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a pathological condition of a joint that arises with a minimum mechanical action on the joint and sometimes none at all, as during sleep, when the muscles are relaxed. The disease is most often observed in the shoulder joint.
The usual cause of habitual dislocation is a traumatic dislocation, in which there is always damage to the joint capsule and its ligaments. When there is insufficient immobilization after the first dislocation, the joint capsule and ligaments become stretched and lose their ability to stabilize the joint, thus creating the preconditions for the development of habitual disclocation. With succeeding dislocations, the muscles of the extremity atrophy as well. Persons afflicted with the disease are sometimes able to evoke and correct the dislocation voluntarily; this is termed voluntary habitual dislocation. Habitual dislocation of the kneecap occurs with congenital anomalies of the thigh muscles.
When habitual dislocation occurs, it is necessary to take X rays, to set the bone immediately, and to immobilize the patient. In persistent cases, the disease is treated surgically. Prevention is achieved by complete immobilization in the case of traumatic dislocation for a minimum of three weeks.