A simple fall may result in superficial injuries, but it’s important to be aware of lasting joint problems. While you might get up and brush yourself off after tripping on the sidewalk or falling off your bike, be mindful of how you land and any pains you might experience. You may be at risk of a dislocated joint.
Joint dislocations are common in sports injuries, and can affect the shoulders, hands and knees. When the body experiences a traumatic force–a fall, a collision with another person or a solid object–the affected joint is pushed out of place. Joint dislocations may also occur if the body is in a weakened state and overcome by stress or strenuous activity at home or work.
Some patients, at first, might not suspect their joint is dislocated. It’s important to pay attention to the affected part of the body for symptoms that the injury you think is healing is actually getting worse:
- Pain and/or swelling in the joint area, making it difficult to move or flex
- Bruising, redness, and warmth in the joint area; this usually accompanies the pain
- Tingling or numbing sensation
- Change in appearance; the fingers, knee, or shoulder may look out of place
If left untreated, a dislocated joint can lead not only to severe pain but lasting damage that limits your mobility. The muscles in that area may also weaken and bring about spasms. If you have recently experienced an injury resulting in any of the above symptoms, connect with an orthopaedic specialist to determine if you have a dislocation. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may not need surgery. Your doctor can tell you what treatment is required.
Contact Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists.