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Treating a Joint Dislocation

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For those who have not experienced a joint dislocation, let me be the first to tell you it doesn’t tickle. Not even a little bit. As I have said in my previous article on this topic, I have seen grown men who are professional athletes cry over this type of injury. It is not something to take lightly, assume you can pop your bone back in the socket and move on with your day. And as unrealistic as you may think that statement sounds, there are many people out there who try, try again, and don’t succeed, injuring themselves even more. So you heard it from me first, get to a doctor, pronto!

With all that said, let's cover the general course of treatment for a joint dislocation. For starters, a doctor will attempt to gently maneuver the bone back into position. Depending on the severity and position a local or general anesthetic may be necessary. Once you are put back into place, a gradual healing will begin. Taking advantage of a sling or brace – depending on which joint is dislocated – can really help support and immobilize the joint giving it the best chance to heal properly. Once the healing process begins and the pain has subsided, it may take a few weeks or months of rehabilitation to regain full movement and strength. It is important to be patient because dislocating the same joint twice can lead to complications and stricter measures of treatment, like surgery.

In a case where there is damage done to surrounding nerves and tissue, your route to recovery may not simply consist of popping it back in and rehab. Unfortunately when nerves and tissue are damaged, things get much more complex and surgery may be your only option for a chance to make a near to full recovery. In this particular case, your rate of recovery may be a little slower, but with proper attention, you should return to near or fully normal condition.

Although dislocating a joint is a much more common injury that you would probably believe, there are ways to potentially avoid this from occurring. Coming from the queen of klutzville, I urge you to watch your step, avoid icy sidewalks, take your time getting from point A to B and be aware of your surroundings.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.