Halos – Bremer and PMT Types – Cervical Stabilization Needed For An Unstable Fracture

Do you want to learn more about halos?

Do you know anyone that is in a halo currently?

1.) Introduction

Halos are used for individuals that have sustained a serious cervical spine fracture. They are also used for people as a cervical distraction device for surgery or to provide external support for someone that may be going into surgery for their c-spine. There are two different kinds of halos that are used on a regular basis in medical settings. These would be the halo made by DePuy called the Bremer halo and another called a PMT halo. – Our goal here is not to say which of these is better, but that both exist to provide support to an unstable cervical spine.

2.) Who Provides Halos?

That is a good question. Medical professionals known as orthotists (brace specialists) typically provide halos to patients. They usually team up with a physician during the application process. Typically the physician will be the one to hold a patient’s head to maintain proper alignment and to provide pain medication to the head pin sites. The licensed orthotist will then apply the halo, as the physician monitors the position of the patient’s c-spine.

3.) Do People Wear a Halo All Day?

The answer to this question is, yes. Patients should never attempt to remove their own halo. There might be serious consequences to this, such as paralysis. The removal of a halo should be done by a local, licensed orthotist. Typically, the providing orthotist (brace specialist) will be the individual that removes the halo. A person will typically wear a halo until their c-spine fracture has completed the healing process. After a halo is removed, a rigid collar can be applied to help wean the patient off the halo while still providing cervical support.

4.) Are There Alternatives To Halos?

For serious c-spine fractures another device can be provided, but is typically thought of as a second option. The brace is called a CTO. This acronym stands for a cervical thoracic orthosis. This brace helps to hold the head in position and will include the neck and part of the chest when it is worn. It provides a lot of support but it is not considered to be as supportive as a halo for unstable cervical fractures. Halos are the only orthosis that will limit motion in all three planes. These are the sagittal, coronal and transverse planes.

*Note: This is health information. Although it is good information, it is not considered to be medical advice on bracing. Medical advice should be provided by your local, licensed orthotist regarding halos and other braces.