How to deal with a dislocated bone?

A dislocated bone or dislocation causes a painful situation for those who suffer it, but it also turns out to be worrying for the rest of people who can witness it. How to intervene correctly? Find out!

  • What is an EPI?
  • Everything you need to know about masks
  • Keys to act if you witness a cardiorespiratory arrest

A dislocated bone or dislocation is defined as a distension of the ligaments and articular capsule (one of the ends of the bone), which causes the bone or joint to come out of its original place.

Having dislocations in certain joints depends largely on several factors, such as the physical condition, stability, elasticity and strength of the muscles and tendons that are in charge of their movement.

Any joint can be dislocated, and it can be complete or incomplete. If the bone is completely discharged and the natural joint disappears, we speak of complete dislocation. On the other hand, if it is separated or misplaced without reaching its total exit, it is an incomplete dislocation.

As a data, the most common dislocations are those suffered in the fingers, shoulders and hips. What else should you know about it? We tell you what their causes are and how you should act in the face of this type of injury.

What can cause a dislocation or dislocation?

The bones are perfectly positioned and connected, forming joints thanks to the support of numerous structures, mainly ligaments and muscles. Unfortunately, if a bone becomes dislodged from the joint and does not return to its normal position, a dislocation or dislocation occurs .

When the joint structures come out, this part of the body is immobilized and temporarily deformed, causing unpleasant pain. Dislocations are often caused by sudden (unexpected) impacts on the joint.

They are generally produced by:

  • Direct blows.
  • Joint twists in the wrong direction (such as twisting the ankle, for example).

A sudden movement, a fall or direct blows can cause dislocation of the bone.

Risk factor’s

In addition, there are risk factors that further increase the probability of suffering dislocations, such as the following:

  • Children. As the cartilage that is part of the joint has not yet matured and presents greater flexibility.
  • Advanced age. By increasing the fragility of the bones. Although usually the cause would be bone fractures.
  • Hereditary factor. Some people are born with greater flexibility.
  • Propensity for falls or accidents.
  • Playing sports, especially if they are risky.

You may be interested:  Carpal tunnel syndrome: causes and treatment

What symptoms does a dislocated or dislocated bone cause?

Mainly, the exit of the articular structures can cause clamping of neighboring structures, such as the nerves, blood vessels, ligaments or neighboring muscles. All this makes the symptoms very similar in all cases of dislocation, such as:

  • Feeling of intense pain.
  • Joint immobility (limitation of movement).
  • Presence of bruising (if a surrounding blood vessel breaks).
  • Visible presence of bone out of place.
  • Different color.
  • Limb deformity.

Signs of greater urgency:

  • Bone protruding through the skin.
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Affected area below the lesion with a pale, cold or purple presence.

What should be done in front of a dislocated bone?

The bones can return to their initial position spontaneously, but it is not always frequent. To return to its initial situation, the repositioning technique must be perfectly known . In this way, it will be necessary to visit an emergency service as soon as possible so that health professionals are in charge of it.

Fortunately, the treatment, in most cases, can be carried out on an outpatient basis at the health center, without the need to go to the hospital. But it is important to know what to do until you get to these services. It must be considered:

  • Obtain medical assistance immediately bycalling 112.
  • Immobilize the joint. Until assistance is given, the affected joint should be fixed and not try to move the dislocated joint or force it back into place. These movements could damage the joint and the structures around it. The use of a sling could be useful, if there is a possibility of getting one.
  • Put ice, not directly. This can help reduce swelling, reduce pain, decrease bruising and fluid buildup in the injured joint.
  • Prevent shock. Stand horizontally, lifting your feet about 30 centimeters.

Immobilizing is a useful measure for an injury such as dislocation. However, it is essential to seek medical attention.

What should not be done before a dislocated bone?

As important as seeing what should be done when a bone dislocation occurs, it is also necessary to know the contraindications that exist, prior to emergency medical assistance, such as:

  • Do not move until the injury is completely immobilized.
  • If the hip injury is, do not move (not even try to get up).
  • Never try to straighten a bone or a joint by force.
  • Do not check if the joint has lost function, wait for medical assistance.
  • Without prior medical assistance, do not take any medication.

You might like: All about hip dislocation


In the case of uncomplicated dislocations, the necessary treatment would be repositioning of the joint using a traction maneuver. To everyone’s surprise, after this maneuver, if there is no damage to neighboring structures, the pain disappears instantly .

On the contrary, in case of complicated dislocations, it would be necessary to carry out surgery for the reconstruction of the joint and other structures that may have been damaged.


Leave a Comment