What is IONM?

What is IONM?

Intra-Operative Neurophysiologic Monitoring (IONM) is a technique that is directly aimed at reducing the risk of neurological deficits during and/or after surgeries that involve the nervous system. By measuring spontaneous or evoked electrical potentials produced by the nervous system, early nerve irritation or impending spinal cord injury can often be detected. Specified nerve sites are stimulated with brief electrical pulses that evoke signals that can be recorded from other neural structures connected to the tissue (i.e. other nerves, muscle, spinal cord and brain).

IONM technologists are responsible for equipment setup, patient preparation for monitoring, recording electrical responses and compiling surgical data. Medical interpretations of the data are performed by medical board licensed neurologists, who remotely supervise the surgery online. IONM technologists apply stimulating and recording electrodes to the patient prior to surgery. Once the surgery begins, nerve potential tests are constantly conducted throughout the duration of the case. The tech will have direct communication with the surgeon and the supervising neurologist, providing testing information as the surgery progresses. If changes in the conduction of electrical potentials through the spinal cord or other neural structures are identified, per supervising neurologist orders, the technologist informs the surgeon and/or anesthesiologist so that appropriate intervention can occur. Modalities…