Read below about severe thigh pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your severe thigh pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Severe Thigh Pain

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced severe thigh pain. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Femoral Stress Fracture

    A femoral stress fracture is a small crack in the thigh bone (femur). These fractures are most often a result of overuse and are commonly seen with an increase in activity. Stress fractures of the thigh bone are much less common than those of the shin bone (tibia), but nonetheless do occur in high-risk groups such as athletes and military recruits.

    12 weeks is the usual duration of treatment. Stress fractures usually heal on their own.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dull, achy hip pain, pain in one thigh, thigh pain, spontaneous hip pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Deep Vein Thrombosis

    Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh.

    Curable with medication or surgery but may recur.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, thigh pain, upper leg swelling, calf pain, butt pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Thigh Nerve Issue (Meralgia Paresthetica)

    Meralgia paresthetica is a nerve condition that causes an area of skin over the upper outer thigh to feel numb, tingly, or painful. This is caused by compression of a nerve known as the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh as it passes underneath a tough fibrous ligament known as the inguinal ligament.

    Pain and pins-and-needles feeling resolves with time. Sometimes numbness and altered sensation remains for life.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in the outside of the hip, pain in one thigh, thigh numbness, tingling upper leg, hip numbness
    Symptoms that never occur with thigh nerve issue (meralgia paresthetica):
    new headache, swollen hip, swollen hips, swelling of one hip, leg swelling, weakness of both legs, leg weakness, leaking urine
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Thigh Bruise

    A bruise is the damage of the blood vessels that return blood to the heart (the capillaries and veins), which causes pooling of the blood. This explains the blue/purple color of most bruises.

    Bruises will begin to heal over the course of a week

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one thigh, thigh pain from an injury, upper leg injury, thigh bruise, swelling of one thigh
    Symptoms that always occur with thigh bruise:
    upper leg injury, thigh pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Cellulitis

    Facial cellulitis is a skin infection that typically comes from other parts of the face like the mouth or the sinuses and needs antibiotic treatment. Symptoms can be pain, redness, warmth and swelling of the affected area.

    Dependent on severity of infection

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain
    Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis:
    facial redness, area of skin redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  6. 6.Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome

    Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is a common cause of hip pain caused by damage to the tendons and/or bursa (fluid-filled sac near a joint) at the outside point of the hip known as the greater trochanter.

    Weeks to years

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, pain in the outside of the hip, moderate hip pain, groin pain, limping
    Symptoms that always occur with greater trochanteric pain syndrome:
    pain in the outside of the hip
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Peripheral Arterial Disease (Pad)

    Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when the big blood vessels, called arteries, become too narrow due to clumps of fat (called plaques) building up inside the walls. If arteries become too narrow, not enough oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the muscles, skin, and organs. The arteries in the legs are often affected first, as they are the furthest from the heart.At first, PAD has no symptoms. As it gets worse, leg pain is likely to develop, leading to cramps in the calf, thigh, foot, or buttock upon exercise. PAD can also increase the risk of a blood clot if a piece of plaque detaches, leading to serious complications such as a heart attack or stroke.Peripheral artery disease is much more common in smokers and in people with diabetes. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight, and not getting much exercise also can put one at higher risk.

    The prognosis of this disease is highly variable and depends heavily on habits, medical history, and genetics. Peripheral artery disease is a chronic non-life threatening condition. Managing the disease, however, is very important in reducing the risk for stroke and heart attacks, so make sure to follow-up with a physician.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    leg numbness, spontaneous foot pain, decreased exercise tolerance, cold feet, thigh pain
    Symptoms that never occur with peripheral arterial disease (pad):
    calf pain from an injury, thigh pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Thigh Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the thigh is a bacterial or fungal infection of the thigh bone, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, constant upper leg pain, spontaneous thigh pain, painful surgical site, warm red upper leg swelling
    Symptoms that always occur with thigh bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous thigh pain, constant upper leg pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  9. 9.Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    The kneecap (patella) is located directly in front of the thigh bone (femur), and should normally glide freely up and down. In this condition, called patellofemoral pain syndrome, the kneecap may rub against the thigh bone instead of gliding smoothly, causing damage and pain.

    Most people get better within weeks to months of physical therapy.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting
    Symptoms that always occur with patellofemoral pain syndrome:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Compartment Syndrome

    Compartment syndrome is a serious condition that involves increased pressure in a muscle compartment. It can lead to muscle and nerve damage and problems with blood flow.

    Prognosis is highly variable after surgery and depends on how rapidly you are treated.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    arm numbness, hand numbness, foot numbness, pain in one leg, thigh numbness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Severe Thigh Pain

  • Q.Do you run for exercise or sport?
  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Do your symptoms get worse when you exercise?
  • Q.Have you ever had any surgeries?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our severe thigh pain symptom checker to find out more.

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Severe Thigh Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced severe thigh pain have also experienced:

    • 17% Lower Back Pain
    • 4% Deep, Throbbing Hip Pain
    • 4% Hip Pain
  • People who have experienced severe thigh pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 32% Over a Month
    • 26% Less Than a Week
    • 22% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced severe thigh pain were most often matched with:

    • 46% Deep Vein Thrombosis
    • 30% Femoral Stress Fracture
    • 23% Thigh Nerve Issue (Meralgia Paresthetica)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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