Joint dislocation is a common medical emergency that requires immediate attention. In most cases, it is recommended that the joint is reset or "reduced" to minimize complications and improve healing. However, joint reduction should only be performed by trained healthcare professionals who are familiar with the techniques and precautions involved. This article aims to provide an overview of joint reduction and the correct methods and techniques used.

What is Joint Reduction?

Joint reduction is a medical procedure used to reset a dislocated joint to its normal position. Dislocation refers to the complete separation of the bones that make up a joint. This separation can occur as a result of injury, disease, or other conditions. Joint reduction manipulates the bones back into their normal position to prevent further damage and improve healing. It is important to note that joint reduction should always be performed by a trained medical professional.

Precautions Before Joint Reduction

Before joint reduction is performed, several precautions are taken to minimize further damage or complications. The patient's medical history is reviewed, and a physical examination is performed to ensure that joint reduction is appropriate. X-rays are taken to confirm the dislocation, identify any associated fractures, or other injuries, and determine the optimal reduction technique. In some cases, anesthesia or sedatives may be used to minimize pain and discomfort during the procedure.

Techniques for Joint Reduction

There are several different techniques used for joint reduction, depending on the location and severity of the dislocation. Some common techniques include:

Closed Reduction: This technique involves gently manipulating the bones back into their normal position without making an incision. The healthcare professional may apply traction, leverage, or pressure to the affected joint to move the bones back into place.

Open Reduction: This technique involves making an incision to directly visualize the affected joint and manipulate the bones back into place. Open reduction is usually used for more severe dislocations or if the closed reduction is unsuccessful.


Arthroscopic Reduction: This technique uses specialized instruments and a small camera to visualize and manipulate the dislocated joint. Arthroscopic reduction is usually used for more complex joints such as the shoulder or knee.

Recovery After Joint Reduction

After joint reduction, the affected joint is immobilized with a cast, sling, or brace to promote healing and prevent further injury. Pain medication may be prescribed to manage discomfort, and physical therapy is often recommended to restore range of motion and strength to the joint. Recovery time varies depending on the location and severity of the dislocation, as well as the patient's age and overall health.


Joint reduction is a critical procedure for treating joint dislocations. However, it should only be performed by trained healthcare professionals who have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the procedure safely and effectively. Proper precautions, such as a medical history review and physical examination, should be taken before any joint reduction procedure. With the correct method, technique, and precautions in place, patients can expect a successful recovery after joint reduction.