnel also houses the tendons which bend the fingers and thumb. The median nerve carries messages about touch, temperature and pain between the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers and the brain. In addition, the median nerve supplies the small muscles which control the thumb.

What increases your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome?2023-10-31T22:36:46+00:00

You are more at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome if you:

  • are overweight
  • are pregnant
  • do work or hobbies that involve repeatedly bending your wrist or grip hard, such as using vibrating tools
  • have another illness, such as arthritis or diabetes
  • have a parent, brother or sister with carpal tunnel syndrome
  • have previously injured your wrist
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?2023-10-31T22:37:21+00:00

Most commonly the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown. Known causes and contributory factors include:

  • repetitive movements at the wrist
  • diabetes
  • fluid retention e.g. during pregnancy
  • underactive thyroid
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • gout – a type of arthritis where crystals form inside and around joints
  • lipomas – soft, fatty lumps that grow under your skin
  • wrist fractures or dislocations
What can I do to help relieve my symptoms?2023-10-31T22:36:02+00:00
  • Try not to over-use your wrist by excessive squeezing, gripping, wringing, etc.
  • Avoid holding the wrist in a flexed or bent position for long periods
  • Avoid activity with vibration, such as hoovering and vibrating tools. Wear padded gloves for cycling
  • Manage your underlying medical conditions
What are the treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome?2023-10-31T22:38:32+00:00

There are different treatments available. Your referring healthcare practitioner will talk these through with you however the most common treatments will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the results of your nerve conduction tests.

Wrist splint: removable splints worn at night that aim to keep the wrist at a neutral angle without applying force over the carpal tunnel to rest the nerve.

Steroid injection: this is an injection into or near to the carpal tunnel which can ease symptoms

Surgery: this is usually recommended for continued / severe symptoms. It is the best chance for a long term cure. This involves a twenty-minute procedure which is typically done under local anesthetic as a day case, meaning you can go home the same day. A small cut in the palm of the hand is made and the ligament which is causing pressure over the nerve is released. The skin is closed with several stitches and a light dressing is applied, followed by a bulky bandage

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?2023-10-31T22:32:02+00:00
  • a feeling of pins and needles and or numbness particularly in the thumb, index and middle finger
  • these symptoms can wake you from sleep or trouble you following waking
  • pain and discomfort in the hand and/or wrist
  • hand weakness

Symptoms may be brought on when using the hands in an elevated (raised) position, such as driving or doing your hair. In the early stages of carpal tunnel syndrome these symptoms might be more common at night. Sometimes people have difficulty performing fine tasks such as doing up buttons or are more likely to drop things. People often report that shaking their hand helps to relieve symptoms.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?2023-10-31T22:36:29+00:00

The condition is diagnosed on a basis of understanding your symptoms and an assessment of your nerve conduction studies.

Our services

Other services we offer

Electromyography (EMG)

An EMG (Electromyogram) is a medical test that measures the electrical activity of muscles, helping diagnose neuromuscular conditions and assess muscle function.

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

An EEG (Electroencephalogram) is a medical test that records the electrical activity of the brain, providing valuable insights into brain function and diagnosing various neurological conditions.

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