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Difference Between Dislocation and Partial Dislocation

Dislocation vs Partial Dislocation

Dislocation is defined as the separation of the human body’s two bones from a joint or the area where these bones come together.  The dislocated bones are usually no longer in a normal position or location in that particular field of the body.  In time, if treated incorrectly, it can lead to ligament or nerve damage, which will hinder the patients’ body movements.  On the other side, partial dislocation is referred to at times as subluxation. This is the result of an incomplete separation of the bones that come together at the joints.  Dislocation is more common to be found on arms and legs while the partial dislocation is more common on the shoulders, fingers and kneecaps.  As long as there are connected joints, these are more prone to partial dislocation.

The causes of total dislocation are usually caused by sudden impacts such as those caused by blows, falls and other forceful traumas to the body.  The partial dislocation is more caused by those instances when the victim puts too much pressure on the movement or by simply doing incorrect movements that cause the body’s joints to disconnect.  When it comes to the appearance of the area affected, the dislocation would show this visible out-of-place or often misshapen portion of the human body.  At times, it appears to be so grotesque and totally incorrect.  For those portions of the body that suffer from subluxation, the outer layer appears to be quite normal and easy to look at.  In fact, on the outside the person would look so as if nothing is wrong but in the inside, he is feeling the pain of the condition.

A good example to determine the difference between the dislocated and partial dislocated portion is the shoulder.  When a person feels that his shoulder sort of popped out or simply loose inside, it is only partial dislocation.  On the other hand, when the shoulder looks so out of place, and it seems as if the bone totally came out of the joint, then most probably it is suffering from a total dislocation.  The other main difference between dislocation and partial dislocation is the treatment.  Most of the time, the partial dislocation can be treated by chiropractors.  These therapists would usually only move the joints back into place with the right amount of corrective force.  When total dislocation occurs, it might require extensive repairs like surgeries, especially if there are conditions that indicate breakage of bones.

Additionally, subluxation or partial dislocation is simply an incorrect positioning of the bones to the joints that results to abnormal nerve pressures, which in turn results to pain.  Dislocation is simply the total disconnection of the bone from the joint.  Proper diagnosis should be conducted to determine fully the extent of the damage and to have the right treatment for the affected area.


1.Partial dislocation is also called subluxation which is an incomplete separation of the bone from the joint while dislocation is the total separation of the bone from the joint.
2.Partial dislocation only needs the treatment of a doctor or a chiropractor to correct it while dislocation may need further treatments like surgeries or therapy to correct it.
3.Partial dislocation is simply the incorrect position of the bones in the joints while dislocation is the disconnection of the joint and the bones.

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