Traction: uses, side effects, procedure, results


A traction is a method of repairing a broken bone or a dislocated body part using weights, pulleys, and ropes that gently press and pull the injured bone or body part into place. After a fracture, traction can restore bone position early in the healing phase or temporarily relieve pain while you wait for the next corrective surgery. There are two main types of traction: skeletal traction and skin traction. A third type of cervical traction is used to stabilize neck fractures.

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Traction target

The purpose of traction is to stabilize the fracture or injury and restore tension to the surrounding tissues, muscles, and tendons. Thrust can:

  • Stabilize and align a broken bone or a dislocated body part (such as a shoulder)
  • Help restore the broken bone to normal
  • Stretch your neck to relieve pressure on your spine by repositioning the vertebrae.
  • Temporarily relieve pain before surgery.
  • Reduce or eliminate muscle spasms and joint, muscle and tendon constriction.
  • Relieves pressure on nerves, especially spinal ones.
  • Treat bone deformities

The type of traction used will depend on the location and severity of the broken bone or injury and the amount of force required.

Skeletal traction

Skeletal traction is used for fractures of the hip (femur), pelvis, hip, and some shoulder fractures. It involves inserting a pin or wire directly into the bone and then attaching weights to it using pulleys or ropes that control the amount of pressure applied. Skeletal traction is used for fractures that require a lot of force to be applied directly to the bone because it allows you to add more weight with less risk of injury to the surrounding soft tissue. If you need skeletal traction, this will be done under general anesthesia so that you don't feel too much pain.

Skin cravings

Skin traction is less invasive than skeletal traction, using splints, bandages, and tapes that are applied to the limb near the fracture and applied directly to the skin. Weights and pulleys are placed and pressure is applied. When a bone breaks, muscles and tendons can bring the limb into a shortened or flexed position. Traction can hold a broken bone or a dislocated joint in place. This can lead to painful movements at the fracture site and muscle spasms. Buck's traction is a type of skin traction commonly used for hip, hip, and acetabulum fractures, which are fractures in the articular portion of the hip joint.

Cervical traction

Cervical traction is used for fractures of the cervical vertebrae. In this type of traction, the device rotates around the head and is attached to a belt that is worn across the torso like a vest. The resulting stretch of the neck reduces pressure on the spine by stretching and aligning the vertebrae.

Traction restrictions

Although traction has been widely used for more than a century, in recent years it has been overshadowed by more modern surgical techniques to repair bone fractures. Traction is used today primarily as a temporary measure before surgery.

Risks and contraindications.

There are no long-term traction risks. But some people may experience muscle cramps or pain in the treated area.


Cervical traction is used for fractures of the cervical vertebrae. In this type of traction, the device rotates around the head and is attached to a belt that is worn across the torso like a vest. The resulting stretch of the neck reduces pressure on the spine by stretching and aligning the vertebrae. Possible risks associated with cravings include:

  • Negative reaction to anesthesia.
  • Excessive bleeding from the bolt or screw injection site during skeletal traction
  • Infection at the post or screw insertion site.
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels, sometimes due to severe edema
  • Damage to surrounding tissue or skin in the event of a skin fracture.


Older people are often not suitable for skin traction because their skin is fragile and can be injured by traction. Traction may also be contraindicated if you have:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infection
  • The pregnancy
  • Respiratory or circulatory problems
  • Claustrophobia
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Joint problems

This should be discussed with your healthcare professional if you are considering a range hood.

Before traction

Both skin and skeletal traction require radiographs prior to use. They can be repeated throughout treatment to ensure proper bone alignment.

If you need a hood, your healthcare professional will determine:

  • Type of traction
  • Applied weight
  • Timing of neurovascular tests, if performed more frequently than every four hours
  • Mode of care for inserted pins, cables or screws used in skeletal traction
  • Placement and care of straps, harnesses and halters used in skin traction.
  • Any other physical restraints, straps, or accessories (such as mouth guards)
  • Pull length


The length of the traction depends on the location and the type and severity of the fracture or injury. Drawing time can vary from 24 hours to six weeks or more. If you are waiting for corrective surgery, skin traction may be short-term to immobilize the fracture until your doctor can operate.


Traction is usually done in a hospital.

During the pull

The prolonged immobility you'll experience while stretching carries a number of potential problems, including:

  • Pressure ulcers
  • Possible respiratory problems
  • Urinary problems
  • Circulatory problems

To keep your muscles and joints moving, your doctor will likely prescribe a physical therapy program. The equipment will be checked periodically to ensure that it is correctly positioned and that the force is correctly calibrated.

If you have skeletal traction, your healthcare provider will periodically check for any signs of foreign material penetrating the skin near the screw or post.

While you will remain largely immobile during the deadlift, some of the activities and movements that you can generally participate in include the following:

  • Sitting on the bed
  • Quiet activities like crafts, board games, and watching television.
  • It is mobile enough for bathing and meeting your hygiene needs.

Follow up

The first few days after a stretch can be physically and emotionally challenging. Your muscles may have been weakened from spending a lot of time in bed. Moving can be painful.

To address these issues, your healthcare provider may recommend physical therapy as an extension of traction. It will help you regain strength and mobility after spending so much time without moving parts of your body. A physical therapist can also show you how to deal with discomfort, weakness, or paralysis that you may experience from a fracture or injury. You can also take occupational therapy to recover and relearn skills that may have been affected or weakened by your injury.

It is important to adhere to the therapies your doctor recommends to maximize your chances of a full recovery.

Get the word of drug information

Stretching can be a very difficult treatment, physically, emotionally, and psychologically, because you are severely restricted in your movement and you certainly feel quite vulnerable. This can be aggravated by the pain you have to deal with due to a fracture or dislocation of any part of your body. Your healthcare professional can play an important role in reducing your anxiety by explaining the procedure in its entirety, including what to expect and how long the traction will take. Communicating with the healthcare professionals caring for you during this difficult time can go a long way in calming your anxiety and helping you get through the experience of cravings.

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