Nursing Care Related to the Musculoskeletal System


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a. Prior to application of the skin traction, inspect the skin for rashes, abrasions, or signs of circulatory impairment since the skin must be healthy in order to tolerate the traction. Check with the physician as to whether the skin should be shaved. Shaving is not always advisable because of the possibility of skin irritation or subsequent ingrowing hair problems. The extremity should be clean and dry before anything is applied to the skin.


b. Assist with the application of skin traction and arrangement of the traction apparatus as directed by the physician. Understand the nature of the traction and the patient movement that is permissible while still maintaining the desired traction pull. The basic position of the patient and permissible movement differ according to the type of traction used and these factors determine the basic nursing care plan. The following paragraphs discuss several of the most commonly used forms of skin traction.


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