|Skin traction uses noninvasive means in attaching weights to the skin to apply a pulling force to the underlying bone. Depending on where traction is needed, weights are attached with tape, straps, boots, or cuffs. Skin traction on the fingers may use the weight of the arm hanging by the fingers as the traction force without any added weights. Traction is applied to the trunk with a waist belt attached to ropes and pulleys and is actually a form of skin traction.|
Skeletal traction requires insertion of pins or wires into the bone either during open surgery or pierced through the skin. The pins are then rigged to weights by ropes and pulleys. Traction to the head applies a pulling force to the neck and can be accomplished with a neck halter hooked to a rope and pulley system or by tongs inserted directly into the skull that are then hooked onto a rope and pulley system.
Inversion traction (a form of skeletal traction) places the individual in a partially upside down position. Fixation devices apply a gentle, steady force to encourage bone lengthening in a procedure called an Ilizarov limb lengthening. The Ilizarov technique involves the application of skeletal traction to two different sites in the same bone. The bone is then cut in the middle and gradually separated (distracted) through an attached external frame. This technique is usually used to lengthen long bones. These devices can also be used to maintain fracture alignment while allowing joint motion.
Traction equipment needs to hang from a bed frame or over a doorframe usually by means of a pulley. It can be used temporarily (e.g., during surgery to maintain body position) or applied for weeks at a time as in a neck fracture. Short periods of manual traction are used during reduction of fractures and dislocations where the physician or assistant manually applies the traction force against the weight of the individual.
Source: Medical Disability Advisor