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Updated August 09, 2003

Definition: Traction is used to manage fractures in an effort to realign broken bones; it is most often used as a temporary measure when operative fixation is not available for a period of time.

Traction can either be applied through the skin (skin traction) or through pins inserted into bones (skeletal traction).

Skin traction is generally less desirable due to the fact that skin can be injured when pressure is applied for extend periods of time. Skin traction called Buck's traction is commonly used in patients who have a hip fracture.

Skeletal traction does have the disadvantage of complications associated with pin insertion, and infections can come from the sites of pin insertion.

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  5. Treatment of Fractures
  6. Traction - Fracture and Broken Bone Treatment

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