A dislocation is an injury to a joint when the bone is pushed out of position. This type of injury temporarily immobilizes the joint, causing sudden and often extreme pain. A dislocation can happen to any joint such as fingers, toes, shoulders, knees, hips, or elbows. Because of the possible damage that a dislocation can do to a joint, it is crucial that you seek medical attention right away if you suspect a joint dislocation. Contact our staff at AICA Orthopedics if you are dealing with a joint dislocation. We have a combination of doctors on staff who can accurately diagnose the issue and provide personalized and effective treatment.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a broken bone and joint dislocation, so it is advised that you seek help soon after the injury for correct diagnosis and treatment. Orthopedic specialists at AICA Orthopedics in Atlanta can return a joint to its normal place and help you heal properly after an injury. We want you to be able to return to your normal day-to-day and favorite activities rather than worsening the dislocation. Give us a call today to learn more or to begin the recovery process.
A dislocation is usually caused by a sudden impact, and most dislocations are caused by either a fall or a sports injury. Sports involving intense physical contact, such as hockey or football, have a higher number of dislocations than other sports. Any hard fall or blow to a joint can cause it to become dislocated. The impact from a motor vehicle accident may also cause a joint to pop out of place.
It is important to take dislocations seriously as they can have severe consequences if not treated properly and promptly. For example, dislocations may cause nerve damage, tearing of ligaments or muscles, or even lead to the development of arthritis.
Because of such potential for harm after a dislocation, it is necessary that you take the appropriate steps to seek treatment right away. AICA Orthopedics has a staff of specialists who can diagnose and treat your injury so you can begin the process toward a full recovery.
After most injuries, it’s pretty easy to visibly tell at a glance whether or not you have a dislocated joint. It may look deformed or may be at an odd angle compared to another similar joint on the body. Some dislocations may result in a “bulge” or “indention” near the socket of the joint. The incident that caused the injury can also cause severe pain and even reduce or remove your ability to move your shoulder, leg, arm, toes or fingers, and more.
Always call for medical help as soon as you witness an injury or discover a dislocation. Do your best to help keep the affected individual (or yourself) as still as possible.
When you experience a dislocation, you do not want to make an attempt to push the joint back into the socket. Although this may feel like the right move in the moment, trying to jam the joint back into the socket without the expertise of a doctor or specialist can make the situation worse. Ligaments within the body may have been damaged and can’t effectively hold the joint in place and you may also cause damage to blood vessels, nerves, other ligaments, and nearby muscles.
While waiting to see a doctor or medical specialist, keep as still as possible and limit movement of the joint and nearby limbs as much as possible. Carefully cover the affected joint with sterile dressings and then begin to immobilize the injury with a splint or sling in the same position it was found after the injury. You’ll want to make sure you still have decent blood circulation before and after the immobilization. Ice packs can help to reduce pain and swelling of the affected area.
Always seek medical attention for accidents and injuries, including dislocations.
The first step in treating your dislocated joint is to diagnose the injury correctly. This is done with X-Rays and an MRI to get an accurate picture of exactly where your injury is located and what has been affected by it. X-Rays and MRIs are diagnostic imaging tests that are commonly used to look inside the body to get an extremely detailed picture of the dislocation. MRIs, short for magnetic resonance imaging, create an image by utilizing magnetic fields and radio waves. X-Rays to the same, but with radiation.
With these images, a doctor or specialist from AICA can prescribe a personalized treatment plan for relief and recovery.
After diagnosing the dislocation, your orthopedic specialist may perform a procedure to put the joint back into its proper placement. Medications are often given to reduce the pain of this procedure, as it can be quite intense. After the joint is back in place, the doctor will immobilize your joint to prevent further injury and to allow the joint to fully heal. It takes time for the joint to heal, which is why it’s important to prevent it from moving to allow it to heal naturally in its original position prior to the injury.
Once your joint has healed, you can begin the rehabilitation process. A physical therapist at AICA Orthopedics will help you restore strength and range of motion in the joint. It can take several months to experience complete healing after a dislocation. After having your joint immobilized for so long, the muscles and joints can atrophy, requiring it to be routinely and precisely moved and flexed to regain strength and range of motion.
For more severe dislocations that may have caused other damage as well, surgery could be recommended. Orthopedic surgeons will go in and repair the joint, muscle, and tissue so that you can gain back range of motion and joint mobility throughout the healing process. Recovery time from an orthopedic surgery for a dislocation will vary on a case-by-case situation.
AICA Orthopedics in Atlanta wants to help you recover from a painful dislocation. Contact our offices to find out more about how we can give you back the use of your joint.