Archive for September, 2007


September 10, 2007

Dislocated Shoulder:
The shoulder was forced past the normal range of motion.
The shoulder is locked in position and painful to motion.

Techniques of reduction:
Depends upon the position of the humerus.
If the humerus is abducted past 60 degrees then use the Mosher Technique.

Mosher Technique is a gentle passive technique using position and gravity.
1. Have them place the hand of the affected arm on top of their head.
2. Have them place their other hand on top of their head also and interlock their fingers.
3. Lay them flat on their back, and then allow the elbows slowly relax, under the tug of gravity, towards the ground. The dislocated shoulder will spontaneously reduce back into proper anatomical position over then next 5 – 15 minutes.

If the humerus is hanging down next to the body then use the Traction at the Elbow Technique.
Traction Sling at the Elbow:
1. Have them sit up in a chair or on a rock, whatever is comfortable.
2. Have someone else stand behind them and place their hands on the patient’s shoulders to support them sitting up straight.
3. With the affected arm beside the body and with the elbow flexed at 90 degrees, place a wide sling at elbow.
4. The sling needs to be in a loop to support your foot.
5. Place one foot in the loop and apply gently in-line traction to the upper arm. Do not move the arm, keep the forearm bent at 90 degrees and maintain gentle traction.
6. After about 5 minutes of gentle traction, without straightening the forearm, externally rotate the arm, if there is sufficient traction the shoulder will reduce and pop back into place.
7. If not then continue to maintain traction, if necessary slowly increase the traction-in-line.
8. After about 5 minutes again externally rotate the forearm to about 90 degrees or until the shoulder reduces.
9. Once the shoulder has reduced back into proper anatomical position, place in a sling and swathe and monitor circulation.
10. Transport, may walk if comfortable.

Fractured Humerus: 
May be angulated, if angulate straighten out with traction-in-line.
Apply a sling and swathe to support the humerus and forearm.

Fracture/Dislocation of the Elbow: 
Fractures and dislocations very painful.
Treatment is to support with sling & swathe.
May have to straighten if circulation impaired distal to injury.
Straighten with traction-in-line, initially maintain elbow at 90 degrees,
Once under traction, and the elbow has slid into proper anatomical position, you may slowly extend the forearm until circulation restored (pulse at wrist).

Fractured Radius/Ulna:
Fractures with deformity arm common (Colles’ and Smith’s deformities)
May need to straighten if circulation is impaired, but this is unusual.
Splint with wrist at 30degrees of extension, and the fingers at the MCP joints relaxed at about 60 degrees of flexion.

Fractured Wrist:
Most common carpal fracture is of the scaphoid,
Pain in the anatomical snuffbox can indicate a fracture scaphoid.
Splint with wrist at 30 degrees extension & fingers at 60 degrees of flexion.

Fracture/Dislocation of the Hands/Fingers:
Reduce dislocated fingers with TIL, may require ant/post pressure.
Buddy tape fractured fingers.
Splint fingers in position of function, flexed as if holding a soda can.

This blog is powered by the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter, now celebrating 20 years of publication. The WMN is published and distributed online six times each year by TMC Books, and subscriptions cost as little as $10 per year. To find out more, or to subscribe online, click here.