Read below about severe upper leg pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your severe upper leg 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 Upper Leg Pain

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced severe upper leg 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.Spinal Stenosis

    The spine, or backbone, protects the spinal cord and allows people to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in the spine. The narrowing puts pressure on nerves and the spinal cord and can cause pain.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that shoots to the butt, difficulty walking, thigh pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.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
  5. 5.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

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  6. 6.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
  7. 7.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Quadriceps

    Repetitive strain injury of the upper leg is caused by consistent repetitive use.

    Resolves with rest

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    upper leg numbness, thigh weakness, thigh pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the quadriceps:
    thigh pain from overuse
    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the quadriceps:
    upper leg injury, severe upper leg pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Hamstring

    Repetitive strain injury of the upper leg is caused by consistent repetitive use.

    Resolves with rest

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    upper leg numbness, thigh weakness, hamstring pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the hamstring:
    hamstring pain from overuse
    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the hamstring:
    upper leg injury, severe upper leg pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  9. 9.Mild / Moderate Hip Arthritis

    Arthritis of the hip is inflammation of one or more of the joints in the hip. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Hip arthritis can make it hard to do many everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. It is a major cause of lost work time and a serious disability for many people.

    Varies with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    hip pain, difficulty walking, pain in one hip, limping, groin pain
    Symptoms that always occur with mild/moderate hip arthritis:
    hip pain
    Symptoms that never occur with mild/moderate hip arthritis:
    severe hip pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Iliotibial (It) Band Syndrome ('Runner's Knee')

    Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is the lateral knee pain that results from overuse that occurs after repetitive motion. It is the most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners and cyclists.

    Within 6 to 8 weeks with conservative nonsurgical treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when going down stairs, sharp knee pain
    Symptoms that always occur with iliotibial (it) band syndrome ('runner's knee'):
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Severe Upper Leg Pain

  • Q.Do your symptoms get worse when you exercise?
  • Q.Where is your upper leg pain located?
  • Q.Do you run for exercise or sport?
  • Q.What is your body mass?

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

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Severe Upper Leg Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced severe upper leg pain have also experienced:

    • 12% Lower Back Pain
    • 4% Lower Leg Pain
    • 3% Deep, Throbbing Hip Pain
  • People who have experienced severe upper leg pain had symptoms persist for:

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

    • 46% Deep Vein Thrombosis
    • 30% Femoral Stress Fracture
    • 23% Spinal Stenosis
  • 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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