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Intraoperative Electromyography

Holland, Neil R.

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: October 2002 - Volume 19 - Issue 5 - p 444-453
Review Articles

Summary Intraoperative electromyography (EMG) provides useful diagnostic and prognostic information during spine and peripheral nerve surgeries. The basic techniques include free-running EMG, stimulus-triggered EMG, and intraoperative nerve conduction studies. These techniques can be used to monitor nerve roots during spine surgeries, the facial nerve during cerebellopontine angle surgeries, and peripheral nerves during brachial plexus exploration and repair. However, there are a number of technical limitations that can cause false-positive or false-negative results, and these must be recognized and avoided when possible. The author reviews these basic electrophysiologic techniques, how they are applied to specific surgical situations, and their limitations.

West Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Neil R. Holland, 107 Monmouth Road, West Long Branch, NJ 07739 USA; e-mail:

Copyright © 2002 American Clinical Neurophysiology Society