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Why do I feel pain in my upper thigh?

Thursday, 19 February 2009
Answered by: Dr Pankaj Kaw
Consultant, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
Thomas Jefferson University
USA
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Q. I am a 36 years old professional. I used to sit and work from 10 am to 7 pm daily. I feel irritation with mild pain in the upper part of my left thigh. Sometimes I feel like someone is pinching me. What could be the problem? Is it related to some nerves or muscles? Please advise.

A.  Pain in the upper thigh can be either coming from a pinched nerve in your back or can be due to what is called Meralgia Paresthetica or from the hip joint itself.
  • Pain from Back: This will be accompanied with symptoms of backache.
  • Meralgia paresthetica: Occurs when the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve of the thigh becomes trapped in the groin area. The primary symptom is paresthesia, or numbness in the thigh. The numbness may include burning, stinging, tingling, prickling, or a feeling like pins and needles. Diagnosis is based on the patient’s medical history and evidence of sensory loss strictly within the area of the thigh served by the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.
  • Hip pain: Can occur from multiple of reasons and the pain is usually referred to upper medial thigh area. Arthritis of the hip joint is the most common cause.
I would start from the basics first and get an X-ray of your pelvis with both the hip joints and an X-ray of the Lumbosacral area. Consult any Orthopaedic surgeon with these X-rays so that a thorough examination can be conducted along side.

A.  Pain in the upper thigh can be either coming from a pinched nerve in your back or can be due to what is called Meralgia Paresthetica or from the hip joint itself.
  • Pain from Back: This will be accompanied with symptoms of backache.
  • Meralgia paresthetica: Occurs when the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve of the thigh becomes trapped in the groin area. The primary symptom is paresthesia, or numbness in the thigh. The numbness may include burning, stinging, tingling, prickling, or a feeling like pins and needles. Diagnosis is based on the patient’s medical history and evidence of sensory loss strictly within the area of the thigh served by the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.
  • Hip pain: Can occur from multiple of reasons and the pain is usually referred to upper medial thigh area. Arthritis of the hip joint is the most common cause.
I would start from the basics first and get an X-ray of your pelvis with both the hip joints and an X-ray of the Lumbosacral area. Consult any Orthopaedic surgeon with these X-rays so that a thorough examination can be conducted along side.

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