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Publication numberUS2092 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 15, 1841
Publication numberUS 2092 A, US 2092A, US-A-2092, US2092 A, US2092A
InventorsS. P. Douglass
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for the relief of dvebility or weakness in ti-ie legs
US 2092 A
Abstract  available in
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




Specification of Letters Patent No. 2,092, dated May 15, 1841.

To all whom t may concern.'

Be it known that I, STEPHEN P. W. DoUeLAss, of Williamson, in the county of IVayne and State of New York, have invented a new and useful apparatus for the relief of persons who are suffering and unable to walk in consequence of weakness or debility in the legs and consequently inthe knee and ankle joints; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description thereof.

Ihe apparatus which I am about to describe I denominate the walking aid. Those persons who are acquainted with the various instruments which have been constructed with a similar intention will perceive that there is a general resemblance between that which is the subject of the present description and those which have preceded it; and, indeed, this must necessarily be the case, as the basis of such supports must be jointed rods, and straps by which they are attached to the limbs. Being myself a suffererV from extreme and long continued debilitv in the legs and feet, I have sought relief from the use of such instruments as had been invented by others for the purpo-se of aording it, and having` experienced their defects, I have, by successive trials, been enabled to remove them, and to produce one which, as I verily believe, may be worn with greater ease and benefit than any of those heretofore const-ructed.

In the accompanying drawing Figure l, I have represented my instrument as attached to the leg, thigh, and body of a patient, by means of the respective straps employed by me for that purpose. A, A, are jointed strips, or pieces, of wood, or metal, or of the two combined; andto' these the other parts of the apparatus are afliixed. These pieces are jointed together in the part which comes opposite to the knee; a

joint pin passing thro-ugh them, and through the inner end B, ofthe screw rod B, B, which at B, embraces and forms a part of this oint. To sustain the knee oint, and at the same time to allow of the required degree of flexure, I employ a spring,.which by its tension and elasticity will effect these. objects. In Fig. 1, C, C, is suchV a spring, which, in this instance, consists of several leaves of steel, placed upon each other in the manner of a coach spring. The ends of this spring bear against the edges of the jointed strips A, A, where they have longitudinal,

play, butare retained in place by pins pass -l inglnto grooves, or by any other suitable device. The screw rod B, B, passes through a mortise made in the leaves of the spring C, C, and the thumb screw D, serves eov to regulate the force of the spring in any 'i required degree. By this means a gradual strain may be kept up on the contracted joint of a crooked limb, and in walking an effec-V tual check is provided to the bending of the knee beyond the greatest fleXure intend- 4 second place of attachment is to the leg, bel low the knee joint. The third is at the knee joint, The fourth is from the upper end of the side strap; which side strap is attached to the patella cap, to be presently de-' scribed; this fourth attachmentis made by means of Vwhat is denominated the back strap. The device for making the rst, ork foot attachment, is as follows. An iron bow, a, a', Fig. 1, is attached to the `lower end of the jointed strip A; this iron bow` forms a little more than a quadrant of a circle, so as to bring its end a', which is furnished with a loop, or eye, directly over the middle of the instep. This is shown separately, with its accompanying straps in Fig. 2. A pad b, o, bears upon the instep, a strap o, passes around the heel, and a check strap ,under the foot; e, e, are straps which serve to sustain the pad o, and its appendages, and from its connection with the eye in the end of a', immediately over the instep, it checks the tendency of the jointed apparatus to twist and move out of place which'it would otherwise do.

The second place of attachment is around the leg, a little below the'knee, and this'is effected by means of a broad strap and buckle inv the ordinary way, as shown at E, E, and merely for the purpose of gently steadying the apparatus and keeping it near the leg. l f

The third place o-f attachment is at the knee joint, and the manner of combining and arranging the parts concerned 4in thisv vattachment is'k a point ofprimary impor tance. A cap is formed of webbing, cloth, or

other.suitable material, which I denominate the knee or patella cap, as itis to cover, and

to be confined in place, immediately aboveA the patella, or cap of the knee. The patella 30 to any other appendage tothe jointed strips s The cap is attached to, and maybe said to con-` stitute apart of the stra-p, which I call the side strap; this side strap extends along both the jointed strips A, A, and is aiiixed to them by meansof buckles, `at pointsnear their extremities, allowingtthemto be shifts.` ed so asto adjust the patella` cap perfectly to its place. F, l?, is thelower section of tion of the jointed strips.

