Joints are surrounded and cushioned by soft tissues. Swelling occurs when fluid accumulates in these tissues. Pain, stiffness, or both may accompany joint swelling. You may also notice that the affected joint appears bigger than normal or irregularly shaped.
Joint swelling can be a symptom of a chronic condition, such as arthritis, or an injury that requires medical attention, such as a dislocation.
Joint swelling can cause pain or stiffness. After an injury, swelling of the joint may mean you have a broken bone or a tear in the muscle tendon or ligament. Many different types of arthritis may cause swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint. An infection in the joint can cause swelling, pain, and fever.
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