Halo-gravity traction

Charles E. Johnston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Halo-gravity traction (HGT) is a safe and effective method to correct EOS deformity prior to operative management, or as a delaying tactic. It is well tolerated, providing instant patient mobilization in the upright position, and is especially useful in patients with thoracic insufficiency/respiratory impairment. Preoperative deformity correction (scoliosis and kyphosis) and thoracic height improvement is typically ~30 %, achieving valuable non-operative correction in patients where osteopenia and rigidity likely will prevent successful acute instrumented correction. Vital capacity is frequently improved 5–10 % due to improved diaphragmatic excursion, and weight gain occurs from elongation of the abdominal cavity. Contraindications to HGT include insufficient skull bone stock, intra- or extra-medullary space-occupying lesions in the spinal cord, and severe canal distortion with stenosis. Complications of traction include pin sepsis in 10–20 % of patients, usually managed with oral antibiotics, and neurologic injury in 1–1.5 %, which may not recover following HGT discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Growing Spine
Subtitle of host publicationManagement of Spinal Disorders in Young Children, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783662482841
ISBN (Print)9783662482834
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Early onset spine deformity
  • Halo-gravity traction
  • Preoperative correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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