An elbow dislocation occurs when the bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) move out of place compared with the bone of the upper arm .The elbow joint, formed where these 3 bones meet, becomes dislocated, or out of joint. Dislocations are often caused by sudden trauma on the joint like an impact or fall. A joint dislocation can cause damage to the surrounding ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. The most common joint dislocation is a shoulder dislocation.
Symptoms: The following symptoms are common with any type of dislocation: Intense pain,joint instability,deformity of joint area,reduced muscle strength,redness of joint area and stiffness.
Diagnosis: The doctor will examine the arm. He will check for tenderness, swelling, and deformity. He will evaluate the skin and circulation to the arm. Pulses at the wrist will be checked. If the artery is injured at the time of dislocation, the hand will be cool to touch and may have a white or purple hue. This is caused by the lack of warm blood reaching the hand.
Treament: X-rays are usually taken to confirm a diagnosis and detect any fractures which may also have occurred at the time of dislocation. A dislocation is easily seen on an X-ray. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the joint is usually manipulated back into position. This can be a very painful process, therefore this is typically done either in the emergency department under sedation or in an operating room under a general anaesthetic. Shoulder injuries can also be surgically stabilized, depending on the severity, using arthroscopic surgery. Some joints are more at risk of becoming dislocated again after an initial injury. This is due to the weakening of the muscles and ligaments which hold the joint in place. The shoulder is a prime example of this. Any shoulder dislocation should be followed up with thorough physiotherapy.
Epidemology: The most commonly dislocated is the shoulder joint. The most common type of shoulder dislocation is anterior dislocation, which occurs 95% of the time. The next most common shoulder dislocation is posterior dislocation, which only occurs 3% of the time. Other common areas for dislocations are: Dislocated shoulder,knee,elbow,wrist,finger,hip and foot.