How Do You Fix a Dislocated Joint

When a joint dislocates, the bone that usually fits into a joint pops out of that joint. Dislocations can happen when the joint is banged into, particularly when this is shocking or unexpected, and when the force that impacts the joint is disproportionate and off-balance. If you fall, for example, and land on your finger in the wrong way, the finger can dislocate.

Dislocations also happen during contact sports; when a person’s shoulder collides aggressively with another person, or when impact on the body smashes the hip out of place. Once a joint has dislocated, it is more prone to future dislocations. If you dislocate a joint, see your doctor promptly.

In the meantime, be sure to rest the injury, moving the area gently if at all and applying little to no pressure to the joint. Apply an ice pack to the joint every couple of hours, and when the inflammation and pain have subsided after a couple of days, you can use a heating pad to relax tight muscles. Over-the-counter pain medications can also help relieve pain.

When you see your doctor, they will examine your injury and may also take x-rays or MRIs to determine how the bone has been damaged and whether the soft tissues surrounding the joint have also been injured. Once a diagnosis is determined, your doctor will treat your dislocation. Sometimes, gentle manipulation can help a joint move back into place.

Your doctor can maneuver the bones and help reposition them. If your injury is more severe, your doctor may give you an anesthetic before manipulating the bone, which can help relax the muscles and increase flexibility while also blocking pain. Once the joint is back in its proper position, you may be provided with a splint or a sling to help keep your joint stationary for an extended period of time; the duration of immobility will depend on the level of damage to the tissues surrounding your injury and to the nerves and blood vessels that support them.

Once you are allowed to remove the sling or splint, you will begin a series of gentle exercises to rehabilitate the joint, focusing on increasing strength and range of motion. Otherwise, to heal properly, avoid overusing the joint, and wait until you are fully pain-free and cleared by your doctor before you try applying any force or pressure to it.

If your doctor can’t successfully move your bones back into the proper positions, or if the nearby tissues have been damaged extensively, you may need to have surgery to repair your dislocated joint and tend to the adjacent tissues. Doctors may also recommend surgery for many patients who have a chronically recurring dislocated joint, which happens most frequently in people’s shoulder joints, and surgery is often used to repair dislocated hips, especially in older people. It’s possible for anyone to dislocate a joint if they experience excessive trauma in one area, but older people face a higher risk of joint dislocation, and this risk increases as mobility and flexibility decrease and falls become more likely.

Is a Break or Dislocated Joint Worse