There are different types of collar that are used depending on the type and degree of injury. Basically they vary in terms of mobility that they manage to limit. I will briefly tell you how each of them is and what they are used for.
– The soft collar: This collar practically does not limit the mobility of the neck. It helps to support the head comfortably leaving the muscles and neck joints to rest. It is used to relieve pain in injuries that do not require a strict neck immobilization such as cervical sprain.
– Semi-rigid collar: This collar is the one that we can see that takes the boy of the initial photo of the post. This collar slightly limits the flexion and extension of the neck relative to the soft one. The top and bottom of the collar are cushioned as the support zones. Its use is similar to the soft collar
– Stiff collar: This collar achieves a more important immobilization than the two previous collars because it has more supports. You can see in the photo how it supports in the area of the jaw and the chin, in the front part on the sternum and in the back of the head. The best known is the Philadelphia Collar that is in the photo. There are others similar like the Miami Collar or the Aspen Collar. The supports are the same with some variations.
The rigid collar is the typical one used after an accident. They are used after some cervical surgeries and in the stable fractures of the neck vertebrae.
– Minervas: They are more orthoses and more immobile than previous ones. They use supports in the head, neck and thorax.
The SOMI minerva has two metal bars that go to the area behind the head (occipital) and an anterior part that holds the jaw. Everything is anchored to the centerpiece that adapts to the chest as if it were a rigid vest. This minerva has a girth that can be added and that surrounds the forehead from the back piece. This is put in order to remove the mandibular support when we are going to eat, fundamentally.
Philadelphia or Miami Collar with trunk stabilizer achieve similar results, including a greater immobilization especially of the lateral flexion.
Minervas are used in upper cervical lesions because they control flexion well in this area.
– Halo. It is formed by a support that goes to the thorax as we saw in the minervas and from here come four bars. These bars are attached to the ring that is fixed in the skull. The ring attaches to the skull with screws that penetrate bone and must be put into the operating room. With this system we will almost completely immobilize the cervical spine. This is the immobilization that is going to be used in unstable cervical lesions.
I wanted to summarize in this post the types of collars that exist to immobilize the neck. The difference of each other lies above all in the degree of limitation that is achieved. The expert spine traumatologist will decide the most appropriate depending on the lesion we have and the stabilization that requires. In future posts we will talk more about some of them.