Skip to content

    Children's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Nursemaid's Elbow

    Symptoms of Nursemaid's Elbow continued...

    To reduce the pain, the child typically refuses to use the arm and holds it still at her side, The elbow may be slightly bent and the palm may by turned towards the body. You should not try to straighten the arm or move the elbow back into place. If you do, the child will resist, and you could cause more serious damage.

    Severe pain, even without swelling, can be the sign of a broken bone. Call your doctor if your child injures her elbow.

    Treatment of Nursemaid's Elbow

    Treatment depends on your child's age and overall health. The doctor will examine the child and make sure the bone is not broken. X-rays are not usually necessary to diagnose this.

    Over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), may be given. Make sure you ask your health care provider for the correct dose for your child. Never give aspirin to a child under age 12.

    The doctor will use a method called a "reduction maneuver" to put the elbow back into the correct position. This method is also called a "reduction."

    In this method, the doctor holds the child's wrist and elbow. The doctor then carefully moves the arm in a specific way until the elbow pops back into place. You may hear a "click" when this happens.

    A reduction maneuver only takes a few seconds. It may be done in the doctor's office.

    The procedure can be briefly painful. The child will probably cry for a few seconds.

    Most kids can use the arm without pain within 10 to 15 minutes. But some kids may be afraid to use the arm because they remember that it hurt before. If this happens, your doctor may recommend pain medicine and then observation for the next hour to make sure the child moves the arm.

    X-rays are usually not needed. X-ray results are normal in someone with nursemaid's elbow. But X-rays may be taken if the child does not move the arm after a reduction.

    Sometimes, the first attempt at reduction does not work. It may take two or more times to put the elbow back into the correct position. Surgery is rarely needed.

    Nursemaid's elbow may sometimes be the result of child abuse. A child abuse investigation may be done if there are other signs that the child is being abused or if it occurs in an older child.

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    jennifer aniston
    Slideshow
     
    Measles virus
    Article
    sick child
    Slideshow
     

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Child Coughing or Sneezing into Elbow
    Article