Joint Dislocation - Toronto Malpractice Lawyer
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Joint Dislocation - Overview
A dislocation involves a separation of two or more bones where they meet at the joint space. The joint is the space where two or more bones come together. When a joint is no longer in its proper position, it is considered dislocated.
It can be hard to tell a dislocation from a fracture. Each can look the same and both are emergency conditions. They are treated essentially the same when it comes to first aid and the orthopedist must treat them the same, approximating the parts of the joint and bony fragments together.
Most dislocations can be treated in an emergency room. You will be given medication to render you sleepy and relieve pain so that the doctor can relocate the joint. In some cases a doctor needs to employ general anesthesia so the muscles are loose enough to allow for relocation into the proper position.
If not treated promptly, the damage could be permanent. The injuries to the surrounding tissues generally take at least 3-6 weeks to heal. Sometimes, surgery to repair a torn ligament is necessary. Injuries to nerves and blood vessels can cause more long-term or permanent disabilities. When a joint is dislocated, it is more likely to dislocate again with less force applied to it.
A dislocation is usually caused by a sudden force upon a joint. It can happen in a fall, a blow to the joint, or a trauma such as a motor vehicle accident. Major symptoms include pain accompanied by numbness or tingling around the joint or beyond the joint. The pain is generally intense and made worse by movement. Movement is limited and the joint is swollen or bruised. It is visibly out of place, misshapen or discolored.
The nursemaid’s elbow is a partial dislocation of the radius and femur that is common in toddlers. The main symptom is pain and refusal to use the arm. Nursemaid’s elbow can easily be treated in an emergency room, urgent care or doctor’s office by externally rotating the forearm while holding the upper arm still.
First aid is important. You need to call the emergency services immediately because the individual might have a worse injury. Check for airway, breathing and circulation so that the obvious problems are dealt with. Don’t move the person, including their dislocated joint until the paramedics decide. If the skin is broken, remove obvious pieces of dirt but don’t scrub or rub the open areas. If you have a sterile dressing, cover the broken skin with it. If you have a splint or sling, use it to immobilize the joint in the exact position you found it in. Check the person’s circulation around the dislocation. The skin should blanch briefly with pressure. Apply ice to ease swelling and pain. Lie the victim flat and elevate the feet about 12 inches, covering them with a blanket or coat, in order to prevent shock.
Don’t move the person until the dislocation has been completely immobilized. Don’t move a person at all with an injured hip or upper leg unless they are in danger where they are. Don’t try to straighten a bone that has become misshapen; don’t try to change its position. Don’t check a joint for function or lack thereof. Don’t let the victim have anything by mouth.
The doctor should evaluate the joint, including distal sensation and circulation. If there is lack of either, there is a more urgent condition going on. The victim should have a plain film x-ray, which should include an anterior and lateral view. The person should then be prepared for general anesthesia or at least IV sedation and pain control. Gentle traction should first be applied, increasing the traction until the joint is relocated. The joint should be placed in a sling, a cast or a splint so that the joint can heal in the anatomic position. If there is a suspicion of a torn ligament or tendon, it should be referred to orthopedics for repair.
Toronto Medical Malpractice Lawyers
The medical profession which includes doctors, nurses and hospital technicians usually provides a caring service with a high standard of excellence however there are occasions when things do go wrong. Our litigation service is completely free and our Toronto medical malpractice lawyers will deal with your case using a contingency fee arrangement which means that if you don’t succeed in receiving a financial settlement then your lawyer won't get paid.
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