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Article
December 1951

USE OF SKELETAL TRACTION FOR MASS TREATMENT OF COMPOUND FRACTURESA Summary of Experiences with 4,290 Cases During World War II

Author Affiliations

LOS ANGELES; BOSTON
Dr. Urist is Attending Specialist in Orthopedic Surgery, Wadsworth General Medical and Surgical Hospital, United States Veterans Administration Medical Center, Sawtelle, Los Angeles.; Dr. Quigley is Clinical Associate in Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and Associate in Surgery, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston.

AMA Arch Surg. 1951;63(6):834-844. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1951.01250040850014
Abstract

THERE are practical considerations and technical details about the use of skeletal traction in war fractures which need not be learned by costly experience. In view of the present international situation, the techniques of management of multiple fractures may be reviewed with profit by civilian as well as military medical personnel. The experience with fractures at the onset of the second world war in relation to the first world war emphasized the wisdom of George Santayana's remark that "those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it."

In World War II, shortly after the North African Campaign, surgeons in general and station hospitals of the European Theater of Operations were instructed by circular letters and directives from the Theater Surgeon to treat fractures of the long bones wherever possible by skeletal traction and balanced suspension. These instructions, which originated from World War II experience rather than civilian trends

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