Joint Warmth: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Medically Reviewed on 1/17/2017

Warmth of a joint occurs in many normal and abnormal settings. Joint warmth can be a result of a warm covering over a joint and be normal. Joint warmth is a normal part of the healing process after surgical replacement of joints (arthroplasty). Injury, including fracture, bruising, and bleeding into a joint, can lead to joint warmth. Joint warmth can also be a result of diseases of, or injury to, the joint that cause inflammation. These diseases and injuries include arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as infection directly or indirectly involving the joint, such as from bacteria or viruses and septic arthritis, Osgood-Schlatter disease, repetitive motion injuries, cellulitis, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, stress fracture, dislocated knee, sickle cell disease, sporotrichosis, abscess, obesity, osteochondritis desiccans, knee strain, rheumatic fever, torn meniscus, ACL injury, and patellofemoral pain syndrome.


Firestein, Gary S., et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 9th Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2013


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