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Dislocated Joints

Major injuries cause displacement of the bones in joints resulting in dislocation of joints. The bone gets displaced from its normal position, and as a result of the dislocation, there is pain and the movement of the joint is severely restricted. The injury also damages the capsule that surrounds the joint and tears the ligaments. Shoulder and finger joints are often susceptible to dislocation.

A powerful force or a blow, acting against a joint is the common reason for dislocation. Common causes for dislocation include:

  • Contact sports such as rugby, cricket, tennis and heavy falls
  • Abnormally loose joints that may be inherited
  • Joint disorders like rheumatoid arthritis

Dislocation of a joint may show following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in affected areas
  • Swelling around the joint
  • Deformity of the joint
  • Bruising of skin around the joint

A dislocated joint or displaced bones may damage the nerves, tendons and blood vessels and that leads to less circulation of blood to tissues beyond the affected area. If you have a doubt that you have dislocated a joint, see your doctor immediately. Dislocation of joints can have serious repercussions like in the case of dislocation of vertebrae due to back injury, which can lead to damage to the spinal cord and consequent paralysis.

Diagnosis & Treatment
A dislocated joint is usually easy to diagnose from the symptoms and physical examination. In case you are in a dilemma, an X-ray would help you to diagnose better. Your doctor can manipulate the dislocated joints back into its position. You may relieve the pain or discomfort with the help of a pain-killer. In some cases, a sedative is advisable to relieve muscles spasm while the joint is being manipulated. In extreme cases, if the joint manipulation is not successful, you may have to undergo surgery to re-position the joint.

Avoid giving any jerks to the affected area after the treatment for at least three to six weeks. You may also need physiotherapy to get back to normal. There are chances that the joint may dislocate again. If the frequency of dislocation increases, you may have to undergo surgical treatment to stabilize them.

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