Dislocation and subluxation

Spinal dislocation is when ligaments are over-stretched or ruptured (torn), which allows the spine to move out of line or vertebrae to ‘lock’ over each other. This can also cause a spinal cord injury. A dislocation is usually corrected during a procedure called ‘reduction’ which involves traction or surgery to realign the vertebrae. You may also need spinal fusion surgery to join the vertebrae so that they stay in the correct position.

A subluxation, or partial dislocation, happens when joints at the back of the vertebrae become weak, often following injury to muscles or ligaments in the spine, causing the bones to move abnormally. In some cases it can cause injury to the spinal cord and may require spinal fusion in order to stabilise it.

Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.