What is dislocation?


Know the basics

What is dislocation?

A dislocation is a condition when a bone slips out of a joint or its normal position. The dislocated joint can be reoccurred afterwards.

Dislocation mostly happens in the shoulders and fingers. Other parts that usually have dislocation are elbows, knees and hips. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

How common is dislocation?

Dislocation might happen at any age:

Older persons tend to have a higher risk, especially who are easy to fall and lack mobility.

Children can also be at a greater risk for dislocations if they are not observed by their parents when play in unsafe areas.

People usually practice physical activities, they are at higher risk for accidents such as dislocations as well.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of dislocation?

The common symptoms of dislocation are:

  • Visibly out of place
  • Swollen or discolored
  • Feeling pain when you move
  • Numbness or tingling feeling around the dislocated site
  • Loss of movement

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. It is recommended you to apply ice to the dislocated joint and keep it immobile while waiting for medical treatment. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes dislocation?

Dislocation is caused by an unbalanced impact. This might be due to an accident when you fall or being hit or other traumas.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for dislocation?

There are many risk factors for dislocation, such as:

  • Vulnerability to falls. You may use your arms or hips or shoulders to land when falling that will likely cause dislocation.
  • Some people are born with looser ligaments and tend to have dislocation after accident.
  • Sport injuries, such as in football, basketball, gymnastic,…
  • Vehicle accidents.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is dislocation diagnosed?

The diagnosis depends on the site of dislocation. Your doctor may conduct:

  • X-ray to detect the dislocated site and other broken/damage part of your joints.
  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) to approach the damage tissues around the dislocated joints.

How is dislocation treated?

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). In some cases, RICE can help the dislocated joint go back to the right position.
  • Your doctor can use a splint or sling to immobilize the joints for a few weeks.
  • If the dislocated bones cannot be moved to the normal position then a surgery would be required.
  • Once the splint or sling is removed, you will be offered a rehab session to improve your joints’ movements.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage dislocation?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with dislocation:

  • Relax your dislocated joint: Don’t duplicate the specific activity that caused your hurt, and try to avoid painful movements.
  • Apply heat or ice to dislocated joint: Placing ice on your injured joint helps reduce redness and pain. For the first day or two, you should use a cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. After that, when the symtomps have improved, change to use hot packs or a heating pad for 20 minutes a time may help relax muscles.
  • Take a painkiller: ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Range-of-motion exercises : After one or two days, do some gentle exercises, help you maintain normal joint function.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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