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Nursemaid's Elbow

more about Nursemaid's Elbow


  • Nursemaid's elbow is a dislocated elbow in a toddler.  It is usually caused by pulling on the extended arm of a child by a parent or playmate, such as when a child is lifted by one arm over a step, or the street curb, or when a child falls while holding an adult's hand.

  • Refusal to use the affected arm
  • Movement of the elbow causes pain.
  • Children will often hold the affected arm bent in front of them, sometimes supporting it with the other hand.

  • A history of pulling on the arm by a caregiver or playmat
  • Physical examination and history are usually all that are needed to diagnose nursemaid's elbow.
  • X-rays are sometimes obtained to make sure that a Fracture is not present.

  • Flexion (bending) of the elbow in a certain fashion by a doctor will usually reduce the dislocation.
  • After reduction, children will usually cry, then immediately look more comfortable; after several minutes of observation, most will again begin to use the affected arm.
  • Some doctors may place a child's arm in a protective sling for 1 or 2 days, although this is not always necessary.

  • If the arm is again pulled, the dislocation can reoccur.
  • Repeated dislocations can make future ones even more likely.

  • Young children should be lifted by both arms, or with support around their waists and chests.
  • Older playmates should be warned not to pull excessively on the extended arms of younger children.




more about Nursemaid's Elbow


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