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Traction splints are external devices primarily used in the pre-hospital acute management for the reduction and immobilization of femoral shaft fractures. Their main aim is to limit movement of fracture fragments, thus reducing the risk of vessel injury, pain, and nerve damage 1.
The splint has a pole with adjustable length, and several attachments at the level of the ankle, lower leg, and thigh 2. Initial radiographs or CT are commonly performed prior to the removal of the splint. Depending on the material of the splint it can be between well visualized to relatively radiolucent/low density in imaging.
- 1. Runcie H, Greene M. Femoral Traction Splints in Mountain Rescue Prehospital Care: To Use or Not to Use? That Is the Question. Wilderness Environ Med. 2015 Sep;26(3):305-11. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2015.01.006. Epub 2015 Mar 24. PMID: 25819110.
- 2. Marcela De La Hoz Polo, Amandeep Sandhu, Elika Kashef, Christopher Aylwin, Duncan Bew, Maribel Manikon, Elizabeth Dick. Medical and surgical devices in the emergency and trauma patient: what the radiologist should know, and how they can add value. (2020) The British Journal of Radiology. doi:10.1259/bjr.20200530