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Your doctor will ask about your past health and do a physical exam. If this suggests that you have a herniated disc, you probably won't need other tests. But if your doctor needs more information, you may have an MRI or a CT scan. Your doctor may order one of these if:
Your medical history and physical exam suggest a more serious condition (such as a tumor, an infection, or severe nerve damage).
Your leg pain and other symptoms don't get better after 6 weeks of nonsurgical treatment.
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:
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!