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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Dislocation

Dec 13, 2023
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If you don’t get medical attention for a dislocated joint, you could deal with high-impact complications like blood vessel damage or lasting mobility issues.

A dislocation can range from uncomfortable to excruciating. If yours is on the milder side pain-wise, you might be tempted to continue going about your business, especially if the joint relocates itself. 

Note that you should never try to relocate the joint manually or allow someone other than your doctor to try to do so — this often makes the injury worse. 

If your joint relocated itself, though, you might think the problem is solved. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, ignoring a dislocated joint opens you up to a wide range of complications. 

We can help. As specialists in orthopaedic trauma like dislocation, Karl Siebuhr, MD, and our team can guide your recovery from a dislocation and help you avoid potential complications. If you dislocated something, don’t wait to visit us at Reconstructive Orthopaedics of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida.

In this month’s blog, our team outlines four reasons why you shouldn’t ignore a dislocation.

#1: Soft tissue damage

When the ball of your joint dislocates from the socket, the ligaments that connect bone to bone get taxed. In fact, it’s fairly common for a dislocation to strain the ligaments — and they can even tear.

Your ligaments aren’t the only soft tissue at risk. Muscles and tendons around the affected joint can also get strained during a dislocation.

All of this hinders your recovery. When the soft tissue that should stabilize the joint and help it move get compromised, you lose the support your joint needs. This heightens your risk for a future dislocation. 

#2: Nerve damage

A dislocation can pull on key nerves around the joint. When you dislocate your shoulder, for example, it can cause a traumatic injury to your axillary nerve. In addition to pain, this can make your shoulder numb and harder to move. 

#3: Blood vessel damage

If you dislocate your hip, elbow, or knee, it can interfere with blood flow to the area. The dislocation stretches blood vessels in the area, limiting their ability to move blood. 

In some cases, the dislocation can create enough of a circulation problem to cause tissue in the area to die. Some people have even required amputations. 

You might not notice the signs of blood supply issues right away, so it’s important to seek medical attention after a dislocation even if everything seems fine. 

#4: Joint mobility issues

The dislocation can damage the cartilage that cushions your ball-and-socket joint. Left unchecked, that damage can scar, contributing to osteoarthritis and leaving you with a stiff, painful joint. Pursuing physical therapy can help you limit any mobility problems after your dislocation. 

Ultimately, if you don’t get care for your dislocated joint, it can leave you with a range of issues. To get medical attention to support your healing process, call our office or request your appointment online today.