US 2531486 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 28, 1950 A. J. WEBER ORTHOPEDIC DEVICE Filed Nov. 7, 1947 Patented Nov. 28, 1950 TED rarsur OFFICE *ORTHGPEDIC *DEV'I CE Andrew ,J. Weber, Milwaukee, :Wis. ApplicationNovember 7, 19141 ficiiiaLNg; 7 84 ,539
2 Claims. l
This invention relates to orthopedic appliances and refers particularly towa golevice ,adapted to be wornby persons afflicted with drop foot which generally results from an injury to the peroneal nerve which forms the lateral partoi the sciatic nerve. Thismerve commonly known as-rthe-external...popliteal -nerve,':.by its branches, supplies tallthe muscles of itheanterior part of the leg and the dorsum of the foot and all of the toes for all functions in dorsal elevation. A person thus aifiicted cannot draw the toe of his foot upwardly and as a consequence the toe drags as he walks,
It is an object of this invention to provide a device which will adequately support the foot as a whole of a person aiilicted with drop foot and yet permit complete dorsal and plantar flexion to thereby enable substantially normal walking.
Another object of this invention is to provide a device of the character described which is easily applied and comfortable in use.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an orthopedic appliance for the purpose set forth which is relatively inconspicuous, at least when worn by a man.
With the above and other objects in view, which will appear as the description proceeds, this invention resides in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of parts substantially as hereinafter described and more particularly defined by the appended claims, it being understood that such changes in the precise embodiment of the hereindisclosed invention may be made as come within the scope of the claims.
The accompanying drawing illustrates one complete example of the physical embodiment of the invention constructed according to the best mode so far devised for the practical application of the principles thereof, and in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of an orthopedic device embodying this invention; and
Figure 2 is a side view thereof to illustrate particularly the manner in which it supports the toe.
Referring now particularly to the accompanying drawing, the numeral 5 designates an upper strap adapted to embrace the leg of the wearer above the knee. This strap consists of a U- shaped metal piece encased within a leather sheath provided with suitable padding and a I buckle 6 with a cooperating tie strap l.
Rigidly secured to and extending down from the strap 5 are two rigid arms 8. the lower ends of which have links 9 pivoted thereto as at l8. The lower ends of the links have elongated slots l-l toslidabl-y receivekey-portions -12 fixed to the sides of a lower strap-13. "Thislower strap, like the upperpone, consists of a U-shaped metal piece sheathed inpadded leather and likewise provided with a buckle M and a tie strap 15. Screws is threaded into the'key portions 12 provide means for locking the lower strap to the links at any position of elevation alongthe length ofthe slots 11. 'The'proper elevation is determined by the length of the tibia, it being understood that when the device is in place the hinged connections IE2 are substantially in line with the knee joint.
Projecting down from and rigidly secured to the back of the lower strap is a spring steel strip ll covered with leather. The lower end of this strip is bent forwardly as at l 8 and has a shoe 15 secured thereto. This portion I8 of the spring steel strip extends through an opening in the heel 20 of the shoe and is bolted or otherwise secured to the sole of the shoe.
The angle defined between the vertical portion of the spring steel strip I! and its shoe carrying projection I3 is acute so that as long as the upper end of the strip is firmly anchored, the toe of the shoe will be held up. The necessary firm anchorage of the lower strap I3 is obtained through its described connection with the upper strap 5. Through this connection, i. e., the arms 8 and links 9, the lower strap E3 is held in a plane substantially normal to the axis of the tibia. This holds the spring steel strip l? in the position required to yieldingly hold the toe up.
From the foregoing description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that this invention provides an orthopedic device which not only corrects drop foot but adequately supports the entire foot in an upwardly tilted position to thereby relieve the tension on the peroneal nerve which results from injury to the nerve. In addition the brace allows for dorsal and plantar flexion of the foot to thereby enable normal exercise such as derived from walking. With the foot so supported a nerve which has been injured but not destroyed may have an excellent chance of regaining its normal function. This is accomplished with a minimum of discomfort and embarassment as the device is relatively inconspicuous when in use, the entire mechanism, with the exception of the extreme lower portion of the spring Steel porting strip i7, being concealed within the trouser leg,
What I claim as my invention is:
1. An orthopedic device of the character described, comprising: a strap adapted to embrace the leg of a wearer above the knee; a strap adapted to embrace the leg of the wearer below the knee; downwardly projecting arms rigidly secured to the sides of the upper strap; a link hinged to the lower end of each of said arms; means securing said links to the sides of the lower strap, said means allowing adjustment of the position of the lower strap along the length of the links and rigidly holding the lower strap in a position substantially normal to the plane of the links; a spring strip fixed to and extending down from the back of the lower strap so as to lie along the back of the wearers calf; and a shoe secured to the lower end of said spring strip, the resiliency of said strip yieldingly holding the entire shoe tilted upwardly about a transverse axis adjacent to the back of the shoe so that the general plane of the shoe sole forms an acute angle to said spring strip.
2. An orthopedic appliance, comprising: an upper strap adapted to be applied to the leg of the wearer above the knee; a lower strap adapted to be applied below the knee, a joint connection between said straps comprising hinged rigid members, said connection holding the lower strap in a fixed position substantially normal to the axis of the tibia; a shoe; and a solid resilient metal strip having substantial width to preclude edgewise bending thereof, flatwise anchored to the back portion of said lower strap and extending downwardly therefrom so as to lie flatwise along the back of the leg of the wearer and having a rigid connection at its lower end with the extreme rear portion of the shoe and with the plane of the bearing surface of the shoe in an upwardly tilted position and forming an acute angle with the resilient strip, said resilient strip although precluded from edgewise bending to prevent twisting motion of the shoe such that turning of the ankle of the wearer is prevented providing for movement of the shoe against the resilience of said resilient strip such that plantar and dorsal flexion of the foot is permitted.
ANDREW J. WEBER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 431,797 Blattmachr July 8, 1890 1,332,047 Lasher Feb. 24, 1920 2,444,839 Markkula July 6, 1948