A PROPORTIONAL ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFICIENCY BETWEEN SKELETAL TRACTION AND SKIN TRACTION IN PRE-OPERATIVE ADMINISTRATION OF FEMUR SHAFT FRACTURES IN KORLE BU TEACHING HOSPITAL
This study is to compare the outcomes of pre-operative skeletal and skin traction in adult femoral shaft fractures awaiting surgical fixation within two weeks of presentation to the Accident Center of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. This study was a clinical trial on 86 recruited patients with closed femoral shaft fractures sustained within 24 hours of presentation grouped into 2 groups. Descriptive and inferential statistics comprising frequency, percent-age, Chi-square, independent sample t-test, and Mann-Whitney U test were used in analyzing the data. Of the total number of patients involved in the study, 74% (n=64) were males and 26% (n=22) were females with a mean age of 39.49 (SD ±15). There was no statistically significant difference in the mean visual analog scale (VAS) pain assessment between the Skin traction group and Trans-tibia skeletal traction group after traction. With regards to complications, the difference between the Skin traction group and the Skeletal traction group was statistically significant (P=0.001). Moreover, the mean blood loss compared with the open type of reduction in the Trans-tibia skeletal traction group was significantly less than the Skin traction group (p=0.000). This study has shown that both skeletal traction and Skin traction were equally effective in controlling pre-operative pain in adult patients with femoral shaft fractures and do not affect intra-operative blood loss and post-operative management. Therefore, pre-operative Skin traction can be considered a useful and cost-effective method of maintaining alignment and pain relief in adult femoral shaft fractures.