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Your child's halo brace is keeping the neck and spine from moving while your child's spine heals. Your child will wear the halo brace all the time. The ring (or halo) around your child's head is held in place by four screws (or pins) in the skull. The ring is attached by four bars to a stiff, lightweight vest that fits around your child's chest. This keeps the neck and spine moving as one with the body so the spinal injury can heal. Most people wear a halo for 6 to 12 weeks.
You can expect your child's neck and back to feel stiff or sore at first. This should improve as your child gets used to wearing the halo. Your child 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 your child may need help getting into different positions.
Your doctor may advise you to have your child work with a physiotherapist during recovery. Your child will need to learn how to lift, twist, and bend so that he or she does not put too much strain on the neck and back.
During the weeks your child wears a halo, he or she will see the 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 child's neck and spine are in line.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 20, 2019
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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