Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

Why do dislocated joints continue to hurt after they've been put back into place? Shouldn't they hurt less then?

Answer:

When you dislocate a joint, the bones are moved out of place, causing pain - often severe pain. Putting the joint back into place does usually relieve a significant part of the pain. But, while the intensity may be lower, pain that remains is usually due to the damage done around the joint. When the bone dislocates, ligaments may be stretched or torn and muscles go into spasm to try to protect the joint. If the dislocation was severe, the joint is likely not stable for a while afterwards and certain movements will cause pain and discomfort, until the joint becomes strong again. Samir R. Shah, MD, Randy Bindra, MD, and Justin W. Griffin, BS. Irreducible Dislocation of the Thumb Interphalangeal Joint With Digital Nerve Interposition: Case Report. In Journal of Hand Surgery. March 2010. Vol. 35. No. 3. Pp. 422-424.

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