Joint dislocations

Joint Dislocations: Causes, Types, and Treatments

A joint dislocation occurs when two bones that form a joint become separated from each other. Joints are responsible for joining two or more bones in the body together and providing a support structure for movement of those bones. When a joint is forcibly separated, the individual can no longer move the affected area. Joint dislocations can be very painful and require medical attention to reset and heal.

Causes of Joint Dislocations

Joint dislocations can be caused by a variety of activities, including:

  • Falls
  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries, such as football, basketball, and skiing
  • Direct blows to the joint
  • Twisting of the joint

Types of Joint Dislocations

Joint dislocations can occur in any joint, but the most common sites of dislocation are the shoulder, elbow, ankle, and hips. However, dislocations can also occur in the thumb, wrist, and fingers.

Treating Joint Dislocations

The first step in treating a joint dislocation is to stop the bleeding and minimize swelling and pain. This can be done through the application of ice to the affected area. In some cases, painkillers may be required. Once the bleeding and swelling have subsided, the joint will need to be put back into place, a process known as reduction. This is generally done through manipulation, although in some cases, a general anesthetic may be required. After the joint has been reduced, the joint needs to be immobilized by taping, splinting, or casting in order to allow it to heal properly.

Once the joint has healed, physical rehabilitation and exercise may be recommended in order to restore range of motion and increase the joint’s strength and endurance. Depending on the type of joint dislocation, the individual may require surgery to repair any damage that has occurred.