A halo brace holds the head and neck in a fixed position to prevent movement and lessen pain while the neck heals from an injury, much like a plaster cast keeps the bones in a broken arm as still as possible while they heal.

The brace’s metal ring (halo) is secured to the head with pins. To keep the halo from moving in any direction, vertical rods connect it to a person's shoulders, where it's fastened to a vest made of plastic or plaster.Although wearing a halo brace can be uncomfortable and requires some lifestyle adjustments, it lets a person walk, move around, and participate in many regular activities instead of being confined to a bed while they recover.

Understanding the procedure

When placing the halo, the physician will numb the areas in the head where the pins are placed. Four pins that are equally spaced are placed in the head, two over the eyes and one just behind each ear. The halo ring is fixed to these pins.

Once the halo ring is in place, it is attached by long rods to a vest, which fits over the chest and is worn under clothes.

Indications for the procedure

These braces are typically used after a person has injured their neck (cervical spine) to give the area a chance to heal by restricting any movement forward, backward, and side to side.