Joint Dislocation

A joint dislocation, a major injury where the two (or more) bones that make up your joint are forced out of their normal positions), is almost always caused by a major trauma, like a car accident or a fall on an outstretched hand.  These injuries often cause damage to the ligaments, joint capsule, surrounding musculature, and sometimes the fracture of an involved bone.

A joint dislocation is almost always caused by a major trauma, like a car accident or a fall on an outstretched hand.  These injuries often cause damage to the ligaments, joint capsule, surrounding musculature, and sometimes the fracture of an involved bone.  Dislocations may also occur with minimal trauma in people with major joint instability due to previous dislocation or certain medical conditions.

– Previous dislocation. 

– Joint instability. 

– Muscle weakness. 

– Participation in high risk or contact sports/activities.

– Severe pain. 

– Inability to move/use affected joint. 

– Swelling. 

– Muscle spasm. 

– Muscle weakness. 

– Neurovascular symptoms.

At Home Diagnostic Tests

– None — see symptom checklist

 

At Home Care

– None – this is a medical emergency!

When to Seek Help

A joint dislocation that does not spontaneously reduce is a medical emergency – please report to the nearest emergency department for reduction of the dislocation and imaging to determine if there is further damage to the surrounding structures.  Physical therapy should begin as soon as possible after the reduction of the dislocation, as long as there are no associated fractures.

Inspired Athletx Treatment

Initial physical therapy for a joint dislocation will include manual therapy to address pain, spasm, and restricted range of motion, as well as gentle stabilizing exercises.  As you progress, your physical therapist will shift the focus to dynamic stabilization exercises, a full strengthening routine, and any inefficient movement patterns.  Early physical therapy can reduce the use of prescription pain medication and muscle relaxers, and will get you back in the game weeks ahead of standard care.