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Preoperative skeletal traction in scoliosis

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1975 Jul 01;57(5):616-619
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To determine the role of preoperative traction in the treatment of spinal curves, ten patients with curves averaging 81 degrees by the Cobb measurement were studied. Each patient was treated in traction by means of a halo or skull tongs and femoral pins for two to three weeks prior to the surgical correction of the scoliosis with instrumentation. Weights were added to the traction apparatus, 1.8 kilograms a day, to a maximum of 18.1 kilograms. Pretraction supine roentgenograms were compared with supine roentgenograms made at three-day intervals throughout the traction period. Preoperative traction resulted in an average improvement of the curves of 34 degrees, or 41 per cent of the initial curve. Most of the correction was obtained within the first week of traction. Further correction during surgery with Harrington instrumentation yielded 13.5 degrees on the average (16 per cent) so that combined correction averaged 47 degrees, or 57 per cent.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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