Traction: Types, Risks, and Aftercare

18 Feb.,2023


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The purpose of traction is to guide the body part back into place and hold it steady. Traction may be used to:

In the medical field, traction refers to the practice of slowly and gently pulling on a fractured or dislocated body part. It’s often done using ropes, pulleys, and weights. These tools help apply force to the tissues surrounding the damaged area.

The two main types of traction are skeletal traction and skin traction. The type of traction used will depend on the location and the nature of the problem.

Skeletal Traction

Skeletal traction involves placing a pin, wire, or screw in the fractured bone. After one of these devices has been inserted, weights are attached to it so the bone can be pulled into the correct position. This type of surgery may be done using a general, spinal, or local anesthetic to keep you from feeling pain during the procedure.

The amount of time needed to perform skeletal traction will depend on whether it’s a preparation for a more definitive procedure or the only surgery that’ll be done to allow the bone to heal.

Skeletal traction is most commonly used to treat fractures of the femur, or thighbone. It’s also the preferred method when greater force needs to be applied to the affected area. The force is directly applied to the bone, which means more weight can be added with less risk of damaging the surrounding soft tissues.

Skin Traction

Skin traction is far less invasive than skeletal traction. It involves applying splints, bandages, or adhesive tapes to the skin directly below the fracture. Once the material has been applied, weights are fastened to it. The affected body part is then pulled into the right position using a pulley system attached to the hospital bed.

Skin traction is used when the soft tissues, such as the muscles and tendons, need to be repaired. Less force is applied during skin traction to avoid irritating or damaging the skin and other soft tissues. Skin traction is rarely the only treatment needed. Instead, it’s usually used as a temporary way to stabilize a broken bone until the definitive surgery is performed.

Cervical Traction

During cervical traction, a metal brace is placed around your neck. The brace is then attached to a body harness or weights, which are used to help correct the affected area. Cervical traction is performed using a general anesthetic, so you’ll be asleep throughout the entire procedure.

Cervical traction might be used in two different situations. First, it may be done to gently stretch the neck muscles so muscle spasms can be relieved or prevented. It may also be performed to immobilize the spine after a neck injury.

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