previous section: 4/5 page: 9/12 next

4Skeletal traction

Control of length and rotation

Length and rotation need to be checked daily.

Length is measured by comparison to the uninjured leg. Both legs are brought into comparable positions and the distances from the anterior superior iliac spines, over the knee, to the medial malleoli, are measured and compared.

Adjustment, if required, is done by increasing, or decreasing, the traction weight. Control x-rays need to be taken weekly, if possible, for at least the first 4 weeks.

If the medial/lateral angulation at the fracture site is anatomical, this line will pass over the central third of the patella.