Immediately: Don't try to move a dislocated joint or force it back into place. This can damage the joint and its surrounding muscles, ligaments, nerves or blood vessels. Splint the joint in the position you find it. If it moves easily and without pain, a dislocated shoulder/arm can be splinted in the most comfortable position with a pillow or a sling. Put ice on the injured joint to help reduce swelling by controlling internal bleeding and the buildup of fluids in and around the injured joint.
Call 911 / Go to the ED: A dislocation needs to be treated promptly at the ED.
A dislocation is a traumatic injury in which a bone is pulled or forced out of a joint. The cause is usually a fall, an auto accident, or a collision during contact or high-speed sports. Dislocation is most common in the shoulders and fingers. Other sites for dislocations include the elbows, knees and hips.
Do NOT move the person unless the injury has been completely immobilized.
Do NOT move a person with an injured hip, pelvis, or upper leg unless it is absolutely necessary. If you are the only rescuer and the person must be moved, drag them by their clothing.
Do NOT attempt to straighten a misshapen bone or joint or try to change its position.
Do NOT test a misshapen bone or joint for loss of function.