Have you ever woken up suddenly in the middle of the night with a hand or even an entire arm feeling numb? Your immediate reaction was to panic, thinking if you just had a stroke, only feeling relieved momentarily after the sensation comes back to normal again.
The nerve! Yes, that nerve. After all, you might just be suffering from either a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CPS) or a muscular dystrophy.
So the next time you experience it, just relax. You are not going to die soon because of it. But the discomfort might overpower you that your quality of life might be affected if they attack more often like if you lose sleep because of it.
Or better yet have yourself checked to be able to get relief not only from the discomfort but also of the thinking these may be something else if they get worse over time.
The Electromyography or the EMG is a test that evaluates the electrical activity of the skeletal muscles when they are at rest as well as when they are in motion. At the same time, your doctor might recommend that you undergo the nerve conduction study as this measures how fast the nerves send electrical signals in other parts of the body. The results of these tests can identify whether a patient has a motor control disorder or a neuromuscular disease like those mentioned above.
So how much does EMG test cost? It may be worth looking at how differently this test is being priced differently across the United States.
Average Cost of EMG Test
According to MDsave.com, the national average cost of EMG test with nerve conduction study is $698.
The price of EMG test may be from over $200 to as high as $1,200 as reported in some areas, depending on which facility the test was performed.
A sample fee list of Kaiser Permanente in Colorado listed EMG test at $233 per extremity, while Vetmed.Illinois.edu gives the EMG and NCV an estimated price range of $300 to $600 that covers the anesthesia, monitoring, and the initial exam.
What are Included
Some of the doctors who are general practitioners may not be able to perform an EMG/NCS test and may need to refer you to a neurologist or physiatrist who is an expert in this field in order to assess your condition properly.
The test is performed by asking the patient to lie down on a table or bed while the electrodes are taped to the skin in the vicinity of the affected part in order to have nerve stimulation and the machine would then record the response as part of the first phase of the test. The second part is where a needle will be inserted into the affected muscle to pick up the electrical signals. The whole process usually takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes.
It usually requires to test two nerves each for the upper and lower limbs although it may be required to test more nerves depending on the kind of disease your physician suspects you to have.
In case the specialist was the one performing the test, your result can be read to you immediately afterward. Otherwise, you might be asked to go back to get the official reading or the result may be sent to your doctor for the follow up check up and evaluation of your condition using the result of the test.
Although the reading can be interpreted immediately by the doctor, the exact measurements are needed to be calculated in order to be thoroughly evaluated for the official result of the test before releasing.
As mentioned, you might need to go back to your doctor/specialist in case the result is not yet available immediately after the procedure. In this case, a follow-up checkup is necessary in order for the result to be properly interpreted by your doctor so that proper treatment plan can be formulated if there is a presence of a condition that needs to be addressed like the numbness and tingling sensation caused by the carpal tunnel syndrome and other nerve or neuromuscular issues.
Shopping for EMG Test
If looking for other option aside from the referral your doctor has given you, MDSave.com offers a provider locator to see if there are any in your area.
Otherwise, do yourself a favor and go out to physically search for facilities offering the procedure as most hospitals and clinics have available EMG and NCV test.
Factors Affecting Cost of EMG Test
Below are some of the factors affecting the cost of the EMG and NCV tests:
- Areas affected – the cost of EMG test and the nerve conduction study price are always per area basis. So the more areas affected, the higher the cost of the procedure
- Settlement – most facilities offer 10% up to 35% discount for patients without insurance who settle the bill in cash.
- Insurance – most insurance companies would cover partially or fully the EMG and nerve conduction study price depending on your coverage or policy. Talk to your insurance provider so you will know exactly how much you need to shell out for the test if ever you need to at all.
- Facility – your choice of the facility could dictate your cost of the procedure as the reference given to you by your doctor may not be the best for you cost wise. You have the option to follow instructions or you may look elsewhere for cheaper and more convenient facility where you prefer the test to be done.
- Professional fee – the doctors or specialists reading and interpreting the data gathered by the machine may have different levels of fees depending on their experience and level of expertise which may affect the overall cost of the procedure.
Aside from the carpal tunnel syndrome and the muscular dystrophy, other conditions that would require EMG/NCV test would include:
- Neuropathy or nerve abnormality
- Connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and polymyositis
- Injury to the nerves
- Cervical or lumbar disc prolapse
- Toxic effects of medications such as treatments for cancer and tuberculosis
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome which is the muscle weakness caused by immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system
- Hereditary Neuropathy which is an inherited disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system
- Myasthenia gravis which is a neuromuscular disease that leads to muscle weakness.