LARRY MULVEHILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LARRY MULVEHILL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Young woman lying in a hospital bed undergoing traction for a leg injury. Mechanical traction is the application of a pulling force to counteract the natural tension in tissues surrounding a broken bone. Without the aid of traction this tissue tension may prevent the alignment and subsequent healing of the bone fragments. Considerable force, exerted by weights, ropes and pulleys, may be needed to ensure that the broken fragments of bone are correctly positioned during the early stages of healing.
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