Indications and contraindications for use of the traction splints in femoral fractures

Sager splints are indicated for use on proximal third and mid-shaft femoral fractures.

A fracture of the pelvis occurring with a fracture of the femur is generally a contraindication for the use of a traction splint of any type. A Sager Emergency Traction Splint is not contraindicated when MAST Trousers are used to immobilize the fractured pelvis. In this situation, Sager Splints may be applied over MAST Trousers if treatment of the fractured femur is indicated or desired. Sager's traction is quantifiable and gentle and will not disrupt or move pelvic bones immobilized by MAST Trousers.

Supracondylar fractures of the distal end of the femur are contraindicated because traction can cause anterior rotation of the distal bone fragment forcing the sharp fractured bone end down into the popliteal artery and nerve. These fractures should be splinted as found.

Compound fractures of the femur with bone fragments sticking through the skin may be a contraindication. Guidelines by local protocol or instructions by a Medical Consultant should be followed.

Fractures of the ankle and foot are also contraindicated. Pressure from the ankle harness and from traction is not therapeutic.

The indications and contraindications listed above are only intended as a basic reference tool. Please defer to federal, state, and/or local protocol for definitive analysis and guidelines.