Closed Injuries: Differences between Dislocation and Fracture


The commonest closed injuries are dislocation and fracture of the bones.

What is Dislocation?

Dislocation is the displacement of the continuous surface of bone composing a joint, according to Healthpally.

This type of injury refers to some forces (usually external) that cause the joint to go beyond its anatomic limit.

This may occur as a result of excessive force of or from a movement from the abnormal direction, Akin chaktty said

When there’s an incomplete displacement of the bone’s end, the injury is called an incomplete dislocation or subluxation.

Because ligament functions to prevent displacement or abnormal motion at the joint, all sprains result in some degree of subluxation.

A complete dislocation or subluxation occurs when there’s a complete separation of the bone’s end.

A dislocation will either remain displaced after injury or reduce spontaneously and move back into place.

All dislocations and suspected dislocation should be referred to a physician for radiograph and further evaluation.

How to treat dislocation?

Dislocation can be managed, depending on the joint involved but essentially, it’s the same as that of severe sprains.

Surgical intervention is sometimes required and the injured ligament must be supported and protected throughout the healing process.

Unprotected joint may heal with increased laxity in the ligament, making the joint more vulnerable to subsequent subluxation and/or total dislocation.

What is Fracture?

It is the disruption in the continuity of bone and can range in severity from a simple crack to the severe shattering of the bone into multiple fragments.

Fractures are unique injuries in that they heal with the same type of tissue that was injured and therefore regain their injured strength, chaktty reaffirmed

Bones can be fractured in several ways. A direct blow may cause a break at the point of impact such as a sudden kick in the lateral resulting in a fractured fibula.

An indirect blow may cause a fracture away from the point of impact such as a person landing on his/her hand and breaking parts of its upper extremities like the ulna during physical activities.

There are different types of fracture such as or ranging from greenstick fracture, simple fracture, complex fracture, greenstick simple fracture, compound fracture, multiple fracture, and comminuted fracture.


  • Tenderness at the point of injury
  • Severe Pain
  • It swells up a few minutes after the occurrence


Demobilise the part of the body and immediately make a referral to the medical doctor.

Differences between dislocation and fracture

Dislocation and fracture are both types of injuries that can affect bones, but they involve different mechanisms and have distinct characteristics. Here are the main differences between dislocation and fracture:

Definition and Mechanis

Dislocation: A dislocation occurs when the ends of a joint are forced out of their normal position, resulting in the complete separation of the joint surfaces.

This typically happens due to a sudden impact, extreme twisting, or a combination of forces that exceed the joint’s normal range of motion.

Fracture: A fracture, commonly known as a broken bone, is a partial or complete break in the continuity of a bone.

It can occur due to a direct blow, repetitive stress, or the application of excessive force on the bone, causing it to crack or break.


Dislocation: Dislocations most commonly occur at joints where two or more bones come together, such as the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, or finger joints, health pally.

Fracture: Fractures can occur in any bone in the body, including long bones (e.g., femur, tibia), flat bones (e.g., skull, ribs), or small bones (e.g., wrist bones, phalanges)


Dislocation: A dislocated joint often appears deformed or visibly out of place. The dislocated bone may protrude or become misaligned, resulting in an abnormal position of the affected joint.Fracture: A fractured bone may not always be visible externally, especially in the case of closed fractures. However, some fractures can cause visible deformity, such as a bent or crooked appearance of the affected limb or bone.


Dislocation: Dislocated joints are usually accompanied by severe pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. The affected joint may also feel unstable or incapable of normal movement.

Fracture: Fractures commonly cause localised pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the site of the break. Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, there may also be difficulty in moving the affected area or applying pressure. Safe Browsing Habits: The Benefits of Mobile Tracker Apps


Dislocation: The treatment for a dislocation involves manually or surgically realigning the joint to its normal position, a process called reduction.

After reduction, the joint is often immobilized with a splint, cast, or sling to allow healing and prevent re-dislocation.Fracture: The treatment for fractures depends on the type, location, and severity of the break.

It may involve realigning the bones (reduction) through manipulation or surgery, followed by immobilisation with a cast, brace, or external fixation

In some cases, surgical intervention with the placement of internal fixation devices like plates, screws, or rods may be required.


In summary, dislocation refers to the separation of joint surfaces, whereas fracture refers to a break in the continuity of a bone. Dislocations involve joint displacement, while fractures involve bone damage. Both injuries require medical attention for proper evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.



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