Dislocation: what it is, symptoms and treatment

Dislocation is an intra-articular lesion in which one of the bones is displaced, losing its natural fit. It can be associated with a fracture and is usually caused by severe trauma such as a fall, car accident or due to a looseness in the joint ligaments that can be caused by chronic diseases like arthritis or arthrosis, for example.

The first aid for dislocation is to give the individual an analgesic and take him to the hospital, so that he can receive appropriate treatment there. If it is not possible to take him, call an ambulance by calling 192 free of charge.

Although a dislocation can occur in any joint in the body, the most affected regions are ankles, fingers, knees, shoulders and wrists. As a result of the dislocation, there may be damage to the muscles, ligaments and tendons that must be treated later with physical therapy.

Signs and symptoms of dislocation

The signs and symptoms of a dislocation are:

  1. Local pain;
  2. Joint deformity;
  3. Bone prominence;
  4. There may be an exposed bone fracture;
  5. Local swelling;
  6. Inability to perform movements.

The doctor comes to the diagnosis of dislocation by observing the deformed area and through the X-ray examination, which shows bone changes, but MRI and tomography can be performed after reducing the dislocation to assess the damage caused to the muscles, ligaments and in the joint capsule.

See what to do when a dislocation happens.

How the treatment is done

The treatment of the dislocation is done with the use of analgesics to support the pain, which must be indicated by the doctor, and with the "reduction" of the dislocation, which consists of positioning the bone properly in its place. This should only be done by doctors, as it is a dangerous procedure, which requires clinical practice. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform surgery for the correct bone positioning, under epidural anesthesia, as in the case of hip dislocation.

After the dislocation is reduced, the person should remain with the affected joint immobilized for a few weeks to facilitate recovery from the injury and prevent recurrent dislocations. Then he must be referred to physiotherapy, where he must remain for some time until he can move the dislocated joint properly.

Physiotherapy is not always necessary because healthy people after 1 week of immobilization removal should already be able to recover range of motion and muscle strength, but in the elderly or when the person needs to be immobilized for more than 12 weeks it may be necessary to do physiotherapy. Understand how treatment is done for the main types of dislocations.