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Russell traction - Nursing Care Musculoskeletal System

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1-30. RUSSELL TRACTION
a. In this form of skin traction, a system of suspension and traction pull is used.
Adhesive strips are applied as in Buck's extension, and the knee is suspended in a
sling. A rope is attached to the sling's spreader bar. This rope passes over a pulley
which is attached to an overhead bar and is then directed to a system of three pulleys at
the foot of the bed: first to a pulley on the bed's foot bar, next to a pulley attached to the
foot spreader bar, and then back to a second pulley on the bed's foot bar. There is an
upward pull from the sling pulley and a forward pull from the pulleys at the foot of the
bed. In Russell traction, the angle between the thigh and the bed is approximately 20
and there is always slight flexion of both the hip and the knee. The advantage of
Russell traction is that some movement in bed is permissible. The patient can turn
slightly toward the side in traction for back care, bedpan placement, or linen change.
b. Check the popliteal space for signs of pressure from the sling such as
redness, indentations, abrasions, or pain. Check all the tape and wrappings as in
Buck's traction. Keep the patient from sliding down the bed. The foot of the bed may
be elevated to help prevent this.
1-31. PELVIC TRACTION GIRDLE
a. The pelvic traction girdle is ordinarily used for treatment of low back pain and
muscle spasm. It is fitted snugly and evenly over the iliac crests. The traction straps,
extending on the lateral side of each thigh, are hooked to a separate rope at mid-thigh
level and each rope leads to a separate but equal weight at the foot of the bed. The
foot of the bed is usually elevated to provide counter traction.
b. Keep the girdle and the underlying skin clean and dry. Avoid using padding
unless the patient is very thin or the iliac crests are very prominent. Protect and support
the feet. Foot exercises are usually encouraged, but there must be no contact with the
traction ropes. The physician's orders may specify when the girdle may be removed for
skin care or bathroom privileges.
1-32. PELVIC TRACTION SLING
a. The pelvic traction sling is used in the treatment of pelvic fracture. The
patient is placed in a canvas sling or hammock that is suspended by a tension spring to
an overhead frame bar. The pelvis is suspended so that it is just off the mattress.
b. Padding may be placed along the sling edges or as needed to relieve
pressure on the coccyx. Keep the sling, the padding, and the skin clean and dry.
1-33. CERVICAL TRACTION HALTER
a. A canvas head halter is used for treatment of affections of the cervical spine.
The halter fits snugly under the chin and around the back of the head against the
MD0916
1-32



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