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August 2021

Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb. 1987 May-Jun; 125(3): 327-31.

[Commentary on the article "Is the mechanical traction of the cervical spine still acceptable?" by R. Dorian ]

Bernau A.

Referring to literature Dorian reported on severe complications after apparative traction of the cervical vertebral column up to cross-sectional paralysis and sudden death during treatment. Based on these reports he presents a list of contraindications which comprises nearly all diseases of the cervical vertebral column. The author summarizes his statements claiming that the apparative traction at no means can be a routine method because of it's inherent extreme risks. The comment in hand states that none of the complications claimed have been exemplified by the author in the original paper. Neither authors are named in the text, nor such complications are mentioned in the papers cited in the publication index. A request to the author for completion of literature proofs remained negative. Such complications were also not encountered by 36 orthopedic surgeons in practice who together survey 375 years of treatment with this method. On the contrary a corresponding inquiry yielded that in opposition to the statement of Dorian the apparative traction of the cervical vertebral column is indeed a widely spread standard method in orthopedic practice. The incidents claimed are also unknown to various experts an to importers of traction devices neither from their own experience nor from the literature. Consequently none of the essential statements in Dorian's contribution is proven and therefore the conclusions are unallowable.

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