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traction(trak'shon ) [L. tractio, a pulling]
Bryant tractionSee: Bryant traction
Buck tractionBuck extension.
in-line tractionAxis traction.
The patient in traction is placed on a firm mattress in the prescribed position. Ropes, weights, and pulleys are assessed daily for wear, chafe, and improper position. Care must be taken to keep the skin insertion points of pins and tongs clean and free of infection. Infection at insertion sites can lead to osteomyelitis. Assessing the area for odor and other signs of infection and cleansing the area and then applying prescribed medication and sterile dressing can help to prevent osteomyelitis; aseptic technique is used to perform these procedures. Daily skin inspection for signs of pressure or friction is performed, and appropriate nursing measures are instituted to alleviate any 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 responded 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.