The nurse is precepting a student nurse who is helping to care for a client with a hip fracture. The client has Buck’s traction applied. Which statement by the student nurse indicates a need for further explanation by the primary nurse?

  • “The weight on Buck’s traction should be between 5 and 7 pounds.”
  • “Buck’s traction is a type of skeletal traction that helps in bone realignment.”
  • “The weights should hang freely and be checked regularly for correct positioning.”
  • “Diligent pin site care is crucial to prevent infection in clients with skeletal traction.”
Number 2 is correct.
Buck’s traction is a type of skin traction used mainly to reduce painful muscle spasms. A Velcro boot is placed around the affected limb, with the weights attached via a single pulley and the leg elevated. The weight range for skin traction is from 5 to 7 pounds. Using a heavier weight increases the risk of severe skin irritation. Skeletal traction uses heavier weights (15 – 30 pounds) and surgical screws that attach directly to the bone. The weights should hang freely and not be moved unless ordered by the health care provider. Pin site care should be done regularly and the skin checked for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or pus.