Read below about unilateral upper leg swelling, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your unilateral upper leg swelling 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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5 Potential Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling Causes

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.

  1. 1.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
  2. 2.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

    Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling Checker

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  3. 3.Sciatica

    The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve of the human body, and it runs through the buttock, down the thigh and into the calf, sending information to the muscles in the back of the thigh and leg, as well as the surrounding skin. The sciatic nerve itself is supplied by nerves coming from the spine in the lower back. Sometimes, one of the disks separating the vertebrae (bones of the spine) may bulge out a little bit, putting pressure on one of these nerve roots, causing sciatica, or shooting pain down the sciatic nerve.

    Problem will resolve itself within several weeks in 80-90% of cases.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, numbness in one foot, pain in one leg, numbness in one thigh
    Symptoms that always occur with sciatica:
    back pain that shoots down the leg
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

    Restrictive cardiomyopathy refers to a set of changes in how the heart muscle functions. These changes cause the heart to fill poorly (more common) or squeeze poorly (less common). Sometimes, both problems are present.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, racing heart beat, shortness of breath when lying down
    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

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.Where on your upper leg is this swelling?
  • Q.Do you have a rash?

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

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Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced unilateral upper leg swelling have also experienced:

    • 9% Upper Leg Pain
    • 3% Lower Leg Pain
    • 3% Severe Upper Leg Pain
  • People who have experienced unilateral upper leg swelling had symptoms persist for:

    • 30% Less Than a Week
    • 29% Over a Month
    • 22% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced unilateral upper leg swelling were most often matched with:

    • 14% Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • 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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