Radial Head Dislocation and Subluxation (Nursemaid's Elbow)
- Subluxation more common in children. In both adults and children, typically associated with distracting force across elbow or trauma; dislocation more common in men subject to high-force injury
- Dislocation of the radial head and fracture of ulna shaft is termed a Monteggia fracture.
- Atraumatic radial head dislocation is usually due to congenital anomalies.
- Categorized based on direction of dislocation: anterior, posterior, lateral
Etiology and Pathophysiology
- Isolated radial head dislocation is uncommon; most typically associated with complete elbow dislocation or elbow fractures in high-force traumatic injuries
- Proximal ulnar malalignment combined with annular ligament tear affects elbow biomechanics leading to radial head subluxation (4).
No genetic correlation to injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Osteogenesis imperfecta
- Fibrous dysplasia
Commonly Associated Conditions
- Elbow dislocation
- Elbow fracture
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) lesion seen in pediatrics
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