15 primary importance that, at the knee joint,

the sidestrap, which is attached to the inner side` of the lower section` of the jointed strips, `or pieces, A, A; while the upper section I:of said strapl Gr, is` in like manner attached -to the upper part of the upper sec- It is a` point of the jointed portion of the strips A, A, should `stand oit `from the limb, so as not to come into contact with, so astomake pressure upon it. Without this precaution there will` be al frequent chang, irritation,` and' obstruction, produced in and about the knee joint, such` as has caused the disuse of the apparatusheretofore employed for sustaining weak limbs, in a very great number of cases.r H, H, is the patella cap, and from the `inner or far side of this a strap passes aroundunder the knee joint, and is buckled,

as seen at f,to the ^screw rod `B at a -sutli-` cient distance to prevent the strap from touching the back side of the knee or leg, or

so situated as to produce alike result. jointed strips are,of course, so connected `with `each other at the` part forming ,the

joint, as `totend to stand `oil' from the limb, in the manner` described. Tokeep the pa- `tella cap in place a strap `isattached to a loop g, near its outer edge, and` extends, `like fthe backvstrap, shown at I, I, Fig; 1.

that from its inner edge, to the screw rod B, `after being carried down within the jointot' the jointed strips, so` asnot to tend to draw this part toward the knee oint. By this arrangement of the patella` cap, and its straps, the `outside and back side of the knee joint is left free, there being a space between itand the joint ot' the jointed strips andthe straps,into which the hand may be readily passed. `The manner-of attaching the loop to the outside of the patella ca'p'jis shown by Fig. 6.

`The fourth attachment of .the apparatus to the limb, and body, is made by means of back strap is connected to the upper end of the side strap, by a buckle, as shown at J.

The back strap should be made wideso 1as` to give it a good and easy bearing. The abl. dominal strap K, is attached toit by buckles,

j l l at each ,end,and serves'to prevent the upper l endsof the jointed strips from moving back outof their `proper places onthe sides of the thighs, In some cases I `have attached shoulderstraps to the back strap, to prevent all danger of thevdescent' ofthe apparatus,

but `.there are` very few cases in which this will be found necessary, as the side strap, besides its'other'uses,wprevents thelcwer end of the jointed apparatus from descending, and coming in contact withthe ground, and thus `throwing the wearer olf Othis balance.

L, L, is the seat strap, whichis attached to the apparatusa little below the hip joint. Its length must beso regulated as to cause the upper end of the jointed apparatus to stand a little in advance of the hip oint, and consequently the abdominalstra K, draws j in a more direct line, with a lig t pressure upon the abdomen, as it 1s also attached at each end, by a strap and buckle, to theupper ends of the jointed strips A, A, besides being attached to the back strap, as described, and which preserves a steadiness to the whole of the upper partof thefapparatu's. The seat strap L, L, should be madequite wide, as `the weight of the body,.while standing or walking, `rests thereupon.`

Now it will be seen that these several parts j in combination, as described, each part having its respective connection, are so arranged that the walking aid `becomes attached to the limbs and body, in such a peculiar manner, as to avoid encircling the limb entirely by any `one` strap, where there is a .heavy bearing, by `which means the circulation of the blood is not impeded, all the large blood vessels being left unobstructed, by

pressure, the circulation ofthe blood is `free, and the limbs do not become. numb by the ,continued use of the` apparatusas in other cases of similararticles. Thus, by examination j lat the foot,` by a strap behind the heel,

as described, the first attachment being @check strapunder the foot,`"and a padded strap on the instep, which leaves the ankle 1ree; and the second attachment below the knee, `by a broad strap, slightly touching only on the inside of the leg, merelyto steady the machine. j The thirc attachment at the knee isthe patella cap, and the re- ?.spective straps, which do not touchthe back ,side of the leg or knee, thepressure being vious'ly;

The `jointed stripsA, A, should` be padded and the knee forthe purposes describedpre- For such cases, where weakness in the ankles will not allow of the attachment to the foot, as heretofore described, I provide another mode, as shown in Fig. 3, by an iron or steel bow V, attached tothe lower end of `the jointed strips A, A." This iron bow is so bent as toclear the ankle and outside of the foot, and to pass directly under the center of the foot, where it is rounded to enter the eye of the staple WV, as shown in Fig. 7, where the staple is represented attached t0 the plate X, by a head on the side opposite to the eye, but the staple W, is suffered to play in Il e plate X so as to allow the natural motion of the ankle when walking. The plate X is to be firmly attached by screws to the shoe or boot, before the heel is put on, and the staple should be just in front of the heel; the dotted line across the plate represents the place of the heel, in rear of the staple. A nut Y screwed on the bow V, keeps the staple in place.

