Use of a Noninvasive Halo in Children

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Study Design.Retrospective review of clinical experience in children using a new noninvasive halo.Objective.To report on the efficacy, complications and indications for use of a noninvasive halo in the pediatric population.Summary of Background Data.A halo vest with pins in the skull is the gold standard for providing maximum immobilization and control of the cervical spine. Inherent complications include scarring, infection, cerebral spinal fluid leakage, loosening of pins, and penetration of the cranial vault. Less invasive orthoses historically provide significantly less immobilization and control of the cervical spine. A Minerva cast has problems with patient tolerance and skin care.Methods.The noninvasive halo was used on 30 children (ages 6 months to 16 years) for the following indications: muscular torticollis release, 18 children; cervical fusion immobilization 7 children; closed reduction of C1–C2 rotatory subluxation, 5 children.Results.The noninvasive halo was successful with no complications in 29 of 30 patients. One complication consisted of dislodgment of a C2–C4 anterior strut graft, though fusion ensued without further surgery and the clinical result was successful. Longstanding C1–C2 rotatory subluxations were safely reduced in 5 children with the noninvasive halo. In 18 children following sternocleidomastoid release, the cervical spine was successfully immobilized in an overcorrected position after surgery.Conclusion.A noninvasive halo was used successfully for postoperative immobilization of children with stable cervical spines. This device was particularly useful for the gentle and safe reduction of C1–C2 subluxations, and for postoperative immobilization in an overcorrected position following stenocleidomastoid release for congenital muscular torticollis.

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