Sharp Thigh Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand sharp thigh pain symptoms, including 10 causes & common questions.

Sharp Thigh Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your sharp thigh pain

Contents

  1. 10 Possible Sharp Thigh Pain Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

10 Possible Sharp Thigh Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced sharp thigh pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

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.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fever, thigh pain, upper leg swelling, calf pain, butt pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Compartment syndrome

Acute compartment syndrome describes the damage done to certain muscle groups of the arms or legs after a traumatic injury.

All of the long muscles are bundled into sections – "compartments" – by the white sheets of strong, tough connective tissue called fascia. If something interferes with circulation so that blood flow is trapped within the compartment, pressure rises because the fascia cannot stretch. This causes serious damage to the muscles and other tissues within the compartment.

Acute compartment syndrome is caused by a broken bone; a crush injury; burns, due to scarred and tightened skin; and bandages or casts applied before an injury has stopped swelling.

Symptoms can rapidly intensify. They include severe pain and tightness in the muscle; tingling or burning sensation; and sometimes numbness and weakness.

Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency which can result in loss of the limb. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination.

Treatment involves hospitalization for emergency surgery and, in some cases, skin graft.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: arm numbness, hand numbness, foot numbness, pain in one leg, thigh numbness

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

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.

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

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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.

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

Repetitive strain injury of the quadriceps

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

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

Sharp Thigh Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your sharp thigh pain

Iliopsoas bursitis

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacks located around the body in strategic locations to provide a cushion and help reduce friction. Iliopsoas bursitis, or hip bursitis, is an inflammation of the hip bursa, causing pain at the point of the hip. The pain may extend to the outside of the thigh area.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: thigh pain, groin pain, limping, snapping or clicking sensation of the hip, pain in the front of the hip

Symptoms that never occur with iliopsoas bursitis: fever, back pain, butt pain from an injury, pain in both hips, unmovable hip lump, hard hip lump, back pain that shoots down the leg

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome, also called trochanteric bursitis or GTPS, is an inflammation of the bursa of the greater trochanter. Bursae are the small "cushions" between tendons, bones, and muscles. The greater trochanter is th...

Read more

Peripheral arterial disease (pad)

Peripheral artery disease is also called PAD, intermittent claudication, or vascular disease. The large main artery from the heart is the aorta, and its smaller branches are the peripheral arteries.

In PAD these peripheral arteries are blocked with plaque, which is debris that builds up in the lining of these arteries and eventually cuts off the blood flow.

Risk factors for PAD include smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

PAD usually involves arteries that lead to the legs, but can affect any artery. Symptoms include numbness and pain in the legs, especially with exercise when more circulation is needed but the flow is blocked.

It is important to seek treatment for these symptoms. PAD can lead to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and infection as well as to gangrene, a life-threatening medical emergency.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, blood tests, and sometimes a treadmill test, MRI, and arteriogram.

Treatment involves medication and surgery to open or bypass blocked arteries, and lifestyle changes regarding diet, exercise, and smoking cessation.

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

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.

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

Chronic 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.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: spontaneous thigh pain, moderate fever, painful surgical site

Symptoms that always occur with chronic thigh bone infection (osteomyelitis): spontaneous thigh pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Share your story with others

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Sharp Thigh Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

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

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your sharp thigh pain. These questions are also covered.

Take quiz

Sharp Thigh Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced sharp thigh pain have also experienced:

  • 11% Pain In One Thigh
  • 8% Lower Back Pain
  • 4% Thigh Pain

People who have experienced sharp thigh pain were most often matched with:

  • 40% Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • 40% Compartment Syndrome
  • 20% Thigh Nerve Issue (Meralgia Paresthetica)

People who have experienced sharp thigh pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 32% Over a month
  • 26% Less than a week
  • 22% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Sharp Thigh Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your sharp thigh pain

No ads, doctor reviewed. Let's crack your symptom code together - like us on Facebook to follow along.