Today I feel the need to talk about something very personal to me. Many times I will read a story when the main character gets into a fight or an accident, and one of the injuries they receive coming out of said fight will be a dislocated shoulder. The main character will usually blow it off and easily pop it back in.
Dislocations do NOT work like that. For people like me who do know, I immediately hit the exit button when I see something like this.
I have a condition in my knees called patella alta where my kneecaps, or patella, are too high on my knee and thus can slide out of place and dislocate fairly easy. I have dislocated my knees a grand total of times over 3 years, twice on the left an three times on the right (I've also dislocated my left shoulder once, though that was very quick). For the past nine months I have been wearing knee braces to prevent dislocations in preparation for an upcoming surgery.
I consider myself experienced enough on the subject to write about it. Although my experience is mainly in knee injuries, I hope I can clear a few misconceptions about this type of drastic injury.
1. How the injury occurs
A dislocation in general will occur when the joint is twisted in a way it shouldn't. One time I dislocated my right knee by playing volleyball. I stepped back with my right knee, which twisted as I fell, causing a dislocation. Another time I dislocated my knee simply by sitting down the wrong way. Something such as ramming into a person will not cause a dislocation. Taking their arm and twisting it might.
2. Scientific stuff of the injury
Knee joints usually dislocate laterally, meaning in the outside direction of the knee. The right kneecap will pop out to the right side of the knee, and vice versa. Inside dislocations do happen, though they don't often stay there for very long and quickly pop back in. Most of my lateral dislocations had to be relocated by a doctor, though this is a bit unusual. My mom had the same condition, but her knees popped back in themselves after a few seconds. If the patella remains outside the kneecap, frequent muscle spasms will occur that attempt to get the joint in its correct position
3. It hurts. A LOT.
I cannot stress this enough. Dislocating my knees is the worse pain I have ever felt and hope to feel. I could not move anything below my hips as it caused pain. When I popped my shoulder, if only for a second, the same pain went all through my arm and torso. Look up dislocated injuries- they're not pretty.
Please take this to heart if you ever write about dislocations. I wrote this to help, so I'm sorry if I scared you. Good news- if it hasn't happened to you before you read this article, it will probably never happen. Consider yourself lucky.
Thanks for this insight and scaring the shit out. I don't think i want to put my characters through that. I got light headed just from reading that. Thanks again.
~Kaida-nee Alberona11/11/2015 #2
Polymer Girl: i know waht a disslocated knee feels like it hurts like hell it happend to my right nee two months ago it was bad11/12/2015 #3
I disagree with one point you made: that dislocations do not simply happen by collision. I once dislocated my elbow by hitting my lower arm against the ground at a right angle to the rest of my arm. As I'd fell from about a metre off the ground, my lower arm took pretty much all my bodyweight plus the impact, which was enough to knock it out of place.1/10/2016 #4
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