Use of Ultrasound for Joint Dislocation Reduction in an Austere Wilderness Setting: A Case Report

Prehosp Emerg Care. Jul-Aug 2019;23(4):584-589. doi: 10.1080/10903127.2018.1532474. Epub 2018 Nov 7.


Point-of-care ultrasound has been shown to have a demonstrable impact in the austere/out-of-hospital environment. As ultrasounds become more affordable and portable, a myriad of uses in austere environments are becoming recognized. We present a case of a stranded hiker with an ultrasound-confirmed glenohumeral joint dislocation who underwent ultrasound-guided intra-articular lidocaine injection and ultrasound-confirmed reduction. This procedure allowed the patient to hike out under his own power, avoiding the potential dangers of extrication to both patient and rescuers. We believe this case demonstrates the feasibility and utility of ultrasound in the out-of-hospital environment both procedurally and diagnostically.

Keywords: austere; sonography; ultrasound; wilderness; wilderness EMS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Joint Dislocations / therapy*
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic*
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Ultrasonography*
  • Wilderness
  • Young Adult