We present for the first time in vivo full three-dimensional (3-D) photoacoustic tomography (PAT) of the distal interphalangeal joint in a human subject. Both absorbed energy density and absorption coefficient images of the joint are quantitatively obtained using our finite-element-based photoacoustic image reconstruction algorithm coupled with the photon diffusion equation. The results show that major anatomical features in the joint along with the side arteries can be imaged with a transducer in a spherical scanning geometry. In addition, the cartilages associated with the joint can be quantitatively differentiated from the phalanx. This in vivo study suggests that the 3-D PAT method described has the potential to be used for early diagnosis of joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.