Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Joint Redness Overview

What is joint redness?
A person with joint redness has redness to the skin overlying a joint. Joint redness may be caused by joint injury, inflammation, or infection. Skin infections, arthritis, and bursitis are common causes of worsening joint redness.

What symptoms are associated with joint redness?
Symptoms that can occur with joint redness include joint pain, joint tenderness, joint stiffness, joint swelling, and joint warmth. Symptoms that indicate a serious cause for joint redness include severe joint pain, inability to move the joint, joint swelling, fever, and joint deformity.

How does the doctor diagnose joint redness?
The doctor will often suspect the underlying cause for joint redness after taking your history and performing an examination. Testing is often required to confirm the diagnosis. Commonly performed tests include blood tests, such as uric acid, CBC, ESR, Lyme disease assay, and rheumatoid factor. Additional tests may include x-rays of the joint and in some cases, a MRI scan of the joint. If a joint is swollen, the doctor may obtain a sample of fluid from inside the joint by performing a procedure called arthrocentesis. Analysis of the fluid can provide information on the underlying cause for the arthritis and joint redness.

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