Electrodiagnostic Medicine (also known as Electrodiagnosis) is a subspecialty within neurology utilizing the principles of medicine, clinical neurology, neurophysiology, and physics to diagnose disorders affecting the brain, spinal cord, muscle and nerve. Technologically advanced equipment is necessary to carry out such detailed testing. The electrodiagnostic examination is done as an addition to, and/or extension of, the neurologist's clinical evaluation. It never acts as a replacement of a comprehensive history and clinical examination. Given this, Dr. Carcione takes this aspect of the practice very seriously.
Dr. Carcione alone performs all electrodiagnostic examinations; no technicians are used. This assures the patient that they will have the constant attention and presence of the physician during their evaluation. Dr. Carcione understands that it is the decision by other practices to use electrodiagnostic technologists within their practice. He has chosen not to do so, feeling that by performing all aspects of the examination himself, he is not only able to clearly tailor each evaluation to the patient based on sound medical judgment, but also develops a working relationship with his patients, fostering the physician-patient relationship which is an important component in the healing process.
After completion of the testing, the results are fully discussed with the patient. No patient leaves without having a full understanding as to why the test was performed or the results obtained. This information is incorporated into the overall management of the patient. Reports are promptly FAXED to the patient's referring clinician.
The Electrodiagnostic Examination is made up of various "sub-tests". Not all of these "sub-tests" are included in every examination. Each study is tailored to the patient's complaints and clinical findings. In addition, as the examination is being performed, further testing may be necessitated based on the findings obtained. As noted, it is tailored for the patient and driven specifically by each patient's clinical condition.
What you can expect during your electrodiagnostic examination?
If you are a new patient, a comprehensive history and clinical neuromusculoskeletal examination will be performed prior to initiating your electrodiagnostic evaluation. Dr. Carcione will take you through the entire procedure and explain what is being done. You will not be "left in the dark". Feel free to interrupt anytime to ask questions or make comments.
If you are an established patient, an interval history and clinical examination will be completed prior to the examination. The testing, as discussed above, will then commence.
Please dress comfortably. Depending on the region, your arms or legs will be examined. Sometimes, all limbs are evaluated depending on the condition being tested for. You will be asked to wear a gown. Your hands and/or feet may necessitate warming as cool limbs can give erroneous results. Your limb temperatures will be measured.
After the evaluation, the results will be discussed with you. Upon leaving the office that day, you will know the results of your evaluation. Please see to it that you inform the front desk of your referring clinician's phone and FAX numbers so that reports may be sent in a timely fashion. If you have not been referred to us by a physician and would like the results of your studies sent to your primary care physician or other designated health practitioner, please inform the office prior to the testing.
The main question on every patient's mind is "Does it hurt?" -- Not to worry - Dr. Carcione has gotten many patients through the examination without difficulty. Some of the components of the examination require that small electrical impulses be delivered to the hands, feet, or face. Some of the shocks felt are mild; others are stronger. There are no side-effects from these simple stimulations.
The second component to the electrodiagnostic examination is the use of needle electromyography (needle EMG). During this phase, very thin needle electrodes are inserted into various muscles of the hands, arms, feet, legs and muscles of the neck and back. The needles are packaged sterile and are disposable. They are never reused.