movement. A sharp pain is felt at the time of the injury, accompanied by a sensation
that there is no support in the injured joint. Rapid swelling and a decrease or loss of
function in the joint will occur.
b. Nursing management for a sprain includes immobilization with a splint. If a
splint is not available, adhesive tape or elastic bandages may be used. The joint should
be rested and elevated whenever possible and cold compresses applied. The initial
application of cold, and later application of heat, is done in the same manner as for a
a. A strain is the result of overstretching or overexertion of muscles or tendons
so that some part of the musculature is stretched. A strain is usually due to a sudden
body movement or to overexertion. Upon injury, pain or cramping will be felt. Other
symptoms include swelling, heat, redness, and loss or function in the area of injury.
b. Nursing management includes placing the patient in a position of comfort to
lessen the tension and reduce pressure. Immobilization of the affected area will reduce
the pain and application of heat will usually provide relief as well.
a. A dislocation is the displacement of the normal association of the surface of
the bones that make up the joint. Dislocations can be defined further as being partial or
complete. A partial dislocation is one in which the surfaces of the joint are not
completely separated. A complete dislocation is one in which the surfaces of the joint
are fully separated.
b. A dislocation may occur in any bone joint. It may be traumatic, that is, caused
by an injury or violence, or the injury may be caused by abnormal twisting or stretching.
In addition, a dislocation may accompany a fracture. Symptoms include pain and
deformity at the joint, loss of movement, swelling and discoloration around the joint, and
even shock in severe cases.
c. Treatment of dislocation involves reduction and immobilization of the affected
joint. Administration of analgesics for pain relief will be necessary. After reduction by
the physician, an immobilization device is normally applied in order to prevent further
d. Nursing management involves observation for complications and
administration of ordered medications. If the dislocation has involved a major joint, the
patient will require the same care and assistance given to any other immobilized patient.