Paraspinal mapping: Quantified needle electromyography in lumbar radiculopathy
ABSTRACT In the diagnosis of low back pain, the presence of a high percentage of false positive findings on radiologic imaging studies has lead to a more definitive role for electrodiagnosis as a confirmatory test. The paraspinal muscles are a crucial part of the electrodiagnostic examination for radiculopathy. To date, no technique for paraspinal evaluation has been validated. Based on previously documented anatomical techniques, we have designed a method of paraspinal examination termed "paraspinal mapping" (PM). Electromyographic (EMG) needles are placed in five carefully chosen locations and inserted in multiple directions. Individual scores for these insertions are added to determine a total PM sensitivity score. The first 50 studies using PM were compared to peripheral EMG, imaging studies, and pain drawings. Results indicate that the technique is easy to perform. Sensitivity scores relate well with these tests. In this limited and uncontrolled population, PM had higher sensitivity for abnormalities than either peripheral EMG or imaging studies. Because of the anatomical validity of PM, future studies may show it to be useful in localizing the level of radiculopathy independently from peripheral EMG, and to support clinical findings and imaging studies.
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- "A technique for needle localization of muscles in the lumbar spine in cadavers has been previously described (Haig et al., 1993). It involves inserting a thin wire into a hypodermic needle, and then inserting the needle into the target muscle. "
ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to assess the safety and accuracy of using common anatomic landmarks to guide the placement of needle electrodes into suboccipital muscles. Atrophic changes in suboccipital muscles have been reported in some patients who have tension-type headaches, and in some patients who have headaches resulting from whiplash-type injuries. These atrophic changes most likely result from disuse or denervation. Needle electromyography is a definitive technique for determining the cause of muscle atrophy, but requires that needle electrodes be inserted into the muscle. Suboccipital muscles present a challenge to the electromyographer in that they are physically small and are located in close proximity to one another. Atrophied muscles with fatty replacement and the presence of critical structures such as the vertebral artery further complicate the procedure. Using a standardized protocol, three investigators attempted blind needle insertions into each of the suboccipital muscles of eight embalmed cadavers. A dissector then assessed targeted muscle penetrations, final resting positions of the wires, and their proximity to critical structures. Eighty-one percent of 181 attempted insertions penetrated the targeted muscles: 83% for the rectus capitis posterior minor, 83% for the rectus capitis posterior major, 94% for the obliquus capitis superior, and 63% for the obliquus capitis inferior muscles, respectively. It was concluded that readily palpable external landmarks can be used to safely and reliably guide the insertion of needle electrodes into three of the four pairs of suboccipital muscles.Clinical Anatomy 09/2008; 21(6):501-8. DOI:10.1002/ca.20660 · 1.16 Impact Factor
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- "Investigations during the past decade have provided insights into better quantification and examination of lumbosacral paraspinal muscles. The lumbar paraspinal muscle examination has been refined through investigations that used a grading scale for the findings    . The ''mini-PM [paraspinal muscle]'' score provides a quantitative means of deriving the degree of paraspinal muscle denervation . "
ABSTRACT: This article reviews the electrodiagnostic testing for persons suspected of having radiculopathies and the expected sensitivities that different testing modalities provide. One cannot minimize the importance of the clinical evaluation and differential diagnosis formulation by the electrodiagnostician to guide testing. The needle EMG examination is the most useful electrodiagnostic test but is limited in sensitivity. Electromyographic screening examinations using six muscles are possible that optimize identification yet minimize patient discomfort. Electrodiagnostic findings must be interpreted relative to the patient's clinical presentation, and the consultant should tailor the electrodiagnostic study to the clinical situation.Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 09/2002; 13(3):567-88. DOI:10.1016/S1047-9651(02)00010-4 · 1.09 Impact Factor