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Nursemaid's Elbow in Children

  • Overview

    Nursemaid's elbow occurs when the radius (one of the bones in the forearm) slips out of place from where it normally attaches to the elbow joint. It is a common condition in children younger than 4 years of age. It is also called dislocated elbow, pulled elbow, slipped elbow, or toddler elbow. The medical term for nursemaid's elbow is radial head subluxation.

    • Nursemaid's elbow is a temporary condition with no permanent damage.
    • Usually seen in children aged 1-4 years, but has been seen in infants aged 6-12 months.
    • Rarely seen in children older than 6 years because by this time, a child's bones are larger and more well-defined.

    How Boston Children's Hospital approaches nursemaid's elbow.

    Because young children who experience nursemaid's elbow may be in a lot of pain, it is important to Children's that your child is kept calm and reassured throughout diagnosis and treatment.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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