In Figs. 3 and 4L are represented spiral and helical springs attached at the joint of the jointed pieces A, A, for the purpose of obtaining a more gentle, easy and lengthy tension and fleXure, which some cases require, instead of the straight springs, (as described,) and which render the apparatus more compact and suitable to wear inside of the pantaloons, being so attached as to effect the same ends as the straight springs represented in Fig. l, while the other parts remain without any substantial change.

A, A, Fig. 3, represents the same parts as in Fig. l. M, l/I, are plates forming a part of the joint, and having pins z', e', through them on which the rods, or wires j, j, hook. N, is a tube containing a spiral spring, the tension of which may be augmented or les sened by means of the nut k. This spring draws upon the rod .7", and the rod j, being attached to the upper portion of the jointed pieces A, A, the act-ion is to draw them into a line with each other. The rod j, is made fast to the turnbuckle 0, which has a joint pin at Z, and is confined down by a button m. When it is desired to take the tension ofll the spring and to allow the knee joint to bend, this will be effected by turning the button m, and relieving the turnbuckle.

Fig. 4: shows the application of a helical spring for the same purpose. P, is a box containing the spring, which is represented within it by dotted lines, and one end of it is shown on the outside of the box at Q. It may be wound up, so as to have its tension increased, by the head R, of its center arbor. S, is a pall taking into a ratchet T, Fig. 5, on the opposite side of the box. The manner of attaching, and the action of, such a spring, are too well understood by machinists to require further description. U, U, is a strap which may be made fast lto the lower section of the jointed pieces A, A, and may hitch upon pins n, n, a, on the upper; this will serve to check and to regulate their fleXure, and prevents the spring fro-m bending too far and becoming destroyed by the weight of the body in its sudden action thereon.

Having thus fully described the nature 0f my invention, and shown how the respective parts operate, and having in so doing included parts of the said apparatus which are not new, I now proceed to designate those parts, or combinations which I believe to be new, and which I desire to secure by Letters Patent.

I claim-` 1. The application of the springl as sho-wn at c, c, in Fig. l, or of the springs as shown in Figs. 3, and l, for the purpose of keeping up a continued tension on the knee joint, and of checking the flexure of the jointed pieces A, A.

2. I claim the manner of forming and arranging the parts by which the apparatus is attached to the foot, that is to say, the combination of the iron bow, a, a, with the piece A, and with respective straps apipended thereto, as herein set forth.

8. I claim the manner o-f combining the side strap, the patella cap, and the jointed pieces with each other', fo-r the purposes, and in the manner described. I claim, also, in combination therewith, the manner of connect-ing the pat-ella cap by straps, with the screw rod B, or with some analogous fiX- ture, by which the jointed parts of the pieces A, A, are allowed to stand off from theknee joint, as set forth, not intending, however, by these claims, to limit myself to the precise manner of arranging the respective parts as herein designated, but to vary these as I may think proper, while the same ends are attained by means substantially the same. I claim in connection therewith the manner of attaching the apparatus to the foot to favor weak ankles, as described in Figs. 3 and 7.

4. Finally I claim the manner of forming and arranging the several parts in the peculiar combination as herein set forth, by means of which the apparatus is` attached to the limbs and body, without entirely encircling the limb at one place; consequently without obstructing the free circulation of blood, which prevents the apparatus from causing a numbness, or paralyzing effect upon the limbs or body. In short, I claim the manner of attaching the apparatus to the limbs and body, in combination with its other parts, being constructed and operating substantially as herein described. n




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Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5292302 *Dec 5, 1991Mar 8, 1994Gianferante Mark LArticulating splint
US6045520 *Mar 16, 1998Apr 4, 2000Cramer Products, Inc.Articulated splint