US 2444839 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
` July 6, 1948.
, R. F. MARKKULA DROP-FOOT BRACE Filed July 21, 1945 'llIll/h M Rm .n OK m mM `m MM/ M ICI. M D mmf@ M 6 N Patented July 6, 1948 UNITED' sTATizs DROP-FOOT BRACE y Raymond F. Markkula, Los Angeles, Calif., as-
signor to American' Br partnership aces,v Oakland, Calif., a
Applicationoiulyzi, 1945, serial Nu. 606,35i
provide a brace arranged to be anchored to thev heel of a shoe and to engage a wearers leg for limiting 'movement of the Wearers foot.
Another object is to provide a brace which will substantially lock against movement in one direction about a pvot associated with they ankle of a wearer, and permit a limited resilient yielding movement in the opposite direction as an aid to persons ailiicted with drop-foot.
Another object is to provide a brace which may be readily transferred from one shoe to another, and locked in operative relation to a selected shoe.
Another object is to provide a'brace in which provision is made to prevent chaiiig of a wearers leg due to movement of t'he brace.
My invention possesses other objects land features of value, some of which with the foregoing will be set forth in the following description of the invention. It is to be understood that I do not limit myself to the showing made by the said description and the drawings as I may adopt variant forms of the invention within the scope of the appended claims.
In the drawings: Y
Figure l is a side elevation of applied to a shoe.
Figure 2 is a front elevation of t'he brace, detached from the shoe and sleeve. f
Figure 3 is an inner end elevation of the interengaging sleeve and pin portions of the brace mounting, drawn upon an enlarged scale.
Figure 4 isa fragmental side elevation, partly in section, of the inner end portions of the interlocking sleeve and pin, drawn upon an enlarged scale.
` In terms of broad inclusion, the drop-foot brace of my invention comprisesva heel piecedetachably anchored to the heel of a wearers shoe, and a pivoted extension extending upwardly from the heel piece along t-he back of the wearers leg and having means for securing the brace to the leg. The extension is resiliently yieldable in one direction about the pivot, and is locked against movement beyond a predetermined point in the the brace as lother direction.
In terms of greater detail, the drop-foot brace of my invention comprises a substantially L- shaped heel piece I having an upright back portion extending upwardly at the back of the heel and a bottom portion 2 arranged to underlie the heel of a wearer. The back portion of the heel piece I is preferably made of bar metal of a suit-2v able weight, strength andresiliency, such as steel or spring lbrass,l while the bottom or vheel engaging'portion 2 is preferably a pin or rod of circular cross-section riveted, Welded or other-r Wise secured to the back portion I. The bottom portion is preferably arranged to be detachably secured to the heel 4 of a shoe 3 by means of a" sleeve 5 inset in a recess 6 formed inthe heel t' and opening outwardly aty the back thereof. A lip IIiis turned inwardly at the inner end of' ther sleeve, to providey a key for effecting inter' locking engagement with an annular groove I'I formed in the pin adjacent its inrner end. A longitudinal groove I8 permits the lip to enter the groove I'I when the pin moved into the sleeve with the groove I8 in registry with theflip' I6, the lip being held in the groove for locking the pin in the sleeve when the pin is turned to move the groove I8 and lip I6 out of alignment. Preferably the lip I6 and groove I8 are positioned to permit the lip I 6 to enter the groove I8 when the brace is moved to a substantially horizontal posi tion. so that the pin and sleeve will be eifectually interlocked when the brace is moved toits n'ormal upright position. A sleeve 5 may be provided in each of any number of shoes so that the brace may be attached to whichevershoe the wearer may select.
n The pin 2 is freely rotatable within t'he sleeve 5, and permits the foot yto be turned from side to side through an adequate rang-e of vmovement about the ankle joint.
The upwardly extending back portion I of the heel piece is positioned immediately in back of the heelportion of the shoe and terminates at a point substantially opposite the ankle of a wearer. An extension 'I is pivoted to the upper end of the heel piece by meansv of a pivot joint 8 arranged toY permit a limited relative movement of thepar'ts'in lone direction, and to lock them against relative movement beyond a predetermined point in the opposite direction.
A leaf spring 9 is secured to one of the parts, preferably the extension 1, by a screw IU or other suitable securing means. Clips II yieldably bind the leaves of the spring 9 together and to the heel piece and extension. The spring 9 normally holds the extension 'I in substantial alignment with the upright back portion I of the heel piece, and in a position suc'h that a very small degree of pivotal movement will cause the heel piece to be locked against pivotal movement in a clockwise direction as viewed in Figure 1 of the drawings.
