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Nursemaid’s elbow

  • Alternative Names

    Radial head dislocation; Pulled elbow; Dislocated elbow - children; Elbow - nursemaid's; Elbow - pulled; Elbow subluxation; Dislocation - elbow - partial; Dislocation - radial head


    Symptoms

    When the injury occurs, the child usually begins crying right away and refuses to use the arm because of elbow pain.

    • The child may hold the arm slightly bent (flexed) at the elbow and pressed up against the belly (abdominal) area.
    • The child will move the shoulder, but not the elbow. Some children stop crying as the first pain goes away, but continue to refuse to move the elbow.

    Signs and tests

    The health care provider will examine the child.

    The child will be unable to rotate the arm at the elbow so that the palm is up and will have trouble bending (flexing) the elbow all the way.