A dislocation is displacement of one or more bones at a joint. The joints most frequently dislocated are those of the shoulders, elbow, thumb, fingers and lower jaw, the last named resulting sometimes from yawning or a blow on the chin.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Pain of a severe and nauseating character at or near the affected joint.
  2. The casualty cannot move the joint normally (Fixity of the joint).
  3. Deformity. The limb assumes an unnatural position and appears misshapen at the joint.
  4. Swelling of the joint may occur.
  5. It is usually difficult for a First Aider to distinguish between a dislocation and a fracture. Both mav occur at the same time. In certain people, particularly epileptics, recurrent dislocations are common. These are practically painless and frequently unrecognized. Careful enquiry into previous history will help in reaching a diagnosis in doubtful cases.

First Aid Treatment

  1. Do not attempt to reduce a dislocation. Obtain medical aid at once.
  2. If dislocation is in a limb:
    a.If accident occurs out of doors, steady and support the limb and secure it in the most comfortable position using padding in order to lessen the effects of jolting during transport to a hospital.
    b.If accident occurs indoors, place the casualty on a couch or a bed in the most comfortable position. Support the limb with pillows, cushions etc.
  3. If dislocation occurs in the lower jaw:
    a.Remove any dentures.
    b.Support the lower jaw by a bandage tied over the top of head.
  4. It is absolutely necessary that the patient should be immobilised properly.