Dislocation Definition

Dislocation Definition: The definition of a dislocation is a sudden trauma or movement of a limb beyond its healthy range of motion, which results in the joint popping out of the joint capsule to become misaligned. Two of the possible causes of joint pain or back pain include partial and complete dislocations of bones from the joint capsules they are designed to occupy.

Every joint is held firmly in position by the articular capsule. The articular capsule is primarily composed of ligaments. In most cases, the articular capsule allows that bone and joint to maintain a full range of motion, without the structural integrity of its capsule being threatened. In the event of sudden falls, impacts, and accidents (trauma), enough pressure may be placed upon the limb to pop the joint out of the joint capsule. This misalignment may become very painful, and the pain and discomfort may continue until the limb is pushed or eased back into the joint capsule.

The first step in treating a dislocation is to "reduce" the joint back into its normal position. This reduction of the joint is typically performed by en orthopedic or emergency room doctor, after X-Rays have been taken of the affected joint/limb. Once the doctor is able to diagnose the injury as a joint location, he/she will manually pull the limb away from the joint and then angle the misaligned bone back into the correct position. The process may be extremely painful, though the patient may experience immediate relief once the dislocated limb or bone has been shifted back into the correct position.

The long-term effects of joint locations may depend on how much strain has occurred in the ligaments of the articular capsule as the limb/bone was jolted out of position. The long term effects of the dislocation may be affected by the severity of the injury and the age of the patient. The ligaments of the body are soft strands of soft tissue that connect bones to other bones. The ligaments are somewhat flexible structures, as their composition includes visoelastic fibers that give them somewhat of an ability to stretch when put under pressure. The elastic properties of articular capsule ligaments are more prevalent when we are younger, and the ligaments throughout the body begin to lose their elasticity as we get older. When we are younger, our ligaments are more flexible, which means that the ligaments are more likely to stretch without tearing or being seriously dislocated. Older individuals, due to the fact that their ligaments are less flexible, will be more likely to sprain or tear a ligament or two when sustaining the same type of accident or trauma. Sudden accidents or extreme movements of the limbs that cause dislocations make it more likely that the same joint will become dislocated again, especially when the dislocation involves the tearing of ligaments in the articular capsule.

There are a couple of things that you can do to lower the chances that you will sustain a joint dislocation. Maintaining ligament and tendon flexibility is very important both in limiting the injury or preventing it altogether. The most common sites of joint dislocations include those of the shoulder, knee, and hip joints. Joint dislocations may also occur in the elbow, ankle, toes, thumbs, and fingers.

Symptoms: In the event of the most obvious joint dislocations, the joint will look clearly deformed and out of place. In such injuries as these, the patient will likely experience intense pain and the affected structure may be immovable. The area may be visibly discolored or swollen.

Treatment: If you think that you have sustained a joint dislocation or are suffering from related symptoms, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.