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The History of the Halo Skeletal Fixator

O’Donnell, Patrick W. MD, PhD*; Anavian, Jack MD*; Switzer, Julie A. MD*†; Morgan, Robert A. MD*†

doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31819e23fd
Historical Perspective

The development of the halo skeletal fixator was a defining moment in the treatment of spinal disorders. Credit for the original halo prototype has been given to Drs. Vernon Nickel and Jacqueline Perry. This article provides a historical prospective of the halo skeletal fixator’s development and describes several devices used outside of spinal surgery from which the original halo fixator was developed.

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; and Regions Hospital, St. Paul, MN.

Acknowledgment date: July 16, 2008. Revision date: November 22, 2008. Acceptance date: November 23, 2008.

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).

No funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Patrick W. O’Donnell, MD, PhD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, 2450 Riverside Avenue South, Suite R200, Minneapolis, MN 55454; E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.