Lateral traction is a treatment technique in which weight or tension is used to move a body part to the side or away from its original location.
Traction can be used to treat or reduce any joint dislocation or bone fracture by applying tension to the leg or arm with weights and pulleys to realign the bone. For example, it may be used to help keep a dislocated hip within the hip socket while it heals.
Traction as a treatment involves the amount of tension or force used, the length of time the tension is used, and the means used to maintain the tension. Lateral traction can also be used to treat some broken bones.
Browner BD, Jupiter JP, Krettek C, Anderson PA. Closed fracture management. In: Browner BD, Jupiter JP, Krettek C, Anderson PA, eds. Skeletal Trauma: Basic Science, Management, and Reconstruction. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 6.
Thompson SR. Tibial skeletal traction. In: Thompson SR, Zlotolow DA, eds. Handbook of Splinting and Casting. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 16.
Review Date 5/9/2015
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.