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Rungee James L. M.D.
Techniques in Orthopaedics: October 1995
Orthopaedic Lessons from Recent Wars: Articles: PDF Only


Traction is a critical adjunct in the immediate, operative, and longterm treatment of fractures. In the conventional fixed medical facility, the ability to employ traction is often taken for granted, since the general availability of prefabricated splints, appliances, and frames greatly facilitates one's capability to configure traction to the needs of the patient. In the austere environment of a battlefield or other remote military deployment, the employment of traction may be much more difficult, owing largely to the unique nature of health care delivery from a mobile, largely canvas, hospital. Modifications to routine traction equipment have been made to meet weight, size, and other restrictions dictated by the need of the military field hospital to be transportable and by the unique logistic demands of such a situation. A familiarity with available traction devices as well as experience with these items in the context of other military deployments will allow the orthopaedist who finds him or herself in the field, whether for armed conflict or humanitarian reasons, to conduct business as usual.

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