Symptoms A-Z

Swollen Thigh Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your swollen thigh symptoms, including 8 causes & common questions.

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8 Possible Swollen Thigh Causes

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

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

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

Hamstring strain

A strain, commonly called a "pulled muscle," is when a muscle becomes overstretched and tears. A hamstring strain happens when one of the muscles on the back of the upper leg (thigh) is pulled.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: spontaneous back pain, pain in the back of the knee, hamstring tightness, sports injury, hamstring pain

Symptoms that always occur with hamstring strain: hamstring pain

Symptoms that never occur with hamstring strain: groin pain, hip pain, pain in the outside of the hip, difficulty moving the hip

Urgency: Self-treatment

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

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Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layers of the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the feet, lower legs, and face.

The condition can develop if Staphylococcus bacteria enter broken skin through a cut, scrape, or existing skin infection such as impetigo or eczema.

Most susceptible are those with a weakened immune system, as from corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or with impaired circulation from diabetes or any vascular disease.

Symptoms arise somewhat gradually and include sore, reddened skin.

If not treated, the infection can become severe, form pus, and destroy the tissue around it. In rare cases, the infection can cause blood poisoning or meningitis.

Symptom of severe pain, fever, cold sweats, and fast heartbeat should be seen immediately by a medical provider.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

Treatment consists of antibiotics, keeping the wound clean, and sometimes surgery to remove any dead tissue. Cellulitis often recurs, so it is important to treat any underlying conditions and improve the immune system with rest and good nutrition.

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

Osteogenic sarcoma

Osteogenic sarcoma is a cancer of the bone that usually develops when bones are rapidly growing during adolescence. It is the most common primary tumor of the bone. Although any bone in the body can be affected, the thigh (femur), upper arm (humerus), shin (tibia), and pelvis are mo...

Allergic contact dermatitis of the thigh

Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed following physical contact with an allergen. Common products known to cause allergic dermatitis include plants, metals, soap, fragrance, and cosmetics.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: upper leg itch, upper leg redness, scabbed area of the upper leg

Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the thigh: upper leg redness

Urgency: Self-treatment

Benign bony growth (osteochondroma)

An osteochondroma is a non-cancerous growth that usually develops during childhood or adolescence. It is a benign tumor that forms on the surface of a bone near the growth plate.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: lower leg bump, upper leg bump, numbness in one thigh, painful thigh lump, hip bump

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swollen Thigh

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

  • Do you have a rash?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • If you touch the swelling, does this cause pain?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

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

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

Swollen Thigh Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced swollen thigh have also experienced:

  • 14% Thigh Pain
  • 4% Swollen Knee
  • 4% Pain In One Thigh

People who have experienced swollen thigh were most often matched with:

  • 46% Compartment Syndrome
  • 46% Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • 7% Hamstring Strain

People who have experienced swollen thigh had symptoms persist for:

  • 30% Less than a week
  • 28% Over a month
  • 22% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Swollen Thigh Symptom Checker

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Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.