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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. When a dislocation occurs, you can't move the joint. You can dislocate your ankles, knees, shoulders, hips and elbows. You can also dislocate your finger and toe joints. Dislocated joints often are swollen, very painful and visibly out of place.

If you dislocate a joint, 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.

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