How is radial head subluxation diagnosed?

Updated: Apr 08, 2020
  • Author: Gretchen S Lent, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Joint reduction is indicated for diagnosed radial head subluxation. The diagnosis is mostly supported by the finding of a child holding the elbow slightly flexed and pronated, with a lack of ecchymosis, significant tenderness, or edema in the affected joint. Whenever an injured child presents for care, the physician must consider possible abuse, though this specific injury occurs via a very low force mechanism that is not in itself suggestive of abusive behavior.


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