Shagun Cares Gardner-Wells Traction Tongs is a device for applying skeletal traction to the cervical spine. When used as directed, the device provides a simple and effective means to utilize traction in establishing normal alignment of the cervical spine. The tong can be applied without the need to shave, incise or drill. It can be used in children as well as adults. For protection of the points during storage and in order to observe the action of the spring, the points should be advanced into the ends of the metal tube that is provided. The rigid coronal bar follows the contour of the calvarium. A threaded hole at each end accommodates the screws for advancement of the cone-shaped points through the scalp to the outer table. The points are tilted in the direction of pull so that with traction they do not tend to pull out. A spring enclosed within one of the points indicates the squeezing pressure.
Some cervical dislocation injuries may be acutely treated with traction via Gardner-Wells Traction Tongs, which are attached to the skull via two pins. While a variety of techniques have been proposed and utilized in the literature and clinical practice to use the tongs, these techniques have not been methodically studied to confirm how they transmit loads to the cervical spine. The current study investigated the mechanical effect of different traction techniques in a laboratory setting. A 50th male Hybrid anthropomorphic test device was used as a human surrogate to represent an average male in height and weight was modified to represent a patient with a unilateral facet dislocation injury. Electronic sensors at the atlanto-occipital joint recorded the loading delivered to the superior cervical spine by traction loading. Combinations of the following variables were evaluated as traction loads were progressively increased to one-third of body weight: tong pin position in the skull (anterior–posterior and superior–inferior to the recommended neutral position), traction cable angle in the sagittal plane (elevated, horizontal, declined), and presence or absence of an occipital support. Analysis of the cervical axial traction loads showed that the only significant predictor of cervical tension was the magnitude of the traction load.