Lateral traction is a technique in which weight or tension is used to move a body part to the side or away from its original location.
Traction can be used to treat or reduce any joint dislocation by applying tension to the leg or arm with weights and pulleys to realign the bone. For example, it may be used to help keep a dislocated hip within the hip socket while it heals.
Traction as a treatment involves the amount of tension or force used, the length of time the tension is used, and the means used to maintain the tension. Lateral traction can also be used to treat some broken bones.
Rosipal CE, Wirth MA, da Silva Leitao IC, Rockwood CA Jr. Shoulder: Injuries to the sternoclavicular joint in the adult and child. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 17, section B.