Temporary skeletal traction
Indication summary: Displaced fracture, medically unfit patient
In occasional cases, a period of temporary skeletal traction may be necessary before the patient’s general condition, or the local status of the soft-tissues, will permit safe surgery.
The eventual aim is anatomical restoration of the articular surface and early active mobilization of the joint.
Skeletal traction does not allow for mobilization of the patient and may give rise to soft-tissue concerns about future incisions.
- Patient in extremis
- Severe local soft-tissue compromise
- Significant shortening, or angulation, without operative management
- Safe definitive fixation possible
- Associated vascular and/or neurological injury
- Straightforward to apply
- Quick and safe procedure
- Pressure sores
- Potential knee stiffness
- Increased patient discomfort and immobility
|Basic surgical experience, no specialized skills|
|Some specialized surgical experience|
|Highly experienced and skilled surgeon|
|Basic equipment only|
|Simple surgical and imaging resources|
|Full specialized surgical and imaging resources|