What causes a thigh lump?
A thigh lump may be a result of an infection, an injury, or, rarely, a benign or malignant tumor.
Infectious causes of a thigh lump
A thigh lump may be caused by infectious processes including:
- Cellulitis (infection of the skin and associated tissues)
- Papillomavirus infections (warts)
Traumatic causes of a thigh lump
Trauma or injury to the thigh may produce a lump. Traumatic causes of thigh lump include:
- Contusions (bruises)
- Bite and sting injuries
- Fractures of bone
- Hematoma (collection of blood in body tissues)
- Sprains and strains
Tumors that cause causes of a thigh lump
A thigh lump can rarely be caused by benign or malignant tumors including:
- Fibroma (benign tumor composed of fibrous or connective tissue)
- Lipoma (benign fatty growth)
- Melanoma (cancer arising in the melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells, in the skin or other parts of the body)
- Nevi (moles of the skin)
- Nonmelanoma skin cancers
- Osteosarcoma (type of bone cancer)
Serious or life-threatening causes of a thigh lump
In some cases, a thigh lump may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These include:
- Malignant tumors of bone or soft tissue
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
Questions for diagnosing the cause of a thigh lump
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your thigh lump including:
- How long have you felt your thigh lump?
- Is the lump getting bigger?
- Is the lump painful?
- Is the lump the result of an injury?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
What are the potential complications of a thigh lump?
Lumps caused by cancers may have life-threatening consequences that depend on the type and stage (extent) of the cancer. Left untreated, lumps due to abscesses or serious infections may lead to widespread infection in the body. Thigh lumps and associated symptoms can be due to serious diseases, so failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage.
Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Decreased athletic performance
- Permanent or chronic pain
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
Broken bone. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000001.htm. Accessed May 11, 2011.
Leg problems. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/tools/symptom/541.html. Accessed May 11, 2011.
What is a thigh lump?
A thigh lump is a bulge, bump, nodule, contusion, tumor, or swollen area on your thigh. Lumps can be caused by any number of conditions, including infections, inflammation, tumors and trauma. Depending on the cause, lumps may be single or multiple, soft or firm, painful or painless. They may grow rapidly or may not change in size. You may also have other symptoms, depending upon the cause ... Read more about thigh lump introduction