Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What Caused a Severe Pain in My Hip and Leg?

Friday, 09 April 2010 08:55 AM

Question: What can cause severe hip pain that shot down my left leg for 48 hours, and then went away? The pain was unbearable, and then just stopped. I am 53 years old have always been healthy and fit. I really don't even know what kind of doctor I should see for such a strange ailment, but I am afraid it may happen again.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Severe hip pain that shoots down your left leg for 48 hours and then stops suggests an insult to your sciatic nerve on the left. Since the pain isn't persistent, I would simply be observant. If this recurs, an evaluation by your physician would be wise, to rule out problems with your hip, pelvis, and back, as well as to look for signs of an aneurism or circulatory problem that may present as back or hip pain.

A complete physical examination, often in conjunction with a non-invasive ultrasound, may further clarify your condition, and will be very useful to be sure that you are evaluated for serious underlying disorders such as venous clotting. Plain hip x-rays would show any abnormality of bone growth and development. More elaborate studies, such as ultrasound and MRI, are reserved for cases that may require specific intervention or immediate further evaluation.

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