The halo vest has been widely used in the United States and increasingly in Europe for the treatment of cervical spine fractures. It’s use, however, has been restricted in most situations to the stabilization of the injured cervical spine during a healing period without surgical intervention or during and after surgical intervention. The alignment of the fracture having been achieved at the time of application of the halo vest or halo cast. Our experiences at the Massachusetts General Hospital between 1969 and 1985 where there were three hundred applications of the halo vest has shown that it is possible to manipulate the fracture or dislocation of the cervical spine intraoperatively either with the patient intubated awake, manipulation of the fracture being carried out while the patient is conscious and able to respond to tell the surgeon whether or not there is any neurological changes as a result of fracture manipulation or with the patient asleep under general anesthesia manipulation of the fracture would have been too painful otherwise. The ability to carry out such manipulation greatly expands the value and use of the halo vest in the surgical treatment of cervical spine injury.
KeywordsCervical Spine Cervical Spine Injury Odontoid Fracture Flexion Extension Cervical Spine Fracture
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