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Have you heard of Nursemaid's Elbow?

Have you heard of Nursemaids Elbow

Also known as a pulled elbow. Common injury of early childhood, happened by sudden traction applied to the hand ,and may also be caused by a fall.

More common in girls between 1-4 years. The partial separation between the arm  and the elbow because of annular ligament becomes interposed between the radial head and the capitulum

The child immediately complain of pain and inability to bend the elbow or rotate the arm, the child refuses to use the affected limb.

Pain and tenderness (without swelling) localized to the lateral aspect of the elbow.

A click may be heard or felt by the person pulling the child's arm.


  • X ray of the elbow is normal and if there is a clear story about arm traction there is no need for radiological investigations.
  • Treatment is a simple manoeuvre done by the doctor that can bring bones back to their normal position.
  • Usually, immobilization in a sling or cast is unnecessary.

Prevention ideas

  • Avoid lifting the child from his arms, and instead of that lift the child gently from under the arms.
  • Recurrence is common especially in children younger than 4 years.



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