Nursemaid's Elbow

Dislocation of the radius bone present in the elbow is called nursemaid's elbow. This condition is very common among children below 5 years of age as their bones and muscles are still in the developing stage. This condition usually occurs when a child is pulled up too hard by the arm but can also occur due to a fall or swinging your child from the arms.

What are the symptoms of nursemaid's elbow?

Some of the symptoms associated with nursemaid's elbow are:

  • Pain in the elbow
  • Your child may hold the elbow close to the abdominal area
  • Movement of your child's elbow is reduced

What are the treatment options?

Initial treatment includes applying ice to the injury and preventing movement of the affected arm. You should see a doctor right away to diagnose and treat the child. Nursemaid's elbow is diagnosed by a physical examination. Your doctor will examine if your child is able to move and bend the elbow.

Treatment involves fixing the dislocation by gently rotating your child's forearms in such a way that the palm faces upwards. Do not attempt this on your own as you could injure the child further. Make sure to seek medical treatment for proper care.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  • St. Luke's Roosevelt
  • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
  • NYU School of Medicine
  • North Shore LIJ
  • Pro Medical Newyork