Doctors from the University of Washington in Seattle recently reviewed recovery and follow up data on 342 patients treated for spinal cord injury with halo vest immobilization (HVI). They found that although complications were relatively high, as many as 35 percent of patients experienced difficulties such as pneumonia with the HVI, the treatment proved effective in up to 85 percent of cases.
The complications arose due to pin site infections and instability issues. The doctors also found that the use of HVI in cervical spine injuries can replace the need for surgery in many cases.
The medical team who reviewed the cases concluded that the use of the HVI to treat spinal injuries remains highly effective, in spite of the challenges presented to both patients and their caregivers.
Halo vests, also called halo rings or halo crowns, are used to stabilize the cervical spine following fracture or dislocation of the spine.