A halo is sometimes used to treat fractures of the upper cervical spine, especially if surgery is no option at the moment, or if full immobilization of the cervical spine is needed. In rare cases it might also be used to achieve complete healing of the injured area, to correct misalignment of the spine or 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 that then rests on the patient’s shoulders.
It is always used when surgery is not possible or a hard neck brace does not cause 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.