Dislocations are joint injuries that force the ends of your bones out of position. The cause is often a fall or a blow, sometimes from playing a contact sport. You can dislocate your ankles, knees, shoulders, hips, elbows and jaw. You can also dislocate your finger and toe joints. Dislocated joints often are swollen, very painful and visibly out of place. You may not be able to move it.
A dislocated joint is an emergency. If you have one, seek medical attention. Treatment depends on which joint you dislocate and the severity of the injury. It might include manipulations to reposition your bones, medicine, a splint or sling, and rehabilitation. When properly repositioned, a joint will usually function and move normally again in a few weeks. Once you dislocate a shoulder or kneecap, you are more likely to dislocate it again. Wearing protective gear during sports may help prevent dislocations.
- Dislocation (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Treatments and Therapies
- Dislocation: First Aid (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Dislocations (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Adolescent patellar instability: current concepts review.
- Article: Minimally invasive periacetabular osteotomy using a modified Smith-Petersen approach: technique...
- Article: Dislocation following total hip arthroplasty using dual mobility acetabular components:...
- Dislocations -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Developmental Dislocation (Dysplasia) of the Hip (DDH) (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) - PDF
- Dislocations (Nemours Foundation)
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- Dislocated shoulder - aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Dislocation (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Kneecap dislocation (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Kneecap dislocation - aftercare (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Nursemaid's elbow (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish