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Structure and Function

Most fractures and/or dislocations are the result of significant trauma to bones and joints. The bony structure may be disrupted by a variety of forces including a direct blow, axial loading, angular (bending) forces, torque (twisting) stress, or a combination of these. The urgency of treating dislocated joints (reduction and immobilization) with emergency splints is due to:

  • Potential for neurologic or circulatory compromise - the neuro-vascular bundle passing close to the affected joint is typically 'kinked' around the deformed joint.
  • The longer a joint has been dislocated, the more difficult it may be to reduce and the more likely it is to be unstable after reduction