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Lateral traction

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.

Information

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 line up a broken bone while it heals. Traction can reduce pain related to the injury. Traction can also be used during surgery to allow your surgeon to evaluate your joint better.

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.

References

Dawson J, Atassi O, Sun D, Sheth M. Emergency care of musculoskeletal injuries. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 19.

Waddell JP, Wardlaw D, Stevenson IM, et al. Closed fracture management. In: Browner BD, Jupiter JB, Krettek C, Anderson PA, eds. Skeletal Trauma: Basic Science, Management, and Reconstruction. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 7.

  • Lateral orientation

    Lateral orientation - illustration

    A lateral orientation is a position away from the midline of the body. For instance, the arms are lateral to the chest, and the ears are lateral to the head. A medial orientation is a position toward the midline of the body. An example of medial orientation is the eyes, which are medial to the ears on the head.

    Lateral orientation

    illustration

    • Lateral orientation

      Lateral orientation - illustration

      A lateral orientation is a position away from the midline of the body. For instance, the arms are lateral to the chest, and the ears are lateral to the head. A medial orientation is a position toward the midline of the body. An example of medial orientation is the eyes, which are medial to the ears on the head.

      Lateral orientation

      illustration


     

    Review Date: 6/13/2021

    Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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