Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Treatment of the dislocation depends on the site and severity of your injury and may include:
- Reduction. During this process, your doctor may try some gentle maneuvers to help your bones back into position. Depending on the amount of pain and swelling, you may need a local anesthetic or even a general anesthetic before manipulation of your bones.
- Immobilization. After your bones are back in their right positions, your doctor may immobilize your joint with a splint or sling for several weeks. How long you wear the splint or sling depends on the nature and location of your dislocation.
- Pain medication. After the reduction process, any severe pain should improve. But if pain continues, your doctor may also prescribe a pain reliever or a muscle relaxant.
- Surgery. You may need surgery if your blood vessels or nerves are damaged or if your doctor can't move your dislocated bones back into their correct positions. Surgery may also be necessary if you have had recurring dislocations, especially of your shoulder.
- Rehabilitation. After your splint or sling is removed, you'll begin a gradual rehabilitation program designed to restore your joint's range of motion and strength.
Some dislocations, such as the hip, may need several months to heal.
If you've had a fairly simple dislocation without major nerve or tissue damage, your joint likely will return to a near-normal or fully normal condition. But trying to return to your pre-injury state too soon from such an injury may cause you to re-injure the joint or to dislocate it again.
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