Accidents happen. You trip on a raised slab of concrete and fall, pinch a hand on a closing door or latch, or maybe you’re slow to move when something heavy falls from a high shelf. The initial pain can overwhelm you, but think about what you do next. Do you treat cuts and scrapes or apply ice to bruising skin, then perhaps limp along until you feel better? Can you tell right away if you have dislocated a joint?
It is possible to have a dislocated joint without knowing it. Depending on your age or overall health, you may assume symptoms are mere signs of growing older. Some joint dislocations may even be diagnosed as different injuries and therefore not correctly treated. If left untreated, a dislocated joint – be it your shoulder, knee or even a finger or toe – increases the risk of immobility and stiffness in the affected area.
Watch for these signs. Some may be attributed to other issues, but you may want to consult your orthopaedic physician.
Pain: A joint is where two bones come together, connected by ligaments that allow for movement. The pain resulting from a dislocation will vary among people suffering this injury. If yours is deeper than you can normally stand, have it looked at to rule out dislocation or fracture.
Swelling & Bruising: If you have a chronic condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis, you may expect frequent swelling in the joint area. Swelling and bruised skin that doesn’t subside over time, however, may signal a deeper problem.
Numbness or Tingling: Maybe it’s like the “pins and needles” feeling you get after a body part has been immobile for a long time. It’s not a sensation you’d experience with healthy joints when you are active, though.
At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians and therapists not only treat dislocated joints but provide care to help you prevent further injuries. Contact us today to learn more about our treatments and programs for joint health, so you can improve your quality of life.