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Joint Dislocation: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2024

What is the Joint Dislocation?

Joint dislocation treatment is required when a person accidentally dislocates the joint of his/her bone. Joints of any part of the body can get dislocated including your hip, knee, shoulder and even the ankle. This problem is considered to be an emergency and should be treated immediately as untreated dislocation can cause some serious damage to your nerves, blood vessels and the ligaments as well. Dislocation usually takes place when a person experiences some form of unexpected and unbalanced impact on their body. A dislocation is caused by an accident like a fall or a very harsh hit from something. Chances are that if you have dislocated a joint once in life, it might happen again as well.

It may be difficult to diagnose whether you have dislocated your bone or broken one in the beginning. The affected area will be examined by your doctor in an emergency room where he will look for problems of deformity of some sort. If the doctors are assured that the patient has dislocated a bone, he will ask for an X-ray of the specific area. Imaging tests like MRI may also be required. The doctor can see exactly what the problem is with the help of these imaging tests.

How is the Joint Dislocation treatment done?

The type of treatment required for the dislocation of the joint depends on the joint which is dislocated. The severity of the dislocation is another factor which determines the type of treatment you will undergo. The initial treatment, according to the John Hopkins University, is R.I.C.E which is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The doctor may suggest you to wait for the joint to locate itself naturally. If the bone does not come back to its natural position then the doctor may use certain methods like manipulation or repositioning, rehabilitation, medication or immobilization.

In the treatment method of manipulation or repositioning, you will be given a sedative so that you remain calm and for the muscles around your joint to relax. Some medication may also be prescribed for after the bone goes back to its proper position only if the patient is still in pain. This helps the muscle to relax in case of lingering pain. Surgery may be required if the person has damaged his/her blood vessels or nerves. This method may be needed if a patient keeps dislocating the joint in the same area or when the doctor cannot put the bone back in its proper position. These steps are followed by rehabilitation which starts once your doctor has properly repositioned the bone. The rehabilitation plan helps the joints to regain strength and start functioning normally.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

People who immediately notice symptoms like swelling and bruising in the area which has been hit or impacted, can get themselves checked for the problem of dislocation. If the individual sees symptoms like loss of movement and pain with any sort of movement should immediately visit the doctor. Other symptoms may include a tingling feeling or numbness in the area.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Individuals who do not show any symptoms or have any pain in the joints are safe and therefore not eligible for the treatment of joint dislocation.


Are there any side effects?

Since a joint dislocation does not need any immediate treatment and the doctors wait for the bone to reposition itself, there is no side effect to this. However the pain killers which the doctor may prescribe once the bone is repositioned may have some side effects like nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Apart from them the other treatment methods like manipulation or rehabilitation do not have any side effects.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Once the treatment is complete, the patient needs to be very careful to not expose the area to any similar danger. The doctor may suggest you to not take up any strenuous task for a couple of weeks, may be even months. It is to be noted that the affected area may become weak and patients need to be very careful with their activities.

How long does it take to recover?

Every joint dislocation is different from the other and therefore the time required for the condition to heal also differs. Prompt treatment leads in positive results where the patient may recover in a matter of several weeks. The chances of the problem to worsen also diminish in such a case. However, for some joints in the hip region recovery may take as long as several month to years as well.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

An appointment from the doctor can vary depending on which doctor you are consulting. The price may start from anything as low as Rs 200 and can go up to Rs 1,000 or Rs 1,500 as well.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The chances of a person dislocating his/her joint which is repositioned is very high as the dislocated joint becomes weak and more prone to dislocate again. Therefore, a person who has been treated for dislocated joints may suffer from the same problem again.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

A person who has dislocated his/her joint should be immediately consult a doctor as it may lead to some serious damage of the blood vessels or other nerves and ligaments. However, the first step to treatment this problem is through the treatment of R.I.C.E or Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation treatment. You can also take pain relievers which help relax the muscle and reduce the pain.


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Written ByDr. Kailash Kothari MD - Anaesthesiology,MBBSOrthopaedics
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