Lateral traction is a technique in which 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 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.
Stans AA. Supracondylar fractures of the elbow in children. In: Morrey BF, Sanchez-Sotelo J, eds. The Elbow and Its Disorders. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 14.
Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.