Playtime can lead to common elbow injuries in children: luckily, there’s a quick fix, doctors say
CHICAGO – We’ve all swung our children by the arms. Or we saw siblings crawling across the floor. It’s an injury during play that shows up more often than you might think.
For the Fergus boys, it’s like that every day. Their mother, Rachel Fergus, said the boys were really tough together. Their father, Alex Fergus, said they are energetic and they all love each other.
However, about six weeks ago, Rowan’s 2-year-old arm didn’t look quite normal. His father said the boy was rocking him. His mother said he was supportive of him and looked uncomfortable.
The parents asked Easton, Rowan’s older brother, who quickly explained what had happened. He said when Rowan didn’t want to get dressed he dragged him into the bedroom.
“I think he felt some of that guilt, like ‘I hurt my brother’, but we just reassured him it’s going to happen and if you don’t hurt yourself now it’s related. in the future. Mom and Dad could even have done it, ”said Rachel Fergus.
In the emergency room, doctors diagnosed Rowan with a nurse’s elbow, an old-fashioned name for a common injury in children four and under. Dr Jill Larson said they see about two cases a week at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
“So the radial head comes out of the joint briefly and it happens when the child stretches or pulls the elbow,” she says. “It often happens when yes, a younger or older sibling pulls an arm, sometimes the parents swing the kids.”
This happens where the radius bone meets the elbow joint.
“The ligament that is flexible in children is called the anular ligament, and it’s like a ring, and it goes around the radial head and if it jumps or moves out of place, it prevents the radial head. to be aligned with the joint and that’s what causes a nurse’s elbow, ”Larson said.
Fortunately, this is a quick fix – a bend in the hand and a bend in the elbow put things back in place.
“They did an x-ray to make sure everything was fine and in fact, on the x-ray, that’s when they rotated it to get the picture and they put the arm back in place and it was a instant relief, ”said Rachel Fergus. “Before he left the ER, he was Rowan, which is happy and crazy.”
“Some children feel a certain irritation. some pain or soreness for a few days after this has happened and they may restrict movement, ”Larson said. “Usually a scarf for comfort and anti-inflammatories is all we recommend.”
Even if the risk exists, Larson says don’t miss out on the fun – go ahead and swing your kids, just be aware of the weight distribution.
“You just want to dissipate the forces as much as possible, so when you swing your kids, use both arms instead of putting all the force on one arm, and be aware of how much force you are using,” Larson said.
“If it hadn’t happened now, it would have happened in the future,” said Rachel Fergus. “Honestly, I didn’t know what a nurse’s injury was. Now that I know I’m kind of keeping that arm.
Children who suffer from a nanny’s elbow injury may be more prone to having it again. In children who have multiple injuries, the ligament can stretch and be problematic in the long term.
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