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Classification of Traction

By HWA | Publish On: October 10, 2011 | Posted In:

Classification of Traction: Insights from nursing experts @ HwA 

Traction is static in position that provides a form of immobilization. Traction can be continuous and intermittent. Continuous traction is maintained all time for example, traction on an unrepaired fracture. Intermittent traction means it is either applied for short periods of time and for example, intermittent cervical traction or the traction which can be released for short periods of time.

Traction is used as running or balanced suspension traction. Running traction can be applied to a body part with a pull in one direction or along one plane. The only counter traction. It can be used in conjunction with skin or skeletal traction and also keeps the fractured area immobile when the patient moves.

Traction can be classified as manual or mechanical by the way it is applied to the patient’s body. Mechanical traction is also divided into skin and skeletal traction. Plaster and brace are the two other types of traction that are used in specific situations.

Here are some of the forms of the forms of Traction that are given below:

  • Manual Traction: Manual traction can be performed by a person’s hand exerting a pulling force. It is utilized to reduce fractures and dislocation and also helps to apply a steady pull while mechanical traction is released for readjustment or during a cast is applied. Manual traction should be done with a smooth, firm grip as sudden jerky motions of the can cause extreme pain. Manual traction cannot be used easily as it is restricted to specific orders.
  • Skin Traction: Skin traction can be directly attached to the patient’s skin to disable a body part continuously or intermittently. The direct application of pulling force of patient’s skin and soft tissues can be effected by using adhesive or nonadhesive cast, a boot, a belt or a halter.
  • Skeletal Traction: Skeleton traction can be attached directly to the patient’s skeletal system to disable or immobilize a body part. The direct application of pulling force to the patient’s skeletal system may be accomplished by attaching pins, screws, wires and tongs. Skeletal traction allows greater traction time and heavier weights than does skin traction.
  • Plaster Traction: Plaster traction is skeletal reaction applied by incorporating the ends of pins or wires in a cast that maintains a continuous pulling force. For example, when a short arm cast with skeletal traction on the thumb is used for correction of a first metacarpal fracture.
  • Brace Traction: Brace traction employs a brace to exert a pull on a portion of the body, as in the case of hyperextension braces or long leg braces for correction of leg alignment deformities due to fractures of the distal portion of the femur.

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