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low back pain and leg numbness
bufaloback posted:

I was injured 1 year ago. From the beginning I have had back pain and numbness and shooting pains in my left leg.I had an EMG done back in may..showed negative results...I had an EMG done 2 weeks ago and the test showed nerve damage in my knee region. I had an MRI done on my leg and sciatica and turned up negative results for any lesions (spelling?) or tumors...Good new for future but bad news for pain and numbness still existant.

Now they want to have an MRI on my lumbar again....Is it normal for EMG tests to be positive for damages and negative MRI imaging studies...
bj1208 responded:
Hi bufaloback - welcome to the board - sorry you are having so many problems -

yes it is normal for EMG tests to show that and MRI's to not show it - it could be that the MRI is not capturing the entire picture. There is another test (Myelogram) but they normally do this one before surgery.

I have the same problem - my EMG tests shows I have nerve issues in both legs (left leg is worse) but the MRI does not show a nything - the EMG test shows that I have nerve problems but it's not being caused by a pinched nerve but something in my lower back is causing it - still not sure what it is so am going to see a surgeon for review.

I would discussed this with your pain management doc or surgeon and see what the options are -

Oh yeah I've got some questions: since your injury have you had surgery? How did you injure your back? Was this a work related injury? (If so, did you file WC Claim? If it is and have not file GET AN ATTORNEY ASAP!! know your rights). Have you seen a pain management doc? Physical Therapy?

Just need to get some more insight as to what happened - the more we know the more we can offer help-

Please keep us updated - take care - Joy
SusanMarie55 responded:
I went through the exact same thing back in 2003. I had numerous tests and was told it was just sciatica and stenosis. But I persued it by going to doctor after doctor until one doctor finally found the problem on the MRI. Sometimes I think some doctors know what your problem is,but they are afraid to attempt to do the surgery because it may not work or help you. SusanMarie
orangetabby responded:

This can happen. Many people have back pain and the doctors cannot find a cause. Many even have negative EMG/NCV tests as well as negative MRI's and x-rays etc. I am 'lucky' in that x-rays show a problem and the MRI's show multilevel pinched nerves as well as the EMG/NCV showing radiculopathy.

But I am sure that or or the other or both can be negative and people do have unexplained pain.

Best wishes in finding and fixing your problem,

Geradine4733 responded:
Welcome to this friendly board. Good for the doctors that they are not rushing you into surgery. They do not seem to know what to do and seem to want more information.

Our spines are complicated with all the nerves and nerve roots. Years ago they had more back surgeries but they found out that so many of them did not help or even could make things worse.

Be patient, and have all the tests they ask for so they can make a good recommendation.
bufaloback responded:
Hello and thanks all to the replies,

I slipped and fell on the ice and had my cart full of canned goods land on me., I have had 3 mri's now and waiting on the last ones results. Of course workcomp is denying anything from this point and yes i do have an attorney...

Their ortho doctor sees no reason for surgery, which is great for my future but it doesnt explain why i still have pain...It acts up when I do my normal job duties (semi delivery driver, 20,000LBS daily)...

The numbness worries me and has not gone away in over 3 months, my low left leg is completely numb to the point where they put a needle in it and i thought it was his finger pushing on it.

The dr now that performed the emg with the nerve damage results has not noted it to be within my injury because no "source to the pain" has been found. ???? My principal complaint has been low back pain and shooting pains down my left leg since Jan5/09....

I am seeking painmanagement at this point to seek my options. Anyone with further advice please forward my way....This is very frustrating and I havent had a check in over 4 months...NOT FUN!

Thanks all

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