A pulled elbow describes an injury where the elbow joint is partially dislocated caused by an important ligament being displaced (annular ligament) It is a rare injury in adults, but is extremely common in children under the age of 5 resulting from suddenly pulling the hand of a child, or lifting them up by the hand.
Although there is no swelling, bruising or any other external sign of an injury, the individual will feel pain upon movement of the arm, and usually maintain the affected elbow in a slightly bent position unwilling to straighten the arm.
Since this injury is common amongst children under 5, certain preventive measures can be followed to ensure a child’s safety. Do not lift children holding them up by the arms or hands, but instead lift them up from under their arms. This will ensure that there is no stress applied to the elbow joint, and will prevent the occurrence of a pulled elbow.