Skeletal Versus Cutaneous Traction For Treatment of Femur Fractures

13:16 EDT 27th March 2015 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to determine whether there are any differences in skeletal or cutaneous traction for the treatment of femur fractures.


Diaphyseal femur fractures are a common occurrence in busy level one trauma centers and even in the age of damage control orthopaedics most of these fractures are fixed definitively within 24 hours. The historical method of temporizing these fractures has been to place a distal femoral or proximal tibial skeletal traction pin. However, in the pediatric population skeletal traction is not utilized due to concern for physeal injury and cutaneous traction has been the gold standard for decades. Reasons for skeletal traction in adults are not well defined and there are no clinical studies showing that skeletal traction provides better outcomes in time of reduction in the operating theater or better pain control than cutaneous traction. With the ever increasing amount of high energy trauma seen by junior residents in the emergency department time constraints have become a large factor in patient care. Long delays for sedation and equipment procurement make stabilizing a diaphyseal femur fracture a time consuming experience. The purpose of this study is to determine whether differences exist between skeletal and cutaneous femoral traction in terms of: 1) time in patient consultation and fracture stabilization; 2) cost and risk to the patient due to lack of conscious sedation; 3) pain scores prior to surgery; 4) time of reduction of the diaphyseal femur fraction during surgical fixation; and 5) pain relief after traction application.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Femur Fracture


Femoral Traction


Vanderbilt University Medical Center
United States




Vanderbilt University

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The pull on a limb or a part thereof. Skin traction (indirect traction) is applied by using a bandage to pull on the skin and fascia where light traction is required. Skeletal traction (direct traction), however, uses pins or wires inserted through bone and is attached to weights, pulleys, and ropes. (From Blauvelt & Nelson, A Manual of Orthopaedic Terminology, 5th ed)

Fractures of the FEMUR HEAD; the FEMUR NECK; (FEMORAL NECK FRACTURES); the trochanters; or the inter- or subtrochanteric region. Excludes fractures of the acetabulum and fractures of the femoral shaft below the subtrochanteric region (FEMORAL FRACTURES).

A groin hernia occurring inferior to the inguinal ligament and medial to the FEMORAL VEIN and FEMORAL ARTERY. The femoral hernia sac has a small neck but may enlarge considerably when it enters the subcutaneous tissue of the thigh. It is caused by defects in the ABDOMINAL WALL.

Fractures of the femur.

Extraoral devices for applying force to the dentition in order to avoid some of the problems in anchorage control met with in intermaxillary traction and to apply force in directions not otherwise possible.

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