The groove or indentation appears in one thigh only, so this may mean the muscle is starting to waste away or atrophy from ALS, and unfortunately, this is the erroneous thought process that many people have when inspecting their body out of ALS fear.

This thought process – that a groove or indentation on one side of the body but not the other – arises after the person googles a common benign symptom, and ALS sites pop up in the search results.

Maybe they googled “twitching muscles,” which lead them to ALS sites listing muscle atrophy as a symptom. This is the most likely scenario.

And then it’s downhill from there, as far as what the mind begins to conjure up.

Can a Thigh Groove or Indent Ever Be an ALS Symptom?

“A thigh dent is often a benign finding,” says Bonnie Gerecke, MD, director of the Neurology Center at Mercy in Baltimore.

Dr. Gerecke explains, “It usually represents loss of subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin).”

Now this is what I’ve been saying all along. 

Many fitness enthusiasts know this, too. But doesn’t it bring more reassurance to you to hear it from a neurologist? It definitely should!

The exact amount and configuration of subcutaneous fat on one side of your body or under the skin of your thigh is not a 100 percent duplication of the fat on the opposite side.

Expecting it to be an exact replication is as nutty as expecting the skin of your thigh to have the exact configuration, size, shape and color of moles, or the exact number of hair follicles, as the other thigh!

An indentation, dent or groove in a thigh “is not typically associated with muscle loss, and therefore it is not a common sign of ALS,” says Dr. Gerecke.

“Patients can develop thigh dents from local trauma.”

Dr. Gerecke has a special interest in ALS, myasthenia gravis, myopathy/muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathy and radiculopathy. She is board certified in general neurology and neuromuscular medicine.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


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