Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Underlying Cause Anatomy

Joints Swollen Anatomy

To better understand joint swelling (multiple joints), it helps to understand the anatomy of a joint.

A joint is a union between two bones. The joint allows the ends of the bones to move against one another. The surface of the bones inside a joint are covered by a slippery lining, called cartilage, which is slightly softer than bone. The cartilage is lubricated by a thick, slippery fluid, called synovial fluid. The joint capsule forms a wall around the joint by attaching to the bone above and below the joint. Ligaments prevent the bones from coming apart and tendons allow the muscles to move the bones that make up the joint.


Last Updated: Mar 24, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Joints Swollen References
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  2. Margaretten ME, Kohlwes J, Moore D, Bent S. Does this adult patient have septic arthritis? JAMA. 2007 Apr 4;297(13):1478-88. [17405973]
  3. Schlesinger N. Diagnosis of gout. Minerva Med. 2007 Dec;98(6):759-67. [18299687]
  4. Weston V, Coakley G; The British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) Standards, Guidelines and Audit Working Group; British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy; British Orthopaedic Association; Royal College of General Practitioners; British Health Professionals in Rheumatology. Guideline for the management of the hot swollen joint in adults with a particular focus on septic arthritis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 Sep;58(3):492-3. Epub 2006 Jul 19. [16857687]
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