Pediatric Nursemaid’s Elbow

Pediatric Nursemaid’s Elbow



Nursemaid's elbow happens when a child’s elbow is partially dislocated at the radiocapitellar joint.

Expanded overview

Nursemaid's elbow, or radial head subluxation, occurs when a child’s elbow becomes pulled and partially dislocated at the radiocapitellar joint. The radiocapitellar joint in your elbow enables you to rotate your lower arm.

Nursemaid’s elbow can be common in young children (from birth to 6 years old) because their joints are still forming and may be loose.


Nursemaid’s elbow happens when someone pulls suddenly on a child's arm. It is important to know that swinging a child by their arms may cause Nursemaid’s elbow.


Symptoms of Nursemaid's elbow include:

  • Pain in the elbow
  • Refuses to move the arm
  • Unable to bend or move the arm without pain

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