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Children and pulled elbow

An article about children and pulled elbow

Children and pulled elbow, what is that…. ?

Have you ever heard of a “pulled” or “nursemaid `s elbow”? Especially, if you have children under the age of six, this might be relevant information: it is not uncommon that young children suddenly stop moving their arm without any history of fall or injury at all. They keep it in a flexed position in the elbow with the hand in a grabbing position and avoid using it any longer.

This can be the result of a sudden pulling or lifting up the child on that arm by only grabbing the hand or forearm below the elbow. Often, this is not recognized as a relevant mechanism of injury by an adult in that situation.

However, by doing so the end of the radial bone (one of the two bones of the forearm) which is directed towards the elbow might partially slip out of a stretchy ligament that normally holds it in place. The good thing about it is that this is easy to treat by a unspectacular passive movement of the child`s arm.

If it happened once, the risk that it happens again is high up to the age of six, when it is normally disappearing without any consequences. Nevertheless, one cannot recommend to try that intervention on your own in general although it is tempting as you have seen it once.

When it is successful your child is back to normal within a minute and starts using the full capacity of the arm again. There is an interesting video about it.

In this case it would be very useful to have all details in your World Medical Card for easy access!

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