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Once the doctor has determined that a halo vest is needed, the next step is the application process. This is usually done in a controlled setting, such as an operating room.
The patient will be given an anesthetic for the procedure so that he/she will not feel any pain.
The X-rays that were used to determine the patient’s need for a halo are reviewed in the operating room. These will be available to the doctor during the actual halo application process.
The halo itself is held steady with pins that are threaded through the ring and anchored to the head (unless the physician is using a pinless halo). Basically, the halo and its jacket and rods hold the patient’s head still, so that the bones can heal.
The pins in the halo are secured to the skull, which prevents any motion in the neck. The pins are inserted using a special tool and then tightened securely.
The vest is also fitted based on body size. This is attached to the halo with the supporting bars. In some cases the vest will need to be premeasured or customized. If this is the case, this will have been done before the day of placement, and the molded jacket will be available in the operating room made to fit the patient’s torso.
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