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Severe hip pain post physical exercise, extremely painful while standing, swelling on thigh. Cause?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
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51 yr old female climbed ladder to fix leak on roof. That particular side of roof was very steep so after a bit of manuvering/attempting to sit & scoot my way up to the leak I decided to come down instead. Hubby said I did a lot of twisting & turning etc... while up there (he was holding ladder) & next day my left hip hurt sooooo bad. Very painful to stand, excrutiatingly painful to go upstairs. Had pain in lower back & hip hurt. Hubby thought sciatica & that seemed likely. Next day (yesterday) noticed it was swollen but swelling located on upper outer thigh area (hubby & son say this is NOT hip?) - about size of half grapefruit. No visable bruising, still very swollen. I am a bit chubby in that area anyway so hard to tell, but I think it is more swollen today. I did a bit of work around the house yesterday. Day before I rested, stayed on couch & put bag of frozen peas on it as well as XXXXXXX XXXXXXX "ice" & both days took Naproxin for pain/etc... What do you think is cause? Thank you.
Posted Sun, 19 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 3 hours later

Thanks for posting your query on Health Care Magic.

You have mentioned that you are having pain around the left hip and lower back associated with pain in outer aspect of the thigh.
Is there any history of trauma when you were fixing the leak or any time before that?
If yes, then probably pain and swelling is due to the trauma.

If there is no history of trauma, then some other cause has to be sought.
You have mentioned that you were once diagnosed with lupus erythematosus.
I do not know your lupus status right now but it is associated with inflammation of the synovial membrane of the joint, which may lead to arthritis. Arthritis may be associated with effusion of the joint, swelling, and pain.

The first step in the management is X-ray of the hip joint.
If there is effusion, examination of the synovial fluid may be required.

You need to visit an orthopedician for clinical examination, relevant investigations, and treatment.

If you have more queries, I will be glad to answer.
Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Severe hip pain post physical exercise, extremely painful while standing, swelling on thigh. Cause? 4 hours later
Thank u for getting back to me Dr. Wahal. I decided to take a nap because I only slept for 3 hrs last night due to pain. I woke up after a couple of hrs to go pee & after using bathroom told hubby I thought swelling had gone down. I walked over to the top of the stairs to holler this good news down to him; so I was only "up" for about 5 minutes, walking very short distances & when I returned to bed I realized that just that little bit of walking/movement exacerbated my condition. I was in so much pain (BTW I do have a very high pain tolerance- I gave birth w/o even an aspirin before, during or after) that I told my husband that I am not getting up again even if that means I'll have to wet the bed! LOL!
The area is still swollen & I am now laying in bed using my iPad. My husband & son have brought a tray- table to my bedside w/ a glass of water. The back of my thigh (seems like hamstring) hurts now too. Not sure if there was any "trauma" per se when I was on the roof, but I did put a lot of my weight (175 lbs I am 5' 8" tall so am a bit chubby) on that area as I was repositioning myself to come back down, so....
I really so not want to get up again any time soon after what happen when I got up to go to the bathroom. I have a bag of frozen peas on the area with my hip & left leg propped up on pillows tryin to position my body to take pressure/weight off that area. I took a Napoxen tablet. Did I mention that my fingers & toes have been tingling on & off on same side during all of this?
How long should I lay here trying to keep weight off? Should swelling subside in a day or two? Or is this something that takes weeks?
Could this be bursitis of the hip?
Could it be a pulled or torn ligament? It is not possible for me to see a doctor right now so how do I rule out torn ligament as opposed to bursitis or a sprained muscle or ??? This is very worrisome & frustrating as our son is on the Autism spectrum & as such does not drive, among other things, so I do not have time to be laying around. Please know your guidance is very much appreciated : ) whatever I can do to get back on my feet as soon as possible I will do!
Hello? Is anyone there? Would very much appreciate an answer to my follow-up : )
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 12 hours later
Hello and welcome again,

It is not possible to confirm or rule out any condition- bursitis, torn ligament, sprained muscle or anything else without any investigation.

You can take anti-inflammatory drug for pain relief.
You can use ice packs and elevated leg position if you feel better.

However, investigations are required for coming to correct diagnosis as mentioned in my earlier reply.

Thanks and take care.
Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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