Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

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 David Zelman, MD on March 08, 2014

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.