A halo is sometimes still used for fractures of the upper cervical spine, especially if surgery is no option at the moment or for full immobilization of the cervical spine. In rare cases, the Halo is used to achieve complete healing of the injured area. It might be used to correct misalignment of the spine and sometimes postoperatively after cervical spine fusion surgery.
A halo is an invasive therapy in which a metal framework is screwed to the head from the outside. It then rests on the patient’s shoulders.
It is always used when surgery is not possible or a hard neck brache does not lead to desired effects. The Halo is the only technique that leads to full immobilization of the cervical spine. No hard collar has the same effect.
Bono CM. The halo fixator. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2007 Dec 1; 15 (12): 728-37.
Possible complications: infection of the pins, loosening of the pins, pain and sleep disruptions.
Often Halo’s are administered after cervical traction.