Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

I saw someone the other day who had one of those metal rings on her head with pins. Is that thing actually screwed to her head? That thing looks heavy.

Answer:

Halo braces are used to help stabilize the neck. To apply a halo brace, the surgeon needs to drill holes into the skull around the head to insert pegs or screws that will hold the round, halo, part of the brace. The brace does weigh up to seven pounds. People with halo braces have to be careful not to allow the pin areas to get infected. This means cleaning the areas regularly as instructed by the surgeon or the nurse when the person is sent home. The halo will be removed once the neck or upper back is stable enough to support the head without causing damage. Michelle S. Caird and Karl F. Bowman Jr. Upper cervical spine disorders in children. In Current Orthopaedic Practice November 2008. Vol. 19. No. 6. Pp. 634-639.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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