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Understanding Dislocation -- the Basics

What Is a Dislocation?

Basically, "dislocation" means that the bones that form the joint have slipped out of their normal position in the joint. A joint can become dislocated if you injure yourself.

Dislocations can occur in any joint -- both the large joints (such as the shoulder, hip, knee, elbow and ankle) or in the smaller joints (like fingers and toes).

Understanding Dislocation

Find out more about dislocation:

Basics

Symptoms

Treatment

Sometimes, the bones of the joint will shift, but not become totally dislocated. This is called subluxation (slippage) and can be a chronic problem. While the bones will shift back into their original position, you may feel some pain until they do.

dislocationbasics

It is often difficult to tell whether the injury is a dislocated joint or a broken bone. A severe injury can result in both a dislocated joint and broken bone. All are considered emergency situations requiring immediate medical attention.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on March 03, 2015

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