A to Z: Nursemaid's Elbow (Annular Ligament Displacement)
May also be called:Annular Ligament Displacement;Pulled
Elbow; Radial Head Subluxation
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