Surgical Information – Procedures

Nerve Conduction Study

Educational Videos

What is a nerve conduction study?

A nerve conduction study (NCS) is a non-invasive, outpatient examination to measure how fast nerves conduct electrical signals through the body. It is used to diagnose nerve damage and determine its source.

How is an NCS performed?

The test is performed by a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in brain and nerve disorders.

Electrodes are attached to the skin at various nerve locations. The electrodes send a very mild electric impulse into the nerve and record the resulting electric activity. The data provides a precise measurement of nerve conduction speed and strength and can help the neurologist pinpoint nerve dysfunction. A normal nerve will transmit a stronger and faster signal than a damaged nerve.


The nervous system is a complex, sophisticated network that regulates and coordinates every activity in the body. The central nervous system, comprised of the brain and spinal cord, is the primary command center. The peripheral nervous system, which includes all over neural elements, connects the rest of the body to the central nervous system.

When is an NCS recommended?

An NCSis typically used to help diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, a herniated disk, pinched nerve or peripheral nerve injury. The test can also help identify the cause of symptoms such as numbness, tingling or chronic pain.

What is the recovery time?

Because this is a non-invasive procedure, patients typically return to work and normal activities immediately.