Hot Swollen Red Joints
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Reviewed By:

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc (Family Medicine, Primary Care)

Dr. Taylor is a Japanese-African American physician who grew up and was educated in the United States but spent a considerable amount of time in Japan as a college student, working professional and now father of three. After graduating from Brown, he worked in finance first before attending medical school at Penn. He then completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control before going on to specialize in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was also a chief resident. After a faculty position at Stanford, he moved with his family to Japan where he continues to see families on a military base outside of Tokyo, teach Japanese residents and serve remotely as a medical director for Roots Community Health Center. He also enjoys editing and writing podcast summaries for Hippo Education.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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About the Symptom

This refers to one or more of the joints feeling warm to the touch compared to the surrounding skin accompanied by redness, swelling and pain. Most commonly it is caused by trauma, infection or inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Hot swollen red joints

Possible Causes

Generally, Hot swollen red joints can be related to:

  • Gout / Pseudogout

    Gout and pseudogout are diseases caused by inflammation and crystal accumulation in the joints. Gout results from uric acid crystals, while pseudogout stems from calcium pyrophosphate crystals. Both are marked by sudden, painful swelling in one or more joints. Gout attacks can be triggered by eating purine-rich foods like seafood, alcohol, and red meat, while pseudogout may be due to joint injury, surgery, or immune issues.

  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

    Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a type of arthritis that occurs in children under 16 years old. It's a chronic condition characterized by joint pain and swelling that can last for months or years. It affects one or more joints for at least 6 weeks. JIA occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues The cause of JIA is unknown.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

    A chronic inflammatory disease where the body's immune system attacks multiple joints, most commonly in the hands and feet. The cause and trigger is unknown.

  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Adult Still's Disease
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • Behcet's Disease

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Hot swollen red joints may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Septic Arthritis

    Septic arthritis is an infection of a joint space. This can be caused by a wound that penetrates the joint allowing bacteria to enter, complications following surgery, or by bacteria traveling from distant sites via the bloodstream into the joint.

  • Cellulitis / Erysipelas
  • Rheumatic Fever

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do your joints appear red, swollen, or warm?

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Find Similar Symptoms

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References

  • Frank FA, Peduzzi N, Brugger R, Morgenstern M, Cadosch D, Clauss M. Die septische Arthritis [Septic arthritis]. Ther Umsch. 2023 Feb;80(1):39-44. German. doi: 10.1024/0040-5930/a001405. PMID: 36659842.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36659842/

Reviewed By:

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc

Kenji Taylor, MD, MSc (Family Medicine, Primary Care)

Dr. Taylor is a Japanese-African American physician who grew up and was educated in the United States but spent a considerable amount of time in Japan as a college student, working professional and now father of three. After graduating from Brown, he worked in finance first before attending medical school at Penn. He then completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control before going on to specialize in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was also a chief resident. After a faculty position at Stanford, he moved with his family to Japan where he continues to see families on a military base outside of Tokyo, teach Japanese residents and serve remotely as a medical director for Roots Community Health Center. He also enjoys editing and writing podcast summaries for Hippo Education.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedics)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

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