A joint is where two bones join or connect. A
dislocated joint happens when bones are partly or completely pulled
out of their normal position. Joints can dislocate when a strong
force wrenches the bone into an unnatural position, or because the
muscle violently contracts.
The most common joints that dislocate are the
shoulder, knee, jaw, or joints in the thumbs or fingers.
Dislocating a joint can be really painful and
cause other damage, like a break in the end of the surrounding bone
or tearing of the ligaments around the joint. Sometimes it’s
difficult to tell whether the injury is a dislocation or a
fractured bone. If you’re not sure, then always treat it as broken
Don’t try to put the dislocated bone back into
its socket as you could make it worse.
What to look for - Dislocated joints
The four signs of a dislocated joint are:
- 1. Strong, sickening pain
- 2. Not being able to move the joint
- 3. Swelling and bruising around the joint
- 4. Shortening, bending or deformity of the
What you need to do - Dislocated joints
• Advise them to stay still and help them to
support their dislocated joint in the most comfortable
• Stop the joint from moving using a
bandage. For an arm injury, make a sling to support the arm. For a leg injury, use
padding or broad-fold bandages.
• To give extra support for an injured arm,
tie it in place by bandaging around the sling and the chest.
• Once you’ve stopped the joint from moving,
take or send the injured person to hospital.
• Keep checking their breathing, pulse and
level of response. Check the circulation beyond the bandages every
ten minutes and loosen if necessary.