A 17 months old baby was seen at the emergicare Medical Center for not being able to move the left elbow. No history of fall but the arm seemed to pull out and the baby was crying. The parents took the child to another emergency clinic and had xrays of the elbow and wrist done. Doctor in that could not take care of the dislocation and parents brught the child to this urgent care clinic and was seen by Dr. Jain. Dr. Jain diagnosed the baby with nursemaids elbow or subluxation of the radius. Xray of the elbow was normal.
Dr. Jain reduced the subluxation of the head of the radius and baby stopped crying.
The reason for nursemaid’s elbow is a pull on hand:
Radial head subluxation most often occurs in young children because the socket of the elbow joint and the supporting ligaments are not fully developed
It happens when a young child is pulled or lifted by the hand or wrist while his or her arm is held straight. For example, the bone can pull out of position, or sublux, when you try to lift a child up onto a sidewalk by the hand, pull a resistant child’s hand to get him or her to move faster, or hold onto a child’s hands and swing him or her around while playing.
The injury occurs most commonly around two years of age but can occur anywhere from six months to three years of age. Ligaments are stronger after three years of age.
The common symptoms of the subluxation of the head of radius:
- Refusal to move the arm. Your child may keep the arm dangling down the side of his or her body. Sometimes the dangling arm turns slightly inward (pronates).
- Crying. Your child may cry from the pain and because he or she feels scared.
- Pain anywhere between the hand and shoulder.