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Treating a Dislocated Joint
The type of treatment you receive depends on which joint you dislocate and the severity of the injury. You may be required to be in a splint or sling and on medication. Sometimes rehab is required following the repositioning of a bone to help mend the injury.
Most damaged joints will begin moving like normal after a few weeks, if your bone is properly re-positioned. If you’ve dislocated your kneecap or shoulder, be sure to wear protective gear during physical activities to prevent another dislocation.
Risk Factors of a Dislocated Joint
There are many risk factors for a joint dislocation, such as:
- Susceptibility to falls: Most people use their arms to brace themselves for impact during a fall, increasing their chances of a dislocated hips, shoulder or hip.
- Physical Activity: Dislocations during contact sports such as basketball, football, wrestling, or other physical activities are common dislocations.
- Car Accidents: A dislocated hip, hip fracture or a hip strain are the most common dislocations during a motor vehicle accident due to the victims knee being slammed into the dashboard.
- Hereditary: Many people are born with ligaments that are more prone to injury.
Complications of a Joint Dislocation
Some complications of a joint dislocation are:
- Damage to blood vessels causing a lack of circulation, and sometimes the loss of a limb
- Nerve damage leading to lack of sensation and difficulty moving affected muscles
- Ligament, tendon and tearing of the muscle can lead to further injuries
- Arthritis in the affected joint as you age
Surgery may be required to repair any torn ligaments, tendons or muscles surrounding the joint.
Joint Dislocation Prevention
To prevent a dislocation of the joint:
- Avoid serious falls: Make sure your home is well-lit and always watch where you are walking on the sidewalk. Tripping over a crack or on a curb can lead to a serious fall, causing dislocation to one of your main joints. Make sure to have your eyes checked regularly to help prevent a dislocation from happening.
- Wear protection during physical activity: Wear proper protective gear during a contact sport.
- Improve joint support: If you’ve previously injured a joint, there’s a good chance you will again. Be sure to stretch before any physical activity and complete any strength and stability exercises recommended by your doctor or physical therapist.
Everyone is different and every dislocation will heal in its own way. Most recover from joint dislocation in weeks. Severe dislocations, such as hips, can take several months.
If you received medical treatment immediately after your dislocation, chances are that it won’t lead to permanent injury. However, it’s important to remember that the area will be weak and has an increased chance of dislocation, if another injury were to occur.
To learn more about joint dislocation, its symptoms and how its treated, contact us today.
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