In the Jan. 29, 1955, issue of The Journal, Dr. Jesse Nicholson and group reported complications in six children treated in Bryant's traction for fracture of the femur. Since this is a common method of treatment, it is likely that many similar complications have gone unreported. Those reported were in children over 2 years of age. The group concluded that the ischemia of the leg resulting in necrosis of tissues was due largely to three factors: (1) reduction in hydrostatic pressure in the vertical leg, (2) compression of the popliteal artery by hyperextension of the knee while the hip is in 90 degree flexion, and (3) impeded circulation by too tight bandaging.
Use of modifications of Bryant's traction in the following treatments will lessen the danger of these serious complications and provide a safe method of treatment in the older group: 1. Age up to 2 years—suspend legs in vertical traction
Stryker HH. SAFE TRACTION IN CHILDREN WITH FRACTURED FEMURS. JAMA. 1956;160(5):388. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960400046010a