Preoperative skull tongs-femoral traction versus cotrel longitudinal traction for rigid and severe scoliosis: Cohort study

Didik Librianto, Reza Saputra, Yoshi Pratama Djaja, Phedy Phedy, Fachrisal, Ifran Saleh

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: To compare two methods of preoperative traction (Cotrel traction exercises and skull tongs femoral traction) in severe scoliosis treatment. Methods: We collected retrospective data of severe (>80°) and rigid scoliosis patients who underwent preoperative traction before correction surgery from 2016 to 2018. The first group consisted of patients who underwent Cotrel traction exercises and second group underwent continuous-progressively increasing Skull Tongs Femoral Traction (STFT) traction. Posterior fusion was performed in all patients. Intraoperative parameters (blood loss, operation time and level instrumented) and radiologic change (initial, post-traction and postoperative Cobb Angle) was evaluated and analyzed. Results: Thirty consecutive case of severe and rigid scoliosis were included (15 in each group). Despite Cotrel group having larger initial Cobb angle, the amount of post traction correction was statistically similar in both groups (16.4° and 11.8°, in STFT and Cotrel group respectively). Mean traction duration was 14.0 days for Cotrel group and 12 days for STFT. There were also no significant differences in postoperative curve correction rate between two groups, although STFT group had a slightly higher correction rate (69.3° vs 55.0°). No major/neurologic complication were found in our series. Conclusions: Both preoperative traction methods were found safe and beneficial to reduce preoperative curve degree before definitive scoliosis correction surgery. Although, no statistical difference were found between two methods, STFT may provide better correction rate. Level of evidence: 3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102177
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Cotrel traction
  • Preoperative traction
  • Scoliosis
  • Severe scoliosis
  • Skull tong femoral traction


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