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Your halo brace is keeping your neck and spine from moving while your spine heals. You will wear the halo brace all the time. The ring (or halo) around your head is held in place by four screws (or pins) in your skull. The ring is attached by four bars to a stiff, lightweight vest that fits around your chest. This keeps your neck and spine moving as one with your body so the spinal injury can heal. Most people wear a halo for 6 to 12 weeks.
You can expect your neck and back to feel stiff or sore at first. This should improve as you get used to wearing the halo. You may have some pain at the pin sites in the first few days. It may be hard to sit or stand in one position for very long, and you may need help getting into different positions.
Your doctor may advise you to work with a physiotherapist during your recovery. You will need to learn how to lift, twist, and bend so that you don't put too much strain on your neck and back.
During the weeks you wear a halo, you will see your doctor at regular appointments. The doctor will check the position of the halo brace and tighten the pins or vest as needed. X-rays may be taken at these appointments to make sure your neck and spine are in line.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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