WENT-y :OFFICE cated in dotted lines in Figure 1. The extension 5 'l and yoke i2 are shaped to conform to the dirnensionsof'fthe leggi andato cause' .the-flea'st dis--i comfort l'to the "wearer: -A buckled! strap |3is':` fixed to the yoke, and provides a band encircling tion of a shoe, means for securing the heel piece to the shoe, a brace pivotally connected to the heel piece and extending upwardly therefrom for engaging a wearers leg, a leaf spring secured to one of the pivotally connected parts and slidably connected to the other part at points upon oppositefsidesvof the pivot-xandfspacedtherefrom, said .pivotr'and spring providing ha lock :against movement about the pivot in one direction and the leg near the top of the brace. "i lugvpermitting a limited yielding movement in the In order to accommodate the normaLmovement of the wearers leg while walking, and atthe same time permit the strap .i3-vto'befrmlyttighta ened onto the leg, I prefertot-attachwthevyoke 1.
I2 to a post 2l slidably engaging a sleeve 22 se- 15 cured to and forming the upper..` end oLthe extension T. The post 2i slides up anddown with' in the sleeve 22 as the wearer walks, andwtakes up the movement resulting from the exing of theflegf and foot about the ankle `joint. 20
i' The v-brace 4.is designedv primarily `for wear by a-.person handicapped byfwhat i'scommonly called dropefoot-P and who-lacks the ability .to oon.-
v trol-.the movement of a foot about the ankle joint. l
When such' a person attemptsto Walk, the foot .25
swings -down loosely and drags along-the. ground, to the -serious `inconvenience of the person;
'The--brace ofthe'l present invention `serves to preventfth'e downwardhmovement of the xfoot.` Aslthe-wearer lifts the-footinwalking, thedown. 30
ward swinging@ movement is limited .by the. jointy 8? The--yokeflZ-fbears against-the-back oftthewearers leg-at fa substantial Ar`distancel -above .the ankle; and the-curved endspftheyoke and the.. strap l 3 prevent rlateral displacement-mf vthe eX- tensiorr 'l relative-to the leg. As 'the-foot is raise.d itfis heldw-in a 'substantially horizontal-position. The .spring-- 9 yieldingly resists:pivota1--movement of ithe` heel-piece 7aboutvthe pivot-joint 8,..and resilientlyreturns .theparts tonormal position after displacement therefrom,v therebyl permitting. a limited7 flexing-.of the foot aboutgthe. ankleA joint andtobviating: obj actionable` rigidity;
1.. AAdropffoot ,brace comprising...a,hee]..piece 45 having lbottom-.and.hackt portions? angularly Vdisposedito approximately conformita .the heel por.- tion of a shoe, means for securingtheheel,pieceI tothe. shoe,4 aVA braee'pivotally. connected,..to Vthe heelgpieceandf extending-.upwardly theref-romor.Yy engagingA av Wearers leg, and a=leafspring-secured to one of the pivotally connected.lpartsamd:.exf-v tending 1into: slidable engagement .with V.the other partaatgpoints upon.-,opposite.,sides. of. the:` pivot-y andspacedtherefrom, said pivot andlspring. .pro- 5 viding. a lockaagainst movementnabout-.the pivot inone direction and. permitting a limited. yielding. movement .in `the other.
241 .A..drop.footA brace comprising a heel l piece having .bottom and. backportions vangularly .dis 60' posedfto. approximately. conform to the vheel porr.ting-.rrelativeimm/'ement thereof as the wearer Walks-'1T 3. A dropefootrbrace comprising a bar shaped to .substantiallylconform to the back of the heel 'andlowerportionfof the leg of a wearer, a pin 1 mounted upon the lower end of the bar and rotatably engaging a recess in the heel of the wearers shoe, interlockingly .engaging key .means detachably. securingthepin. in. rmzatalznlev engagement with the recess, and means upon vtheupper end or-the bar forlholding Vthe same in bracing y engagement with the back-.of the wearersleg.
4; Adrop-foot brace comprising a barshaped to substantially conform. tothe back ofthe heel and lowerportion oftheleg of a wearer, a pinsecuredV to the lowerend of the bar at substantially right .angles thereto, a.. sleevey securedV within thaheelpf the Avi/'eareifs shoe for engaging. the` pin, and .meansupon the upper end ofthe'bar for holding the same Vin bracingaengagement twith.
the back .of .the Wearers leg..
5. A drop-foot brace comprising .a rbar-shaped to substantially conform Ato .the back .of the heel and `lower portion of the wleg of a.Wearer, a pin secured. to the lower end of the bar lat-substan tially right angles'thereto, a sleeve secured withinthe heel of -thel wearers shoe vfor engaging. the pin, interengagingkey and groove means upon the pin. andsleeve for. releasably locking the brace to"` the shoe, and means-upon theupper end 'of the bari or holding thesame in bracing enf gagement with the back of the wearers leg.
RAYMOND TF. MARKKULA.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are ofwrecord` in the lelfoffthis patent:v
UNITED STATES PATENTS