Doctors often use Buck's traction to treat femoral fractures, lower backaches, and acetabular and hip fractures, according to the University of Stellenbosch's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. This form of traction reduces pain and maintains length in fractures in the lower limbs.
Traction aims to treat fractures, dislocations and muscle spasms by applying force using weights or other devices, as the Encyclopedia of Surgery notes. Buck's traction is a form of skin traction, which is usually used temporarily or on a short-term basis. The weights used in skin traction typically weigh between 5 and 7 pounds, and they attach to the patient's skin with tape, straps or boots.
Patients in traction should avoid prolonged inactivity because it can lead to an increased risk of respiratory, circulatory and urinary problems as well as bed sores. To avoid these problems, caregivers usually implement exercise programs to maintain the patient's joint and muscle mobility. As of 2015, the research into the long-term effects of traction is limited, but some randomized research has been carried out without the completion of a full study. Some of the randomized control trials that indicate that traction does not significantly influence the long-term outcomes of neck pain or lower back pain.