What causes thigh pain?

Thigh pain can be caused by a variety of problems, including disease, broken bones, muscle pulls and strains, or an infection. Disc degeneration or pinched nerves in the spine can also cause pain to radiate into the leg and thigh. If thigh pain is persistent, consult a physician to rule out an underlying medical disorder.


Osteomyelitis is a term used to describe an infection in the bone. Bone infections typically affect the long bones such as those in the thigh and upper arm. Infection in the bone can be acute, lasting a few months, or chronic, lasting months or years. In chronic osteomyelitis, the bone could die due to lack of proper blood circulation. Symptoms of thigh pain caused by osteomyelitis include pain in the thigh, fever, swelling, warmth and redness. An open wound on the thigh may have drainage of pus.

Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is also known as infectious arthritis. It is an infection of the joints caused by bacteria from surgery, injection or injury. Septic arthritis that affects the hip may cause pain that radiates into the groin and thigh. The pain is worse when walking or if the joint is touched. Other symptoms may include warm, red skin, fever, chills and flu-like symptoms.


Osteosarcoma is a cancer that typically occurs in the long bones of the body such as the arm bones, femur, tibia and pelvis. It is the most common type of bone cancer in children, teens and young adults. Osteosarcoma in the thigh causes sharp or dull pain, pain that gets worse when moving, swelling or redness of the skin.

Ewing's Sarcoma

Ewing's sarcoma is a cancerous tumour that is found in the middle of the long bones in the body, and typically occurs in the early teens. A Ewing's tumour in the thigh causes pain, swelling at the tumour location, fever and bruises around the tumour.


Lipomas are noncancerous growths made of soft tissue. They usually occur in the upper thighs, upper arms, torso, neck and armpits. Surgical removal is done only if the area is painful, infected, has foul-smelling drainage and does not allow full range of movement of the affected part of the body. The surgery is done in the physician's office or as an outpatient at the hospital.

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About the Author

Marie Louise is passionate about her writing, bringing personal knowledge and experience on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, chronic pain conditions, parenting, research, alternative medicine and animals. Her work appears on several different websites.