Nursemaid's Elbow

Nursemaid's Elbow is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Basics

Description

The most common elbow injury in children <5 yr old.

Etiology

  • Sudden traction of the distal radius leads to a portion of the annular ligament slipping over the radial head and becoming trapped between the radius and the capitellum. Traction can occur by swinging the child, wrestling, and lifting the child by the arms.
  • By the time the child is 5 yr, the annular ligament is thick and strong and resists tearing and/or displacement.

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