May also be called:Annular Ligament Displacement;Pulled Elbow; Radial Head Subluxation

    Nursemaid's elbow is a common elbow injury in young kids. It happens when a ligament slips out of place and gets caught between two bones of the elbow joint.


    More to Know

    Nursemaid's elbow is a common, often preventable injury that's usually due to sudden pulling on a child's arm.

    Most cases are in kids 1 to 4 years years old. Their ligaments (the elastic-like bands that hold bones together) are a bit loose. With just a small amount of force, a ligament in the elbow can easily slip into the joint and get stuck.

    Sometimes the ligament gets unstuck by itself. In most cases, a health care professional gets it back into place by doing a quick, gentle move of the arm called a reduction

    Keep in Mind

    Nursemaid's elbow is a common injury in toddlers and preschoolers. As kids get older, the ligaments tighten. Most won't get nursemaid's elbow past age 5, though it can happen up to age 6 or 7. It's important to try to prevent it by not pulling, tugging, or swinging a child by the arms or hands.

    All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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