A probable cause of numbness in the upper, outer thigh is meralgia paresthetica, a condition that occurs when the nerve that provides sensation to the thigh’s surface is compressed, according to Mayo Clinic. It often occurs on one side of the body and worsens upon walking or standing.
Meralgia paresthetica results from wearing tight clothes, gaining weight, being obese or becoming pregnant, states Mayo Clinic. It may also occur due to a disease or a local trauma. Symptoms include tingling, numbness or burning pain in the outer thigh. Wearing loose clothes often relieves meralgia paresthetica. Severe cases require surgery or medications to alleviate discomfort.
Other causes of numb thigh include thigh injury and exposure to cold, as nerve damage or impairment may reduce sensation in the thigh, notes Healthgrades. Chronic conditions, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, may also cause a numb thigh.
Sciatica is a condition in which spinal stenosis or disc disease puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, thus resulting in leg numbness, explains Healthgrades. Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder wherein the nerves that transmit signals between the brain, spinal cord and the rest of the body fail to function correctly. A numb thigh may also indicate the onset of stroke, particularly if numbness or weakness of the legs or arms occurs on a single side of the body occurs.