Pre-operative traction for hip fractures in adults

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From the evidence available, the routine use of traction (either skin or skeletal) prior to surgery for a hip fracture does not appear to have any benefit. However, the evidence is also insufficient to rule out the potential advantages for traction, in particular for specific fracture types, or to confirm additional complications due to traction use. Given the continued lack of evidence for the use of pre-operative traction, the onus should now be on clinicians who persist in using pre-operative traction to either stop using it or to use it only in the context of a well-designed randomised controlled trial.

Following a hip fracture, traction may be applied to the injured limb before surgery. This review evaluates the effects of traction applied to the injured limb prior to surgery for a fractured hip. Different methods of applying traction (skin or skeletal) were considered.

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