A comparative evaluation of halo pin designs in an immature skull model

Lawson A. Copley, Matthew D. Pepe, Tan Virak, John P. Dormans, Josue P. Gabriel, Neil P. Sheth, Nahiro Asada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


To design an improved halo pin for use in pediatric patients, three commonly used halo pins were evaluated with a mechanical testing apparatus and segments of prepared fetal calf skull. The pins were driven through the bone segments while the load at the bone-pin interface was measured. New pins were designed with respect to pin tip and flange width and similarly compared. Mean maximum loads to penetration, normalized for bone segment thickness, were 55.6 N/mm for the PMT Corporation pin, 61.5 N/mm for the Bremer pin, and 73.6 N/mm for the Ace pin. Four new, short tipped pins were designed and compared with the Ace pin, and there was no significant difference. Finally, four new pins were designed with varying flange widths. Mean maximum loads, normalized for bone segment thickness, were 68.9 N/mm for the 4.2 mm flange, 72.2 N/mm for the 4.7 mm flange, 92.9 N/mm for the 5.2 mm flange, and 96.4 N/mm for the 5.7 mm flange. The findings of this investigation are clinically important because they may help to explain the variability in the complication rates seen with the use of different halo systems in children. The three halo pins currently on the market have different pin designs, including tip lengths and flange distances, which contribute to the difference in load to penetration for each pin. The new, wide flanged, short tipped halo pin design might decrease the complication rate of halo use in children by providing an improved capacity to resist penetration despite increased loads of application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages7
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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