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April 1960

Complications Following Bryant's Traction

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(4):557-563. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290210025005

The purpose of this paper is not to condemn Bryant's traction; rather, it is to emphasize complications that can develop. This is not the fault of the principle, but of the technique.

The function of Bryant's method of traction is to provide a simple means of treating fractures of the femoral shaft in children from the early hours of life to the age of approximately 4 years, the latter being modified according to the weight of the child. If the child's development age is beyond his chronological age, or if he is extremely active or overweight, he cannot be treated properly with this type of traction, and other treatment should be employed. Correction and maintenance of length, rotation, and angulation are accomplished.

Bryant1 wrote in his textbook that in 1870 he was the first to use a form of overhead traction at Guy's Hospital in London; this method was

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