US 2474200 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 21,1949. `TMCBEE 2,474,200
CERVICAL SPLINT Fi1ed July 19, 1946 v 2 sheets-sheet 1 fave/:far
v fifa/weg L. T. MOBEE CERVICAL SPLINT June 21, 1949.
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 19, 1946,
Patented June 21, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERVICAL SPLINT Lance T. McBee, Paris Island, S. C.
Application-July 19,1946, Seria/,l N0. 684,703
(Granted under the act of March .3, 1883, as amended April 30, 1928;. 370 0. G. 757') 13.- Claims.
This invention relates to. a cervical brace.
More particularly,` the invention is concerned. with.
a brace for rotatably supporting the head ofv a patient from his body` in a` manner to relieve pressure on` aV cervical vertebra which has been fractured, andin. al1' normal rotative positions ofthe head.
The present practice employed in. treating a patienthaving a fractured vertebra is to immobilize` the vertebrafor proper unison. by supporting-the patients head from-,hisbodyby means of a relatively immovable supporting brace for splint parts which include-sf various adjustable.
head engaging and supporti-ng` membersvwhereby the headmay be positioned and immovably held in the desired supported-position for most effective unison of the fracture.
While in this practice., the vertebrae is. immobilized formost eiective unison of` the fracture, the head of the` patient is maintained in a- Xed-supported position relative to his body with the result that the neck muscles are also immobilized so that they become weakened from lack of exercise-and reduced circulation, suchas is normally` occasioned'bygnatural pivotal movements of the head. Not only does this practice of using a rigid head supportingstructure'weaken` roll andl strain same. in an effort to'view objects Without the laborious effort of turning his body and head asaunit.
A primary object ofthe present invention therefore is theI provision of a cervical brace or splint having adjustable head engaging members for supporting a patients head from his body in proper supported position for effecting unison of a fractured cervical vertebra and. which also` provides for turning of the head whileit is thus supported from the body whereby the neckmuscles andy tissue may be properly exercised and greater comfort experiencedby the patient.
In most cases, however, it is desirable, when rst applying the-braceto providemeans which may be operated to retainthe head of a patient wholly immobilized: forA a predetermined time'.
Accordingly, a further object of the invention is the provisionlof a brace of theabove noted character whereby the head of'a patient may be tem. porarily restrained against turning, movements butwill at. al1 timesbe: properly; supported; from.-
the patients body in a desired position of adjustment.
A still further object. of the invention is the provision. of av cervical brace of the above noted character which` includes a main support having a body engaging member, and head and chin engaging andv supporting pad members, the latter being vertically adjustably supported on the body engaging member, and wherein the chin engaging pad isv further adjustable toward and from the head engagingv and supporting pad for accurately adapting the brace'to jaWsof Varying shapes and sizes.
Other-objects and advantages of the invention vwillbecome apparent in the course of the following. detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanyingA drawings, wherein- Figure l is a. perspective view of the improved brace as, observed from the front of a patient wearingsame;
Fig.V 2 is a perspective view similar to Fig. 1 but.A illustratingl the action of the brace in permitting the patient to turn his head while maintaining proper support of the head in all relative positions thereof, thus relieving pressure on the vertical vertebrae;
Fig.v 3 is a perspective vieW of the brace as observed substantially from the rear of a patient wearingrsame;
Fig. 4 is al partial top plan view of the rotary upper part of the head supporting ring, on a substantially enlarged scale and particularly illustrating the adjustable connection of the chin supporting member therewith;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged vertical section in the i kplane of lineA 5--5`, Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is anenlarged vertical section in the plane of line 6 6, Fig. 4;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged Vertical section in the plane of vline T T; Fig. 4.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, I0 designatesa body engageable harness which may conveniently comprise a fibrous breast engaging padfl lf, anda similar back engaging pad I2, which '.--pads adjustably overlap adjacent the shoulders as is indicated in Fig. 3; These pads may be con.. structed ofany desired'. material and they preferablyl each. include a relatively heavy fabric or leather'A facingV portion |3f and la respectively. Straps If are carriedby the back facing portion Mandare providedwith buckles I8 for receiving the perforated ends of straps i9 carried by the front portiony I3:
A: thin sheet metal plate 20- is mounted upon andy securedi as-byz rivets 2l to the iront facing portion'.` l3anda similar sheet metal plate-22 is ecuredzas by rivets 23ste the rear facing portion A rigidgmetallic-ring member 251is supported in a normally;horizontaliplaneiromf and-above the sheet metal plates 25 and 22 by means of tubular rod 26, whose lower ends are suitably shaped and secured as by rivets to the plates 2li and 22. The upper ends of the tubular rods are rigidly secured in any desired manner to the lower face of the ring 25, so as to extend substantially vertically from the body supported plates 2l) and 22 and in turn support the said ring in the desired horizontal position from the patients body.
