Treatments for Dislocations in Children

It's important that your child's dislocation gets immediate medical attention since fractures can also occur at the same time.

What is R.I.C.E.?

Initial treatment of a dislocation includes R.I.C.E. — rest, ice, compression and elevation. 

Sometimes, dislocations reduce spontaneously, meaning the bone ends may go back into place by themselves. However, for those dislocations that don't go back into place, your child's physician will need to place the joint back into its proper position so it will heal.

We'll do everything possible to make sure your child is comfortable during the procedure, including sedating your child, which will help the muscles around the dislocated joint relax so the joint can be put back into place more easily.

Post-injury healing for dislocations

  • A splint/cast can help immobilize the dislocated area to promote alignment and healing, while also protecting the injured area from motion
  • Medication may be used for pain control
  • Some kids may need traction, which is the application of force to stretch certain parts of the body in a specific direction. Traction helps stretch the muscles and tendons around the bone ends to reduce the dislocation
  • Your child's activities may be restricted while the dislocation heals
  • Crutches or a wheelchair can enable your child to move around during healing
  • Physical therapy can stretch and strengthen the injured muscles, ligaments and tendons

Learn more about our care tips for cast maintenance.