Elbow Dislocation Topic Guide
Elbow Dislocation: An elbow dislocation occurs when the bones of the forearm (the radius and ulna) move out of place compared with the bone of the upper arm (the humerus). Symptoms and signs include elbow pain, swelling, and inability to bend the arm. Treatment involves reduction of the elbow under conscious sedation. X-rays will then be taken and the patient's elbow will be put in a splint to keep the elbow bent.
Nursemaid Elbow Nursemaid elbow (or radial head subluxation) is a common injury in children. Causes of this injury include lifting the child by the hand or wrist, swinging the child by the hands or wrists, pulling arms through the sleeves of jackets, pulling a child along when in a hurry, and catching a child by the hand to prevent a fall. Symptoms include refusal to use the injured arm, crying in pain, holding the arm against the body in a slightly bent position. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be given for pain, and a bag of ice applied to the injury may also provide some relief. The doctor will need to perform a subluxation to move the bones back into place.