A similar second ring 21 is disposed immediately above the ring 25 for rotation thereon and for this purpose the opposed adjacent faces of the rings are provided with cooperating ball bearing raceways 28 and 2!! respectively. A plurality of ball bearings 35 operate in the raceways and are maintained in proper spaced relation by means of a spacer ring 3 l, as is common in thrust bearings. The ring 21 is also in a normally substantially horizontal plane which intersects the normally substantially vertical axis of the neck of the wearer, i. e., when the wearer is in upright position, and is rotatably supported by the ring 25 and rods 25 mounted on the upper torso engaging plates 20 and 22.
A pair of bearing ring retaining members 32 are provided in substantially diametrical relation on the ring 21 and embrace the ring 25 to prevent separation thereof. As indicated in Fig. 6 these members extend over the upper race of ring 21, along opposite side faces of both rings and may terminate slightly inwardly at opposite sides of the lower ring 25, but in spaced relation therewith. The retaining members are secured to ring 21 by means of screw bolts 32. One of such retaining members, however, supports a screw 33 beneath the ring 25 for a purpose later to appear, and this retaining member preferably extends across the lower face of ring 25, asis indicated in Fig. 6.
The improved brace support as described iurther comprises means i'or supporting the head of the patient. This latter support is mounted directly upon the ring 21 and such means includes as one element a thin and relatively inflexible sheet metal plate 35 curved to fit the back of the head and carrying on its inner surface a suitably shaped lining pad 35. This pad is preferably V- shaped for engaging under the back of the head, as is more clearly indicated in Fig. 3. The opposite ends of the plate 35 are adiustably connected, as by straps 31, to opposite sides of a chin engaging and supporting member 38, which latter member also preferably includes a sheet metal plate, not shown, and an enclosing padding and cover.
The rear head engaging and supporting plate 35 is in turn supported from the upper face of the ring 21, by means of vertically adjustable rods including a pair of tubular sections 39, and the chin engaging member 38 is supported from a diametrical upper face portion of the same ring 21, by means of similar vertically adjustable rods 4.0. The rods 4l! are also mounted for horizontal adjustment on the ring 21 for varying the distance between the head engaging plate 35 and the chin engaging member 38, for conforming with varying head sizes and shapes of diferent patients, by which means the said supporting rods 4l] remain in substantially vertical positions in all positions of adjustment. Primarily, this means providing horizontal adjustment of the chin supporting pad 38, permits ease in placing and removing the cervical brace over the patients head as the entire chain supporting assembly is easily andquickly removed from the upper ring as will be fully understood from the following description;
For this purpose a rigid bar l| extends across the upper face of ring 21, adjacent the front thereof, and this bar is provided ywith a plurality of apertures 52 adjacent each end thereof. These apertures are so spaced that one thereof adjacent each end of the bar will register with one of several threaded recesses 43 in the ring 21, in different adjusted positions of the bar relative to the front of the ring, or toward and from the rear head engaging and supporting plate 35.
A stud bolt 44 extending through each of a pair of apertures 42 in the bar and registering with the selected recesses in the ring 21 are threaded into the latter for holding the bar in desired adjusted position. The head end of the stud bolt may be knurled as in Fig. 5 or provided with a wrench engaging head or screw driver receiving kerf, as desired, for ease in applying and removing same. The adjustable rods 45 each include a post 45 threaded into the bar 4| and a tubular member d5, having its lower end telescoped over the post. The upper end of the tubular member freely receives a threaded rod member i1 extending from and suitably secured to the chin engaging member, and a nut 48 is threaded onto the member 41 to rest on the top of the tubular member 46 and provide the desired adjustment.
The adjustable rods 39 are of the same construction as rods 4t but in this case the posts 45 are secured to the ring 21. In the use of the improved cervical brace above described, the harness !0 together with the rings 25 and 21 are passed over the patients head, after which the bar lli and rods 39 and 4B with their respective plate 35 and chin engaging member 38 are positioned, as illustrated.
The straps l1 and I9 are properly adjusted for proper body engagement of the harness I0, and the straps 31 are adjusted to maintain the plate 35 and chin engaging member 38 in proper position. The nuts 48 are thereupon turned for moving the plate 35 and chin engaging member upwardly through the threaded members 41, connected therewith for supporting the patients head from his body, and thereby relieving pressure on the cervical vertebra.
While it may be found necessary to variably adjust the several rods 39 and 4D for proper support of the head for most eiective unison of a fracture in the vertebra, the head will be maintained in a generally upright position as is illustrated in the drawings.
In my adjustable, rotatable cervical brace or splint just described it has been found that there is no appreciable change in the relative position of the cervical vertebrae when the head is turned to the right or left provided upward supporting pressure is maintained on the head from the body supported splint members. Accordingly, the rings 25 and 21 provide for natural turning movements of the head which not only is a marked convenience to the patient but is highly essential from an orthopedic standpoint for exercising the neck muscles, thereby preventing weakening thereof.
