Dislocation Reduction Instruction in Wilderness Medicine Courses
Reduction of a dislocation is not without controversy. A provider may cause further harm if they act hastily. However, leaving a joint dislocated for many hours will also cause damage. This decision should be influenced by your relationship with the patient, distance from definitive medical care, your comfort with the assessment and the procedure, local regulations, and your institutional protocols, if any. Anyone who informs you that at the introductory wilderness medicine level the assessment of dislocations is straightforward, that the treatment is without risk, or that the skill is easy to retain, is, in our opinion, completely misinformed.
Always have a dislocated joint evaluated by qualified medical personnel upon return to the frontcountry.