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What do we do?

At OneWelbeck we carry out clinical neurophysiological testing for orthopaedics and spinal problems.

Clinical Neurophysiology is the branch of medicine concerned with the investigation of function in the central and peripheral nervous system. At One Welbeck Orthopaedics, we offer the methods of nerve conduction studies and EMG (electromyography). These are methods which enable the diagnosis of trapped or damaged nerves in the body or muscle disease.

Nerves may be become trapped in the limbs or where they exit the spine, causing pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. Nerve conduction studies and EMG are undertaken to pinpoint the problem. This information is then used by the OWO orthopaedic and spinal consultants to plan appropriate treatment. A common example is carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects about 3% of the population. A nerve may become trapped at the wrist and cause tingling, numbness or weakness in the hand. Nerve conduction studies are used to diagnose the condition and its severity. It can then be appropriately treated by an injection or minor operation. EMG is often requested for pain, numbness, or weakness caused by nerves trapped as they leave the spine. The EMG enables diagnosis of the affected nerve, the severity and time course; this is used with MRI scans to target appropriate treatment such as injection into the neck or lower back to reduce inflammation near the affected nerve.  The tests may also be used to pinpoint a treatable source of pain or other symptoms in pain syndromes or sports medicine.

What to expect if you attend for Clinical Neurophysiology studies:

Some electrical contacts are applied to your arms and legs and small electrical impulses are applied. These can be felt like a tapping sensation, but are not painful. The tests are performed regularly on adults and children. The test will be performed by an experienced consultant (Professor David Holder at OWO). He will ask you a few questions about your problem and then you will be asked to either sit on a chair or lie comfortably on a couch. Testing usually takes about 10-20 minutes depending on the problem. He will usually be able to tell you the results straight away. Sometimes some analysis will be needed and the results will be made available to the doctor who referred you. If desired, it is possible to arrange to have the neurophysiological testing just before seeing another consultant at the Schoen Clinic so that the test and clinical advice can be obtained in a single trip.

It is essential that the limbs to be studied are warm, as coldness affects the measurements and may lead to unsatisfactory testing. Unless it is a very hot summer’s day, please wear warm woollen gloves (not thin leather) or warm wool long socks and warm shoes (not trainers), depending on whether your hands or feet (or both) will be tested. Please keep them on in the waiting room so that the relevant limb is warm when the test is started. Please also avoid using oily cream on the limbs for the 24 hours preceding testing.

Meet our team of Neurophysiology Specialists