Friday, April 15, 2011

Neck Braces, Rigid Collars, Cervical Orthoses - A Guide on Bracing The C-Spine - Part 8

Can I just use a rigid collar instead of a CTO?

There are times when a cervical collar can be worn in place of a CTO while a patient is in bed. This is not always the case. Depending on the recommendation of your physician, you will know when you can use a rigid collar and when you have to use a CTO.

How Do I Know When I Need A CTO?

This kind of brace is usually chosen by your physician. It is usually chosen by a neurosurgeon or orthopedic physician, in most cases.

When to Call the Doctor With Respect to Your Brace

If you experience:

1.) Numbess or Tingling
2.) Weakness of your arms or legs
3.) Pain
4.) Incisional drainage


What is a Halo?

A halo is considered to be a cervical device that locks out motion in all 3 planes. In other words, a halo that is properly applied will inhibit coronal, transverse and sagittal planes of movement. This is a brace that the patient should not try to remove by themselves. Other braces can be removed by a patient, but this is not one of them. It should stay intact as long as the patient is in danger of furthering their cervical injury level. Usually, these braces are used for people that have an unstable cervical fracture that is located in the C1 or C2 region.

Who Uses a Halo?

Halos are used for patients that have unstable cervical fractures. When a person has this kind of a fracture, neurological compromise can quickly occur.

When Puts A Halo on For Patients

The truth is that a patient is not supposed to put on their own halo. This is a device that is applied by physicians and orthotists (brace professionals). You will find that a halo is applied by these individuals and should not come off until your are healed.

How Long Do I Wear A Halo For?

The healing process for a neck injury that requires a halo is usually about 8-12 weeks. On occasion, patient's may go into surgery with a halo on and come out of surgery with it off. This means that their stability level increased due to the surgery, to the point where a halo is no longer needed. After the halo is removed, your physician may want you to wean into a cervical collar, either rigid or soft in design.

Note: This is health information. Medical advice on bracing should be provided to you from your local, licensed orthotist.

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