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Int Orthop. 2002;26(6):361-4. Epub 2002 Jul 13.

Why are we still using pre-operative skin traction for hip fractures?

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.


We performed a prospective randomised trial to evaluate the efficacy of pre-operative skin traction for proximal femoral fractures in 311 patients. We found a significant difference in pain score on the evening of admission and the first morning after admission between the groups with traction compared the group without. However, there was no corresponding increase in analgesic requirement during this period. The peak pain score pattern also was different in our population. No other objective benefit can be shown from using skin traction, and its routine use should be abandoned.

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