Dislocation refers to when a bone becomes displaced out of the normal position. This can cause obvious deformity, pain, and decreased mobility. Injuries to ligaments around joints can result in a dislocation.
Dislocated bones need to be medically evaluated to ensure there are no fractures before manipulating the bone back in place (known as reduction). Reduction is the realignment of dislocated or broken bones. After reduction, the bone or joint may be splinted or casted. The treatment goal is to preserve the function and stability of the bone and joint.
Splinting describes any method that allows the injured area room to swell while being immobilized. A splint allows room for swelling and prevents the loss of adequate circulation or nerve injury. Casting an injured area does not allow room for swelling, so the injury may be casted when the swelling has decreased. Buddy taping is fixing an injured finger to an adjacent finger to keep the injured area from moving.