Information for Patients
Dislocations are joint injuries that force the ends of your bones out of position. The cause is often a fall or a blow, sometimes from playing a contact sport. You can dislocate your ankles, knees, shoulders, hips, elbows and jaw. You can also dislocate your finger and toe joints. Dislocated joints often are swollen, very painful and visibly out of place. You may not be able to move it.
A dislocated joint is an emergency. If you have one, seek medical attention. Treatment depends on which joint you dislocate and the severity of the injury. It might include manipulations to reposition your bones, medicine, a splint or sling, and rehabilitation. When properly repositioned, a joint will usually function and move normally again in a few weeks. Once you dislocate a shoulder or kneecap, you are more likely to dislocate it again. Wearing protective gear during sports may help prevent dislocations.
Jaw Injuries and Disorders
Your jaw is a set of bones that holds your teeth. It consists of two main parts. The upper part is the maxilla. It doesn't move. The moveable lower part is called the mandible. You move it when you talk or chew. The two halves of the mandible meet at your chin. The joint where the mandible meets your skull is the temporomandibular joint.
Jaw problems include
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Osteonecrosis, which happens when your bones lose their blood supply
Treatment of jaw problems depends on the cause.