some questions...

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/25/2008 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I am feeling a little frustrated. Last February I was dx'd with fibro. The rheumatologist ruled out lupus. She also said that based on my symptoms that she was recommending that my PCP refer me to a neuro for possible MS dx. So I freaked out a bit, blamed my symptoms on the fibro and dealt with it. Wasn't ready to see a neuro, a little freaked out by the thought.
I began feeling better. And at least I knew what was causing the aches and PAIN.
Then a week ago Monday I woke up and had complete numbness in both my legs from the knee down. No other symptoms but it sure made it hard to walk. I called my PCP and made an appointment. He said he got the recommendation from the rheumatologist but all he did was more blood tests and set me up for a nerve conduction test ( December 9th!).  
After the blood tests came back negative for whatever it was he was looking for (they always do) he was at a loss. On the third day he suggested I go to the ER.
The ER doctor said he could do nothing for me except take x-rays of my back. I was NOT experiencing any back pain at all! I was frustrated! He did say that there is some deterioration of the discs even tho I had no pain. He prescribed steroids and the numbness went away but now I have constant tingling and electrical sensations in my legs. (Still no back pain) This is in addition to all the symptoms I still have from back in February that pointed to possible MS.
Now with the questions...
Are all PCPs reluctant to explore an MS dx? Is the nerve conduction test something done to help the dx process? I can't believe that the disc problem would cause the tingling in my face or my dizziness or my visual and memory problems.
Sorry I am so long winded...just the frustration coming thru...
Thanks to you all. I am amazed by all the info and support on this site. It's a God send.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 11/26/2008 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   

I am by no means an expert, but from my understanding the nerve conduction test is for peripheral nerve damage.  It tests the smaller nerves that branch from your spinal cord.  MS is a central nerve disorder and it seems to me that a nerve conduction test could be used for testing for something other than MS.  For MS you need an evoked potential test.  That text examines the function of the central nervous system. 

I can't remember, have you had an MRI?  If not or if it has been a while, you may want to ask for another.  You may also want to ask for an evoked potential test (vision, hearing and lower extemeties?).  The good news is that you are feeling better.  I once woke up with numbness from the knees down.  It spread upward until I was numb from the waist down.  It did not get better, even after a week of IV steroids, for about three months.  Your numbness resolved very quickly and surely that is a good sign.

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Heather H.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 756
   Posted 12/1/2008 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband had a nerve conduction test. All it basically does is check for nerve reaction time when you use the muscles of your body. My husband had to see a neuro for the test , but that was because he was sent there from our PCP about a pinched nerve in his lower back. Come to find out my neuro also found that he had herniated discs in his lower back and sent him to neuro surgeon that he is refusing to see.

My neuro recommended that I have one of these tests done to find out how much damage was and is being done to my central nerve system. The thing is you can't really tell what the doctors are looking for by the test that they run. My aunt had the same test done on her hands for carpotunnel. If your not sure what the doctor is trying to find then maybe you should just ask them why they want to run the test.

My neuro did recommend this test for me because he wanted to find out how my nerves are responding now so that when I progress they have a base line to compare the amount of damage being done to. Even if you don't understand why these doctors want to run the test, it might be in your best interest to go along with it. That way you will be able to know what is causing it and then if it comes back or gets worse the doctors will know it too.

Just my two cents, but I am no expert either.

Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe!
dx's:  Fibro, 8th cranial nerve inflamation, MS.
meds.:  none at this time

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 271
   Posted 12/7/2008 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I am really not keen on these tests. My neuro sent me for one, cannot remember the name, but they passed electric shocks thru the fingers and the toes and then measured how long it took to reach the brain. It was very unpleasant & went on for a long time. The result was INCONCLUSIVE. I have met several friends who did this same test with the same result. When I finally persuaded the neuro that all I needed (& wanted) was a MRI I got the dx of MS. I would try to do MRI first before doing any others its a pretty reliable test & not too invasive or unpleasant. Good luck :-)
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