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Halo fixation devicesare often employed for critically ill or trauma patients with unstable cervicalpathologies. These include fractures, spinal decompression and reconstructionprocedures. However, the critical care literature has surprisingly littleinformation in regard to associated complications. Perry and Nickel pioneeredthe initial halo device in 1959 and soon afterward recognized complicationsassociated with its use 1. They developed a detailed regimen to preventabnormal pin placement and infections. The details include pin placement in-safe- zones, specific degrees of torque, and techniques to minimize infectionrisk. Despite a low death rate, a cerebral brain abscess often leads to prolongedneurological morbidity 2. Seizures and pneumocranium have also been ascribedto intracranial penetration of halo pins 3,4. The following describes apatient with cerebral abscess secondary to halo pin penetration. He thendeveloped several other associated complications during hospitalization.



Cerebral Abscess; Cranial Pin; Halo Orthosis Device; Inner Table of Skull; Complication

Cite this paper

Patel, R. , Desai, B. and Gallagher, T. 2013 Brain abscess from halo pin penetration. Case Reports in Clinical Medicine, 2, 505-507. doi: 10.4236-crcm.2013.29132.

Author: Rohit Patel, Bobby K. Desai, T. James Gallagher



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