[L. tractio, a pulling]
The process of drawing or pulling.

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TRACTION Balanced suspension and skeletal traction for femur fracture

axis traction

Traction in line with the long axis of a course through which a body is to be drawn.
SYN: SEE: in-line traction

Bryant traction

SEE: Bryant traction

Buck traction

SEE: Buck, Gurdon

cervical traction

Traction applied to the cervical spine by applying a force to lift the head or a mobilization technique to distract individual joints of the vertebrae. The reaction can be done manually or by a traction device. It is frequently used to relieve pain caused by a herniated disc.
SEE: Crutchfield tongs

dynamic traction

Use of both tension across an injury and movement to maintain proper alignment and function of an injured body part.

elastic traction

Traction exerted by elastic devices such as rubber bands.

external traction

Traction applied to any fracture, e.g., compression fractures of the face using metal or plaster headgear for anchorage.

head traction

Traction applied to the head as in the treatment of injuries to cervical vertebrae.
SEE: cervical traction

in-line traction

SEE: Axis traction.

intermittent traction

The force of traction alternately applied and released at specified intervals.

lumbar traction

Traction applied to the lumbar spine usually by applying a force to pull on the pelvis or by using a mobilization technique to distract individual joints of the lumbar vertebrae.

manual traction

The application of traction to the joints of the spine or extremities by a therapist trained to know appropriate positions and intensities for the force.

maxillomandibular traction

Traction applied to the maxilla and mandible by means of elastic or wire ligatures and interdental wiring or splints.

mechanical traction

The use of a device or mechanical linkage (pulleys and weights) to apply a traction force.

skeletal traction

Traction applied directly to the bone through surgically applied pins and tongs.

The patient in traction is placed on a firm mattress in the prescribed position. Ropes, weights, and pulleys are assessed daily for wear, chafing, and improper position. Care must be taken to keep the points of insertion of pins and tongs into the skin clean and free of infection. Infection at insertion sites can lead to osteomyelitis. Assessing the area for odor and other signs of infection, cleansing the area, and applying medications and sterile dressings can help prevent osteomyelitis; aseptic technique is used for these procedures. The skin is inspected daily for signs of pressure or friction, and measures are taken to alleviate pressure or friction. Proper traction and postural alignment should be maintained at all times and adjusted as necessary. An exercise regimen is established for the unaffected extremities. Patient complaints should be attended to without delay. Respiratory toilet with incentive spirometry is provided to prevent pulmonary complications. Pain and discomfort are assessed, and analgesics are administered as prescribed. Adequate nutrition and fluid intake promote tissue healing and repair. Dietary and medical management helps to prevent constipation and fecal impaction. The affected extremity is assessed daily or more frequently if necessary for complications such as phlebitis and nerve or circulatory impairment, and the lower extremity, for footdrop. Social and diversional activities are promoted. The patient is instructed about the use of a trapeze, exercises, and activity limitations, and discharge plans and follow-up care are provided.

sustained traction

The application of a constant traction force up to 1/2 hr.

weight traction

Traction exerted by means of weights.