Electrophysiologic correlates of weakness in L5/S1 radiculopathy

S. N. Scelsa, A. R. Berger, S. Herskovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Management of patients with radiculopathy involves estimating the degree of physiologic and anatomic injury, and weighing that to predict the likely clinical course. Objective: To determine whether low distal peroneal and tibial CMAP amplitudes correlate with weakness and fibrillations of functionally relevant muscles in L5/S1 radiculopathy (LSR). Methods: We reviewed clinical and electrophysiologic data in 66 consecutive patients with LSR. Results: A significantly greater number of patients with low peroneal CMAP amplitudes had weakness of L5 (p = 0.025) and S1 innervated leg muscles (p < 0.001). Low tibial CMAP amplitudes were also associated with weakness of S1 innervated muscles (p < 0.038). The association of low peroneal CMAP amplitudes with weakness persisted when weakness of at least 3 muscles was considered in the analysis for L5 (p < 0.0001) and S1 (p = 0.014) innervated muscles. Conclusions: Low peroneal and tibial CMAP amplitudes may serve as surrogate measures for segmental weakness of functionally relevant muscles in LSR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalElectromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2001


  • Electromyography
  • Lumbosacral
  • Nerve Conduction Studies
  • Radiculopathy
  • Weakness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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