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Orthop Nurs. 2000 Jul-Aug;19(4):49-52; quiz 53-5.

Did you check your nursemaid's elbow?

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  • 1Tioga Nursing Facility, Guthrie Healthcare System, Waverly, New York, USA.


Imagine a parent innocently swinging around a toddler ... a yank on an outstretched arm to keep a preschooler from falling ... a caregiver attempting to move a reluctant child by dragging the child by the hand ... a helping hand to lift a young child up over the curb or a high step. None of these activities is ever intended to hurt a child, yet the result of these specific activities send many children with anxious parents and caregivers to emergency departments and unscheduled pediatrician appointments each year. Nursemaid's elbow, also known as a pulled elbow or a subluxated radial head, may result from the specific activities described above and is the most common dislocation injury handled by pediatricians. Most commonly occurring in the 1-year to 4-year old age group, nursemaid's elbow is easily treated and generally has no long-term sequelae.

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