A subluxation may have different meanings, depending on the medical specialty involved. It implies the presence of an incomplete or partial dislocation (Latin: luxatio)[1] of a joint or organ.[2] The World Health Organization (WHO) defines both the medical subluxation and the chiropractic subluxation. It contrasts the two and states in a footnote that a medical subluxation is a "significant structural displacement, and therefore visible on static imaging studies."[3]



An orthopedic subluxation of any joint will usually need medical attention to help relocate or reduce the joint. Nursemaid's elbow is the subluxation of the head of the radius from the annular ligament. Other joints that are prone to subluxations are the shoulders, fingers, kneecaps, and hips affected by hip dysplasia. A spinal subluxation is relatively rare, but can sometimes impinge on spinal nerve roots, causing symptoms in the areas served by those roots. In the spine, such a displacement may be caused by a fracture, spondylolisthesis or severe osteoarthritis.


An ophthalmologic subluxation is called ectopia lentis, an ocular condition characterized by a displaced or malpositioned lens within the eye.[4] Subluxated lenses are frequently found in those who have had ocular trauma and those with certain systemic disorders, such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, and homocystinuria. Some subluxated lenses may require removal, as in the case of those that float freely or those that have opacified to form cataracts.


A dental subluxation is a traumatic injury in which the tooth has increased mobility but has not been displaced from the mandible or maxilla. This is a common condition and one of the commonest dental traumatic disorders.[5] Dental subluxation is a non-dental-urgency condition, i.e., unlikely to result in significant morbidity if not seen within 24 hours by a dentist,[6] and usually treated conservatively; good oral hygiene with 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash, a soft and cold diet, and avoidance of smoking for several days.[6] In painful situations, a temporary splinting of the injured teeth may relieve the pain.[7]


  1. ^ Definition: Luxation
  2. ^ Definition: Subluxation
  3. ^ WHO guidelines on basic training and safety in chiropractic, p. 4, including footnote defining the medical subluxation.
  4. ^ Ectopia Lentis
  5. ^ Zadik Y, Levin L (February 2009). "Oral and facial trauma among paratroopers in the Israel Defense Forces". Dent Traumatol 25 (1): 100–102. doi:10.1111/j.1600-9657.2008.00719.x. PMID 19208020. 
  6. ^ a b Zadik Y (December 2008). "Algorithm of first-aid management of dental trauma for medics and corpsmen". Dent Traumatol 24 (6): 698–701. doi:10.1111/j.1600-9657.2008.00649.x. PMID 19021668. 
  7. ^ Flores MT, Andersson L, Andreasen JO, et al. The International Association of Dental Traumatology (April 2007). "Guidelines for the management of traumatic dental injuries. I. Fractures and luxations of permanent teeth". Dent Traumatol 23 (2): 66–71. doi:10.1111/j.1600-9657.2007.00592.x. PMID 17367451. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Subluxation — bezeichnet eine unvollständige Ausrenkung eines Gelenkes, wobei der Gelenkkopf sich noch teilweise in der Gelenkpfanne befindet. Typische Fälle sind beispielsweise: Luxationshüfte Radiusköpfchen Subluxation (Subluxation des Speichenköpfchens beim …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Subluxation — Sub lux*a tion, n. [Pref. sub + luxation: cf. F. subluxation.] (Surg.) An incomplete or partial dislocation. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • subluxation — ● subluxation nom féminin Luxation incomplète, par déplacement partiel des deux extrémités osseuses d une articulation. subluxation [syblyksɑsjɔ̃] n. f. ÉTYM. 1855, Nysten; de sub , et luxation. ❖ ♦ Méd. Luxation partielle, incomplète …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Subluxation — (v. lat), unvollkommene Verrenkung, Verstauchung, Verdrehung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Subluxation — (lat.), eine Verrenkung, wobei die Gelenkflächen nicht gänzlich voneinander gewichen sind, sondern sich noch teilweise berühren …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Subluxation — (lat.), unvollständige Verrenkung der Gliedmaßen, Verstauchung …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Subluxation — Subluxation,   unvollständige Verrenkung.   * * * Sub|lu|xa|ti|on, die; , en [zu lat. sub = unter u. ↑Luxation] (Med.): nicht vollständige Luxation …   Universal-Lexikon

  • subluxation — 1680s, from L. subluxationem (nom. subluxatio) …   Etymology dictionary

  • subluxation — [sub΄lək sā′shən] n. a partial dislocation of a bone from a joint …   English World dictionary

  • Subluxation — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Subluxation », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) La subluxation de la hanche. La… …   Wikipédia en Français

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