If this is an emergency, please call 000 immediately.
What is a dislocation?
It can be difficult to tell whether an injury is a fracture, dislocation, sprain or strain. If in doubt, always treat as a fracture.
DO NOT try to force a broken or dislocated bone back into place.
A dislocation is where a bone has been displaced from its normal position at a joint.
This guide is regularly updated and aligns with the current edition of Australian First Aid (4th edition, 7/2011)
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain at or near the site of the injury
- Difficulty or inability to move the joint
- Abnormal mobility of the limb
- Loss of power
- Deformity (such as an abnormal lump or depression)
- Discolouration and bruising
What to do
Rest and support the limb using soft padding and bandages.
- For a shoulder injury, support the arm as comfortably as possible.
- For a wrist injury, support the wrist in a sling.
Apply a cold pack directly over the injured joint, if possible.
Seek medical aid.
Check circulation of the limb. If circulation is absent, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance. Massage the limb gently to try to restore circulation.