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Lumbar Herniated Disc - Exams and Tests

Your doctor will do a medical history and physical exam. If this suggests that you have a herniated disc, you probably won't need other tests.

If your doctor needs more information, or if treatment hasn't worked after 4 weeks, you may have an MRI or a CT scan.

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X-rays typically aren't useful or needed. But if your medical history and physical exam suggest a more serious condition (such as a tumor, infection, fracture, or severe nerve damage), or if your leg pain and other symptoms don't get better after 4 weeks of nonsurgical treatment, your doctor may order X-rays.

Other tests

Other tests, such as blood tests, may be done to rule out other conditions.

The following tests aren't used as often as an MRI or a CT scan, but they may give your doctor more information:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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