Soft Cervical Collars
Clothing: You can cover the soft cervical collar with a stockinet or a sock (with the toes cut off). Be sure to wash the sock or stockinet daily.
Cleaning: Wash the soft cervical collar in mild detergent and warm water. Squeeze out water in a towel and lay flat overnight. DO NOT PUT IN DRYER.
Patients must follow the instructions provided by their physician for semi-rigid cervical devices.
Clothing: You can cover the collar with a stockinet. Be sure to wash the stockinet daily.
Cleaning: Towel-wash the rigid collar with mild soap and water.
Balance: While wearing the brace, you will notice that your balance is affected. The weight of the Halo is about seven pounds. Your visual perception will also be altered. Beware of falling.
Turning Your Body: Learn how to turn your whole body instead of just your head. Do not release the buckles on your jacket unless you have checked with your doctor.
Entering a Car: The easiest way is to back in, buttocks first and slide until your head is cleared. It is important that someone tells you how much clearance you have because bumping your brace can loosen your pin sites. To get out of the car, put your head down and slide forward until your feet touch the ground. Then carefully get out.
Bathing: To avoid slipping while bathing in the tub, purchase a good bath mat. You are allowed to have the water only four to six inches deep and you will not be able to bathe your upper body in the tub.
Shampooing: In a standing position, have someone split a garbage bag and carefully thread it through the bars. Tuck the plastic around and into the shoulders of the vest (keep the lining dry). You may also need to top it off with a towel roll. Gently ease hair up through the top of the Halo, and wash hair gently with a hose spray or pitcher of water.
Sleeping: You may have to sleep on your back. To be more comfortable, place a pillow under your knees and use a foam triangular pillow for your headrest.
Metal/Glass Caution: Remember, bumping metal or glass containers against the Halo will not only cause reverberation, but may jar the pins.
Screw Areas: Be suspicious when a screw area is inflamed, painful, has drainage present or if it seems to have shifted. These are danger signals and your physician should be notified.
Cleaning: The screw areas should be cleaned twice a day with hydrogen peroxide, followed by painting the areas with a Betadine solution or ointment. Your nurse will teach you this procedure at the hospital.