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Learn about your unilateral upper leg swelling, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your unilateral upper leg swelling from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling May Also be Known as:
Left femur feels puffy
Left femur feels swollen
Left femur is puffy
Left femur is swollen
Left femur puffiness
Left femur swelling
Left upper leg feels puffy
Left upper leg feels swollen
Left upper leg is puffy
Left upper leg is swollen

Top 5 Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling Causes

  1. 1.Blood Clot Requiring an Ultrasound

    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.

    Go to the emergency room immediately.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, thigh pain, calf pain, upper leg swelling, painful swelling in the lower leg
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Iliotibial (It) Band Syndrome

    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.

    You should go see your doctor in the coming days/weeks regarding your knee pain. He/she will assess the severity of your iliotibial band syndrome and determine the proper course of treatment (ranging from physical therapy and anti-infammatory medicine to corticosteroid injection or possibly surgery).

    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:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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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.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin as well as muscle relaxants may help. Some people find applying gentle heat or cold on painful muscles is soothing as well. It is important to stay active! Remaining in bed for too long may cause more inflammation.

    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.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an ER, where an ultrasound can confirm the diagnosis, blood tests can determine the cause of the problem, and treatment is needed immediately to stabilize you.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    shortness of breath, fatigue, 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.

    You should visit your primary care physician. While you can safely take steps to treat this condition at home (avoiding strenuous use of the knee and taking over-the-counter pain medication), your doctor may coordinate care with a physical therapist to help manage your pain and function of the knee.

    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.Is your upper leg swelling getting better or worse?
  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?

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

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Unilateral Upper Leg Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

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

    • 9% Swelling on the Lower Leg
    • 6% Stomach Bloating
    • 6% Rib Pain on One Side
  • People who have experienced unilateral upper leg swelling had symptoms persist for:

    • 30% Less Than a Week
    • 26% Less Than a Day
    • 23% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced unilateral upper leg swelling were most often matched with:

    • 8% Blood Clot Requiring an Ultrasound
    • 2% Iliotibial (It) Band Syndrome
    • 2% Sciatica

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Take a quiz to find out why you’re having unilateral upper leg swelling symptoms

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