While it may not be advisable that a patient suffering from a fractured cervical vertebra be permitted to turn his head at all times, provision is made for locking the rings 25 and 21 against relative rotation and, as shown, such is eiected by means of the screw 33 which may be turned into tight engagement with ring 25. Since the member 32 is secured to ring 21, the rings will be locked against relative rotation and the patients head will be held immobilized. The screw may be released when conditions warrant for exercise of the neck muscles and for contributing greater comfort to the patient.
The improved compound brace as disclosed generally comprises a frame supported by the body and a head engaging frame supported on the body-supported frame, the frames including juxtaposed rotatably slidable rings having ball bearings therebetween Iwhereby the head engaging frame which includes adjustable head supporting members is freely rotatable on the body-supported frame.
The arrangement, including the rings and 21 provides a highly stable support and due to the bearings between the rings there is substantially no resistance experienced by a patient in turning his head which is highly important in preventing sudden jerks with possible pain resulting therefrom.
It should be appreciated from the foregoing disclosure that the improved cervical brace possesses all of the advantages of similar prior constructions in properly supporting the head of a patient from his body to relieve pressure on a fractured cervical vertebra while, however, at the same time providing for turning movement of the head for exercising the neck muscles, as well as providing for greater comfort to the patient wearing the brace.
The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
Having thus disclosed my invention in accordance with a preferred embodiment thereof, what I claim and desire to secure by U. S. Letters Patent is:
1. A cervical brace comprising a pair of superposed relatively rotatable rings, a body engageable harness rigidly supported by one of said rings, and head engaging members adjustably supported by the other ring.
2. A cervical brace comprising a body engageable harness, a ring supported by and above said harness, a second ring rotatably supported on the rst ring, head engaging members, and vertically adjustable means supporting said head engaging members from and above said second ring.
3. A cervical brace according to claim 2 together with means for locking said second ring against rotation relative to said first ring.
4. A cervical brace comprising a substantially horizontally disposed ring, a plate engageable with the back of the head of a patient wearing the brace, a chin engageable member, means individual to the plate and chin engageable member for vertically adjustably supporting same from the ring, and body engageable means rotatably supporting the ring.
5. A cervical brace according to claim 4 wherein said chin engageable member supporting means is selectively engageable with circumferentially spaced points on the ring for adjustment of the ring parallel to the plane thereof for varying the spacing of the plate and chin engageable member.
6. A cervical brace comprising a body engageable harness, a substantially horizontally disposed ring supported above the harness by rods interconnecting same, a second ring rotatably supported on the first ring, two pairs of vertically adjustable rods having their lower ends slipd ported by the second ring, a head engaging plate secured to the upper ends of one pair of said adjustable rods, and a chin engaging member secured to the upper ends of the other pair of adjustable rods.
7. A cervical brace according to claim 6, wherein said rings are provided with bearing races in their adjacent sides, ball bearings disposed in said races, and means secured to one ring and substantially encompassing the other ring for maintaining the bearings in the races.
8. A cervical brace comprising a pair of superposed relatively rotatable rings, a body engageable harness supported by and below the lower ring, a head engaging member vertically adjustably supported by and above the upper ring, a bar supported on the upper face of the upper ring, a pair of vertically adjustable rods having their lower ends supported by the bar, and a chin engageable member supported by the upper ends of the rods.
9. A cervical brace according to claim 8 together with means adjustably securing said bar along the upper face of said upper ring.
10. A cervical splint comprising head support means, body engaging means and a neck encircling part supported by said body engaging means and supporting said head support means, said part consisting of congruent sections slidable with respect to each other whereby the head support means and the body engaging means may be rotated independent of each other.
11. A cervical splint comprising head support means, body engaging means and an intermediate neck receiving part supported by said body engaging means and supporting said head support means, said part comprising superposed sections disposed in parallel planes and mounted for rotary movement with respect to each other in said parallel planes, whereby the head support means and the body engaging means may be rotated independently of each other.
12. A cervical splint according to claim 11 including releasable means for locking said sections together against relative rotation.
13. A cervical .brace comprising upper torso engaging means, support means mounted on said upper torso engaging means, neck receiving means mounted on the said support means for free rotary movement relatively to the said support means in a predetermined path in a plane disposed to intersect the vertical axis of the neck of the wearer when the wearer of the brace is in upright position, and head engaging and supporting means on said freely rotatable neck receiving 4means and rotatable therewith relatively to the said support means.
LANCE T. McBEE.
REFERENCES CITED 'I'he following referenlces are of record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 443,764 Hilliard Dec. 30, 1'890 689,097 Kirk Dec. 17, 1901 1,298,713 Hipwood Apr. 1, 1919 1,803,556 Nugent May 5, 1931 1,930,440 Longfellow Oct. 10, 1933 2,000,344 McClellan May 7, 1935 2,102,069 Hanicke Dec. 14. 1937