Most people have a mental picture of traction gained from old Carry On films or cartoons of people with their leg in an enormous plaster cast with the leg hauled up at a 45 degree angle. That is, or was, one form of traction but basic traction is far less comical. It involves pulling the leg horizontally with a hefty weight. I have the equivalent of a constant 10kg pulling my leg straight at all times. The weight is attached to a frame which in turn is attached to my leg by means of a pin that goes right the way through my shinbone. That pin bears the weight full 10kg at all times.
Ouch... that pin hurts when you move.
As well as being pulled horizontally, that pin is also pulled upwards by the vertical frame you can see here with a cable attached to it by a scientific piece of sticky tape. This lifts the leg a little so it's free to be pulled horizontally.