Orthopaedics

What is Joint Effusion?

A joint is a point where two bones connect. Joints are important body parts which help in the movement. Synovial joints are the most common joints. These joints allow maximum movement and have a fluid surrounding them, called synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is produced by the capsule lining that surrounds the joints. This fluid gives lubrication and prevents wear and tear of the bones which meet at the joints. However, certain factors lead to the excessive secretion of synovial fluid. This condition is considered as swollen joints or joints effusion. Let us know about the causes and symptoms of swollen joints.

Joint Effusion – Causes

Following are the causes of the joint effusion:

Gout

Uric acid crystals build up in the joints, causing pain and inflammation. Redness, warmth and swollen joints associated with severe pain are the symptoms of this.

Osteoarthritis

This occurs due to the wear and tear in cartilage which cover bone ends which meet at the joint. Excess usage of joints or an injury may cause damage to cartilage. Osteoarthritis is associated with extreme pain. This condition often afflicts the joints of the feet, spine, hip and knee.

Infections

Fungal, bacterial or viral infections in the joint fluid or joint tissues may cause joint effusion. Infection in the joint is due to the organism which is responsible for the earlier infection and reaches the joint through blood. Septic arthritis or infectious arthritis, joint swelling, fever and pain are the symptoms.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA is an inflammatory arthritis which interferes your daily chores because of pain and swelling of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis may afflict people of any age group, including young children.

Joint Injury

Fractures, sprains and trauma may lead to joint effusion. Muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons are the most affected parts.

Joint Effusion – Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of swollen joints are stiffness, swelling and pain in the joints. You can easily detect swelling as you can notice puffiness around the joints, experience extreme pain while applying pressure on the joints and stiffness in the joints which becomes difficult to straighten or bend the joints or knees. In many cases, you will observe redness and warmness too.

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