My Son's Elbow Keep "Popping" Out of Joint

Updated on January 31, 2008
A.S. asks from Logan, UT
5 answers

My 3 and 1/2 year old son has "loosy goosy" muscles. I am working with him on his legs but his elbow has popped out of joing about 6 times in the last 5 or 6 months. I have asked his OT on what I can do the help him strengthen the muscles/tendons in his arms. I am just really concerned because the last 2 times it has popped out all he did was fall/twist his arm just a little and it came out. I thought that I would start asking my question here before I run up another doctor bill.

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answers from St. Cloud on

I have no idea if this is true but you could ask someone...I heard that kids do not develope the "ball" on their elbow until appro. 5 years old. So, if that is the case it won't last forever....mabey you could ask the doctor how put gently put his arm back in place yourself? Good luck!



answers from Missoula on

I don't have a ton of advise to give, but my 3 year old had nurses elbow once. At the time the Dr showed us how to fix it, but said that if he were to have the issue more than 3 time within the next year that it could be something much more serrious. He also stated that of all the times that he had scene a child with nurses elbow 90 percent of them never had it again and the rest maybe had it happen once or twice more. Around 3 years old is a common age to have this issue, but the frequency does sound concerning.

Hope this is at least a little helpful.




answers from Lincoln on

Hi A.,
When my daughter was younger (she's 3 now) her elbow would get disconnected and when we took her to the doctor all they did was turn her hand over and fold her arm up towards her head and it would pop back into place. Now that she has gotten older it hasn't happened for awhile but our son's arm has done it now too (he's 1 1/2). Our doctor said it is something that they should grow out of as they get older and they just have to be a little more careful with their arms. I hope this helps.
Take Care and God Bless



answers from Boise on

I think that once a child has something that pops out of place once, it can happen again fairly easily until it heals. Hopefully it keeps popping out of place because it's still healing, not for any other reason.

Does he have low muscle tone as well as loose joints? The only thing that I know of that would cause frequent dislocations like that is something called Ehlers Danlos syndrome. I'm sure that there are other causes but it may be worth looking into for you.

Some of the symptoms include:

* Joint dislocation
* Joint pain
* Increased joint mobility, joints popping, early arthritis
* Double-jointedness
* Flat feet
* Easily damaged, bruised, and stretchy skin
* Very soft and velvety skin
* Easy scarring and poor wound healing
* Premature rupture of membranes at birth
* Vision problems

I would get in touch w/your pediatrician (if you haven't already) and see if they are able to help figure this out.

The other thing that has been mentioned here is nurses (or nursemaids) elbow but that seems less likely if your child has low tone (hypotonia) or loose joints (hypermobility).



answers from Omaha on

does he cry? i wonder if that is the same thing my son did a few months ago. the ER dr called it nursemaids elbow. and they popped it back in. it hurt pretty bad till it got back in .
my husbands sister in law said she had this a lot when she was little and just grew out of it. i hope you can find something that helps prevent this.. or else maybe it's just something they grow out of when they get stronger.
the dr said it is pretty common in kids from 2-5.

good luck

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