Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Radial Head Subluxation Overview

Another name for Radial Head Subluxation is Nursemaid's Elbow.

What is nursemaid's elbow?
A child with nursemaid's elbow has a bone in the elbow that is slightly out of place, usually due to a forceful pull on the arm. Nursemaid's elbow is most common in children 1 to 4 years old.

What are the symptoms of nursemaid's elbow?
Symptoms of nursemaid's elbow include elbow pain that is worse with movement. Usually, a child with nursemaid's elbow refuses to move the arm, and holds the arm against the chest with the elbow bent.

How does the doctor treat nursemaid's elbow?
The treatment for nursemaid's elbow involves gently moving the elbow joint through a series of positions, in order to realign the bones that are slightly out of place.

Continue to Radial Head Subluxation Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Radial Head Subluxation References
  1. Kaplan RE, Lillis KA. Recurrent nursemaid's elbow (annular ligament displacement) treatment via telephone. Pediatrics. 2002 Jul;110(1 Pt 1):171-4. [12093966]
  2. McDonald J, Whitelaw C, Goldsmith LJ. Radial head subluxation: comparing two methods of reduction. Acad Emerg Med. 1999 Jul;6(7):715-8. [10433531]
  3. Shabat S, Folman Y, Mann G, Kots Y, Fredman B, Banian M, Liberman N, Nyska M. The role of sonography in detecting radial head subluxation in a child. J Clin Ultrasound. 2005 May;33(4):187-9. [15856520]
  4. Skaggs DL, Mirzayan R. The posterior fat pad sign in association with occult fracture of the elbow in children. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1999 Oct;81(10):1429-33. [10535592]
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