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Preoperative pillow placement under the injured extremity had better analgesic effects than skin traction for hip fracture

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QUESTION: What is the comparative analgesic effectiveness of preoperative placement of a pillow under the injured extremity and skin traction in patients with hip fracture?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment), unblinded trial with follow up at 15 minutes and 1 day after the intervention.


A university medical centre in New York, USA.


100 patients aged ≥50 years (mean age 78 y, 78% women) with an isolated femoral neck fracture (n=55) or intertrochanteric hip fracture (n=45). Exclusion criteria included dementia, concomitant injury, delayed hospital presentation (>24 h after initial injury), or inadequate cognitive function. 96% of patients had follow up on the morning after the intervention.


Preoperatively, patients …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr K J Koval, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York University Medical Center, 301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA. Fax +1 212 598 6015.