This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose topic is radial head subluxation (nursemaid’s elbow). While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how radial head subluxation (nursemaid’s elbow) will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a topic is quite valuable.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS CONDITION (ON EXAMS)
When it comes to standardized exams, each topic has its own “code” marked by key buzzwords, lab findings, clues, etc. If you are well versed in this code you will be able to more quickly identify the condition that is being discussed, and get the right answer on the exam you are taking. Below is the “code” for radial head subluxation (nursemaid’s elbow).
- Young children (ages 1-4) are the classic patient population.
- Arm positioning: affected patients hold their arm in a characteristic position
- Arm held close to the body
- Arem is pronated
- Elbow extended or slightly bent
Question # 1
Explanation # 1
Question # 2
Explanation # 2
TESTABLE FACTS ABOUT THIS TOPIC (BEYOND ITS IDENTIFICATION)
Many questions on standardized exams go beyond simply recognizing the underlying topic. Often there are specific testable facts regarding some aspect of the topic’s pathophysiology/management/clinical implications that are commonly asked. Some of these are listed below:
- Cause: sharp pull on the hand when the forearm is pronated and the elbow is extended. The annular ligament tears from its periosteal attachment and slips over the head of the radius (where it becomes trapped in the radiohumeral joint).
- Treatment: reduction of this ligament displacement can be done by fully supinating the forearm, followed by fully flexing the elbow.
Page Updated: 05.02.2017