Nursemaid's Elbow

Also known as: pulled elbow, radial head subluxation

What is nursemaid's elbow?

Nursemaid's elbow is an injury that happens to young children. It occurs when a child’s elbow gets pulled, causing it to dislocate partially.


What causes nursemaid's elbow?

The injury is called nursemaid’s elbow because the injury frequently occurs due to a parent or other adult swing a child around by the arms. This might be while playing, or trying to quickly move a child out of harm’s way, among other possibilities.


What are the symptoms of nursemaid's elbow?

Pain and loss of motion in the injured arm are the common symptoms of nursemaid's elbow.


What are nursemaid's elbow care options?

A technique called reduction can be performed to treat nursemaid's elbow. This involves the doctor manually pressing the elbow joint back into position.

Reviewed by: Craig Spurdle, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:15:30 PM

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