A dislocation is an injury to a joint — a place where two or more of your bones come together — in which the ends of your bones are forced from their normal positions. This injury temporarily deforms and immobilizes your joint and may result in sudden and severe pain.
Dislocations may occur in your major joints — shoulder, hip, knee, elbow and ankle — or in the smaller joints in your fingers, thumbs and toes.
If you suspect a dislocation, seek prompt medical attention to return your bones to their proper positions without damaging your joint. When treated properly, most dislocations return to normal function after several weeks of rest and rehabilitation. However, some joints, such as your shoulder, have an increased risk of repeat dislocation.
A dislocation is an injury to your joint in which the ends of your bones are forced from their normal positions. Your shoulder, which is a ball-and-socket joint, is a common site for dislocation. The ...
A dislocated joint may be:
You may also experience tingling or numbness near the injury — such as in your foot for a dislocated knee or in your hand for a dislocated elbow.
When to see a doctor
While you're waiting for medical attention:
Causes of dislocations include:
Risk factors for a joint dislocation include:
Complications of a joint dislocation may include:
If ligaments or tendons that support your injured joint have been stretched or torn, or if nerves or blood vessels surrounding the joint have been damaged, you may need surgery to repair these tissues.
Tests and diagnosis
Besides physically examining your injury, your doctor may order the following:
Treatments and drugs
Treatment of the dislocation depends on the site and severity of your injury and may include:
Some dislocations, such as the hip, may need several months to heal.
If you've had a fairly simple dislocation without major nerve or tissue damage, your joint likely will return to a near-normal or fully normal condition. But trying to return to your pre-injury state too soon from such an injury may cause you to re-injure the joint or to dislocate it again.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Try these steps to help ease discomfort and encourage healing after being treated for a dislocation injury:
To help prevent a dislocation:
Last Updated: 2010-12-21
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