SSEP Lower Limbs

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Overview Brief

SSEP of lower limbs is a type of a specialized test that evaluates the nerves that provide sensory and motor supply to the body.

What is SSEP of lower limbs?

The SSEP of lower limbs test shows the electrical signals going from the brain to the lower limbs[1].

  • The test evaluates whether the nerves that connect the brain to the lower limbs are able to send and receive signals.
  • It evaluates whether the nerves are able to relay information like temperature, pain and touch.
  • This test often ordered to diagnose and evaluate spine problems.

Sometimes, an electromyograph(EMG) is ordered along with an SSEP of lower limbs.

How is SSEP of lower limbs performed?

After you have changed into a loose gown, you will be asked to lie down on the table.

  • An electrode is placed over the skin of the brain.
  • Sometimes, a needle may be inserted into a nerve or a sensory centre of the brain[1].
  • Other electrodes are placed on the back of your legs.
  • A small generator is used to create an impulse to stimulate your ankle or toes[2].
  • The response to stimulation is recorded through electrodes using specialised equipment.

An SSEP of lower limbs takes about  20-30 minutes to perform. It can be longer when multiple tests are performed.

Side effects/risks of SSEP of lower limbs

There are no significant risks involved during an SSEP of lower limbs. The only chance of injury/infection is from a needle prick during the procedure.

Preparation before performing SSEP of lower limbs

The preparation for an SSEP of lower limbs includes:

  • Changing into a loose gown that exposes your legs.
  • You must take a bath or a wash before these tests to remove extra oil from the skin surface.
  • Avoid lotion application on the skin on the day of your test[2].

Post-care after SSEP of lower limbs

There aren’t any post-care measures after an SSEP of lower limbs is performed.

If the needle pricks have caused pain or bruising, they may be treated accordingly.

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