A halo is also a type of brace used to stabilize the cervical spine (neck). This type of brace is used in complete c-spine fractures or after spinal surgery.
The brace consists of a metal ring which is attached to pins screwed into the skull. The ring is then connected to a rigid plastic vest with bars, preventing flexion, extension, or rotation of the neck.
Halo braces generally must be worn for at least six weeks, or until the bones are completely healed. Pin insertion is done under anesthesia, and the insertion sites must be cared for carefully to prevent infection. The vest is padded, and the skin underneath must be cared for to prevent pressure sores and skin breakdown. The skin should be washed gently, and no lotion or powder should be used under the appliance.
Patients in a halo brace are generally able to live a relatively normal life. They cannot drive a car, because the halo makes it impossible to turn their head, but otherwise there are surprisingly few restrictions.