What is nursemaid’s elbow in a child?

Nursemaid’s elbow is also known as a radial (RAY dee al) head subluxation (sub lux AY shun). It happens when a ligament in the elbow joint becomes pinched. A ligament is a band of tissue that connects bone (Picture 1). It is most often caused when the child is picked up by his or her hands.

Is nursemaid’s elbow an emergency?

The diagnosis of nursemaid’s elbow is made with a physical examination by your child’s doctor. It is important to call your child’s doctor immediately, or promptly take your child to the emergency department, if you suspect an injury.

How do I fix nursemaid elbow?

How is nursemaid elbow treated? Your child’s doctor will treat nursemaid elbow through a process called reduction. It involves gently moving the bone and ligament back into place. The doctor will fold the child’s arm upward from a straight position, turning the palm as the arm bends at the elbow.

How long does nursemaid elbow take to heal?

Occasionally, the doctor may recommend a sling for comfort for two or three days, particularly if several hours have passed before the injury is treated successfully. If the injury occurred several days earlier, a hard splint or cast may be used to protect the joint for one to two weeks.

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How does nursemaid elbow happen?

Nursemaid’s elbow is a common condition in young children, especially under age 5. The injury occurs when a child is pulled up too hard by their hand or wrist. It is often seen after someone lifts a child up by one arm. This might occur, for example when trying to lift the child over a curb or high step.

What does nursemaid’s elbow feel like?

Symptoms of Nursemaid’s Elbow

The main symptom of a pulled elbow is pain when the child moves the arm. In fact, nursemaid’s elbow can be quite painful. There is, though, no swelling, bruising, or other sign of a serious injury.

Why do they call it nursemaid’s elbow?

Elbow subluxation is also called pulled or slipped elbow and was called “nursemaid’s elbow” when a child’s nanny was inadvertently blamed for causing the injury. The injury occurs when a child’s outstretched arm is pulled suddenly. You may hear or feel a “pop” from the joint.

How do I know if my child’s elbow is dislocated?

Toddlers with nursemaid’s elbow might experience pain only when the affected elbow is moved. A child often avoids using the arm and holds it slightly flexed next to the body. Sometimes, the elbow is only partially dislocated. Partial dislocation can cause bruising and pain where the ligaments were stretched or torn.

How do you tell if a child’s arm is sprained?

What are the symptoms of sprains and strains in a child?

  1. Pain.
  2. Swelling.
  3. Warmth, bruising, or redness.
  4. Weakness.
  5. Trouble using or moving the injured area in a normal way.

How do I know if my child’s arm is dislocated?

But below are the most common symptoms a child will have in the dislocated area:

  1. Pain.
  2. Swelling.
  3. Bruising or redness.
  4. Numbness or weakness.
  5. Deformity.
  6. Trouble using or moving the joint in a normal way.
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Why does my child’s arm hurt?

Your child can hurt his or her arm by using it too much or by injuring it. Biking and wrestling are examples of activities that can lead to arm pain. Everyday wear and tear, especially as your child gets older, can cause arm pain.

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