Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It happened to us: Nursemaid's Elbow

It happened to us!

Nursemaid's elbow is the name given for an injury where one bone of the elbow
joint is pulled out of place and gets stuck in that position. This usually
occurs when lifting or pulling the child by one or both arms. Sometimes a
playmate will tug hard enough on the arm to cause this injury.

This injury is due to weakness in the ligaments of the elbow that some children have at this age. It is usually easy to correct by your doctor, but may recur if the arm is pulled again. Ligaments strengthen by five years of age and nursemaid's elbow will not occur after that. It is important for parents to be aware of this, so they take care not to lift, pull or drag the child by the arm during this age period. (so it's okay after this age?!)

After the bone is put back into position, it usually takes about 30-60 minutes before the child will start using that arm normally again. (took B not even 10 minutes) In some cases, it may take up to 24 hours before the child starts using the arm again. If the child is not using the arm normally by 24 house, there may be other injuries present. X-rays will be needed to determine this.

When Pops left this morning, Brenna had a hard time getting back to sleep so I let her come sleep with us. Clan Brunn slept until 9am, it was so lovely. Once we were all up, Josh asked B if she wanted to go downstairs with him. He took her by both hands and pulled her up and off our bed, something we both do quite often. She immediately starting crying, I think she said "owe" once then it was all, "I want Mommy!" I don't know about Josh, but I rolled my eyes thinking, oh great, nothing like a tantrum right out the gate. If you know my daughter who know she is the girl that cried "owe." So when Josh picked her back up and sat on the bed with her and she freaked out because she wanted me, I was annoyed. I finally let her sit in my lap when she wouldn't calm down in Josh's and she really had a hard time calming down. She finally got it out that her wrist hurt and didn't want to move any part of her body. I've never really seen her act like this and I began to get concerned, especially when she wouldn't let me look at it. She didn't even want me to take her to the doctor (far from normal, she wants to go see the doctor when she gets a paper cut) so I decided to take her.
She didn't want to eat before we left so I decided to pack a few snacks because I knew she'd get hungry as soon as she got checked in (and she did).
After we got there and got checked in, they took us to a room that had a TV. We watched Word World and had our ER picnic while we waited for the doctor. He came in and turned down the TV, B was not pleased. He asked some questions and looked at her arm, she of course, wanted nothing to do with him. He told me what was wrong and that he would need to reset it, he said, "I'm going to move her arm and twist it, she's going to be pissed and cry but then she should be fine." I tried to tell Brenna that the doctor was going to move her arm when he grabbed it, twisted it and popped it back in. I couldn't help but laugh and he left. I turned back up the volume and she was content. About 10 minutes later, a nurse came to check on Brenna and asked what she was watching (the nurse didn't turn down the volume), without even realizing it B lifted her arm to point at Word World. The look on Brenna face was too funny, she was shocked that it seem to move on it's own. The nurse ran her through all sorts of movements and Brenna thought it was so cool that she could do them all without it hurting. She was given a clean bill of health and we headed to get some ice cream and head home.
She was fine all day, no signs of pain. After dinner she said it was starting to get sore again so I gave her a little Motrin.

I've already caught myself this evening lifting Paige by her arms. This is going to be a hard habit to break but Josh and I will change. I can't believe how easily that elbow popped out!


  1. Yikes! Poor little B! Glad she's doing better.

  2. My mother in law warned me about this and i am sure she had to fix it herself for the kids a couple of times


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