Nursemaid’s elbow is dislocation of one of the forearm bones (radius) dislocating from the area where it joints with the other forearm bone (ulna) at the elbow. The most frequent reason is the babysitter pulling the child from the hand or wrist to lift from the floor or to prevent falling. That’s where it gets its name from.
It’s most frequently seen between ages of 2 and 5. At the time of the incident the child cannot move her elbow and holds it folded and suffers severe pain. When we are consulted in this case we diagnose with examination and history of the incident. It generally does not require x-ray. The joint is returned to normal with a simple reduction manoeuvre and with the wearing off of pain the child can actively move her ankle in 5 to 10 minutes. No splint, bandage or sling is required.
The incident has recurrence risk due to similar reasons. Therefore parents shall hold the child not from the wrist but from under the armpits for lifting or such moves. It will be replaced easily again in case it repeats. Since the joint is fully developed the possibility of recurrence is low after ages 5 and 6.
Contents of the page are for information purposes only, you must consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.