The Effect of Skin Traction on Preoperative Pain and Need for Analgesics in Patients With Intertrochanteric Fractures: A Randomized Clinical Trial


Orthopedics Surgery Department, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran



Preoperative skin traction is applied for many patients with hip fracture. However, the efficacy of this modality in pain relief is controversial.

The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of skin traction on pain in patients with intertrochanteric fractures.

Patients and Methods
A total of 40 patients contributed in this randomized clinical trial. Patients were randomly allocated into two equal groups: the skin traction (3 kg) and control groups. The severity of pain was recorded at admission and 30 minutes, one, six, 12, and 24 hours after skin traction application utilizing a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). In addition, the number of requests for analgesics was recorded. Finally, the mean severity of pain in each measurement and the mean number of analgesic requests were compared between the two groups.

The severity of pain was significantly decreased in skin traction group only at the end of the first day after traction application (2.7 ± 0.8 vs. 3.3 ± 0.9; P = 0.042), while there was no significant difference between the two groups in other pain measurements. The number of requests for analgesics was the same between the two groups.

Although skin traction had no effect on analgesic consumption, it significantly decreased the pain at the end of the first day. The application of skin traction in patients with intertrochanteric fractures is recommended.