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Stabbing pain in femur, in one leg, not muscle pain, minor fracture, infection

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2565 Questions
The past week I've had a throbbing and almost at times a stabbing pain in my femur. It only occurs in one leg. The pain almost feels as though it's coming from the center of my bone. It's not a muscle pain. The pain seems to come around more as it gets later in the day. The pain occurs off an on, and is not constant. When it occurs it lasts for at least an hour. It happens several times a day. It happens more so at night. I have had no injuries or anything like that recently, or in that area in the past.
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later

The pain you describe does not sound like an arthritic type pain. You describe pain in your femur. As this is a very long bone, can you be more specific as to the location of the pain? Is it closer to the knee or the hip or is it in the center?

Additional thoughts: Do you exercise regularly including running and or jumping? Is there any family history of medical problems in mom or dad, brother or sisters? Have you ever had any xrays performed of the leg which has been giving symptoms? Is the pain only present when you are standing on the leg?

Thank you for your query. I hope I am able to provide you with some good information regarding this issue. I await your followup.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Stabbing pain in femur, in one leg, not muscle pain, minor fracture, infection 1 hour later

It is really in the center of the bone. I can physically touch and press on my leg around where it hurts and I have no additional pain, it feels as though it's in my bone. I do not exercise regularly. I do, however, walk all around a college campus 5 days a week. I don't think that counts as exercise though. About 3 years ago I was very active as I was enlisted in the Marine Corps. During that period of time I would generally run 6 miles a day and I never experienced any pain from that. No medical problems such as this within my family history. I've never had xrays done on the leg in question. The pain is present when sitting or standing. It's present while at rest and while moving. I can physically touch my leg around where it hurts and I have no additional pain. The pain does not increase if I am moving around, it remains the same. It's almost as if anything I do has no impact on the pain. Ibuprofen does not dull the pain or make it go away. I've never in my life experienced a pain like this. I mean that in the way of it's not overbearing, it's just a different kind of pain other than anything I've ever experienced. It's not unbearable but it does hurt.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 52 minutes later
Hi again,

I would recommend you see a physician who can examine your musculoskeletal system and of course the leg in question. I think a plain film x-ray would be the first test to help us further delineate if there is an abnormality associated with the bone. This can pick up subtle changes such as a minor fracture, an infection of the bone or space around the bone or any changes in the architecture of the bone which would cause your symptoms. If the xray does not give us any clue then an orthopedist would likely be consulted to render an opinion. I would strongly urge you to make an appointment for an evaluation to take care of this in an efficient manner.

I hope I have provided you with some more helpful information here. I am available for followup if needed.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Stabbing pain in femur, in one leg, not muscle pain, minor fracture, infection 19 hours later
Thanks for the advice.

I had xrays ordered by my PCP today. Went and had them done and I'll find out the results tomorrow.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 17 hours later
That's great to hear. This will help us get to the bottom of the problem. I think.
I wish you all the best and continued good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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