Nerve conduction studies are useful when a patient complains of nerve-related injuries following an accident or medical malpractice.
A patient will typically complain of numbness or tingling in specific areas of their body. There may also be motor function problems, which means that the patient will not be able to use that part of their body to function the way they normally did. "I can't lift my foot," may be a symptom of a dropped foot and injury to the nerve that controls lifting the foot to walk.
Your treating doctor may not know why you are experiencing nerve-related symptoms. In that instance, he (or she) will likely send you to a neurologist for further evaluation.
A neurologist has the ability to perform nerve conduction studies which can distinguish different types of disease such as axonal versus demyelinating and can evaluate different neuropathies.
Nerve conduction studies stimulate the nerve at one point and record their response time either at the muscle or some distance along the nerve pathway. The time it takes to get from one point to the next along the nerve pathway will help evaluate where the problem lies and whether it is normal or abnormal.
Once a particular nerve is identified and isolated that will give the doctor tremendous information on how best to treat that condition.
Nerve conduction studies are a useful diagnostic screening tool to evaluate conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, nerve entrapment, peripheral nerve disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve injuries following surgery and nerve injuries following accidents. The results must always be interpreted by qualified physician who has experience reading nerve conduction studies.