Who is at risk to sustain a pulled elbow?
This injury is most common in children between 18 months and 5 years of age. As children grow older, their elbow ligaments become stronger. For that reason, this injury rarely occurs after age 6.
What are the symptoms of a pulled elbow?
- Sudden pain anywhere in your child’s arm from the wrist up to the elbow.
- Not able to bend his/her elbow.
- May not use the arm and may keep it close to the side of his/her body.
What is the treatment for a pulled elbow?
If you suspect that your child has a pulled elbow, seek medical attention. The doctor will examine the injured arm. An x-ray may be taken. The doctor will then gently move the joint and click the radial head back in place.
Your child will begin to use his/her arm soon afterward. Most often, no other care is needed and no other problems should arise.
How to prevent a pulled elbow:
- Lift your child under the arms, not by the hands or wrists.
- Do not swing your child by the arms.
- Do not pull your child by the hand or arm, even when you’re in a hurry.
Last updated: July 2013, January 2016