What is a dislocated joint?
Dislocation is what happens when joints (where bones meet) shift from their normal position usually as a result of a fall or forceful impact. When we fall, we naturally reach with a hand, elbow or arm to cushion our fall. When playing contact or high-impact sports, the shoulders, fingers, knees and hips are all vulnerable to dislocation. The impact of a car accident can also cause our joints to dislocate.
Symptoms of a dislocated joint
Aside from feeling intense pain, you may also experience these signs of joint dislocation:
- Abnormal bone shape or protrusion
- Inability to move that part of your body
- Redness and swelling around the joint
- Tingling sensation or numbness near the joint
Unless you are a medical professional, it may be difficult to tell the difference between a dislocation and a break. Both situations require emergency care.
Dislocated joint treatment options
Joint dislocation may affect surrounding nerves and tissues, and you may have broken bones as well. Your doctor can determine the extent of your injury from an X-ray or MRI. Treatment may include gentle manipulation to get your bones back in place, and immobilization, such as with a splint, to make sure the bones stay put. Some dislocations also require surgery. Such treatments are often followed by rehabilitation therapy to help you to heal more quickly and ease your body back into moving comfortably and naturally.
Total hip replacement surgery is an operation that removes the arthritic ball of the upper thigh bone as well as the damaged cartilage from the hip socket. This hip replacement operation creates a new weight-bearing surface and a smoothly functioning joint to relieve pain and allow you to return to daily activities