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Publication numberUS2573866 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 6, 1951
Filing dateMay 14, 1948
Priority dateMay 14, 1948
Publication numberUS 2573866 A, US 2573866A, US-A-2573866, US2573866 A, US2573866A
InventorsMurphy John H
Original AssigneeEdward J Mcmullen, Myron W Nusbaum
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Leg brace
US 2573866 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

.1.` H. MURPHY Nov. 6, 1951 LEG BRACE 2 SHEETS-SHEET l Filed May 14, 1948 y wmv m MU 0 WH. wm n wr@ W# J. H. MURPHY Nov. 6, 1951 LEG BRACE Fild May 14, 1948 2 SHEETS- SHEET 2 INVENToR. Jolzzzl. Murphy ATTORNEYS Patented Nov. 6, 1,951

John H. Murphy, Canton, Ohio, assignor ofthirty one-hundredths to Myron W. Nusbaum, Canton, Ohio, and thirty one-hundredths to Edward J. McMullen, Memphis, Tenn.

Application May 14, 1948, Serial No. 27,032

4 Claims. (Cl. 12S-80) The invention relates to orthopedic braces and more particularly to mechanically operated braces to assist paraplegics in walking.

There are many thousands of cases in. the

country today where, due to injury to, or disease f of, the spine the patient has absolutely no use of his legs, a large number of these cases being casualties of the recent war. As these victims of paraplegia are unable to walk with the assistance of crutches owing to the fact that their legs are entirely paralyzed and will not support the weight of the body, it is customary toV attach rigid braces to the legs, so that with the assistance of crutches the wearer can drag or swing his legs between the crutches. Y This requires that the entire weight of the body is carried suspended from the arm pits upon the crutches, making it a very tiring and painful operation for the patient to move about on crutches.

It is an object of the present invention to provide leg braces adapted to be worn by a person having no use of his legs, the braces having means thereon which will cause the legs to simulate a natural walking movement.

Another object is to provide apparatus of this character in which when the patient lowers his weight upon either leg the mechanically operated mechanism will automatically move the other leg in a walking movement which will be repeated as the weight is shifted to that leg.

A further object of the invention is to provide braces of the character referred to having knee and hip joints which are normally locked in rigid condition and means for automatically unlocking and locking said joints at the proper times during the walking operation. l

It is also an object of the invention to provide such braces in which the movement of the joints is limited during the walking operation and in which manual means is provided for unlocking the joints to permit suicient movement thereof to permit the wearer to assume a sitting position.

A still further object is'to provide such braces in which the knee and hip joints are normally locked in rigid condition by spring loaded locking pins Vcontrolled by cables connected tothe belt or body frame of the braces, whereby when the weight of theA wearer is shifted to either leg the knee and hip joints of the other leg braces will be unlocked sufficiently to permit them to be flexed in awalking motion.

Another object is to provide braces of this character in which a spring cylinder mounted above the knee joint of each leg brace, and connected by a cable .to the belt or body frame,

whereby when the knee and hip joints of either leg are unlocked, that leg will be automatically ilexed in a walking motion.

A further object is to provide braces of the character referred to in which as a step is completed with either leg, and the weight of the wearer is returned to that leg, the knee and hip joints of the corresponding leg brace will be automatically locked in rigid condition.

It is a still further `object of the invention to provide such automatically operated knee and hip joints in an articial leg.

drop foot connections;

Fig. lan enlarged, longitudinal, sectional view of one of the spring cylinders; Fig. 5 an enlarged fragmentary, longitudinal, sectional view of a portion of one leg brace;

Fig.` 6 a transverse sectional View on a still larger scale taken as on the line 6 6, Fig. 5;

Fig. 7 a sectionalview also on a larger scale, taken on the line '1 -l, Fig. 5;

Fig. 8 a fragmentary sectional elevation of one of the hip joints in the unlocked position to permit flexing of the same to produce a walking.

motion;

Fig. 9 a similar view of one of the knee joints;

Fig. 10 a sectional elevation of one of the hip joints showing the same entirely unlocked to permit ilexing vof the same to assume a sitting position; and

, Fig. 11 a sectional view through the hip joint taken as onrthe line ll-I I, Fig. 5.

Now referring more particularly to the drawings, in which similar numerals indicate similar parts, the invention is disclosed as applied to a pair of leg braces, attached to a belt or body frame, for use by paraplegics. It should be understood however that the invention is also applicable to a single leg brace for persons having .only one paralyzed, or injured'leg, and that the .invention may be also applied to artificial legs, as

well as to leg braces.

The invention as disclosed in the drawings includes a belt or body frame, indicated generally at I5, which may be adjustably strapped around the waist of the wearer, just above the hips, by any suitable means such as the buckle straps I6.

A metal plate I1 may be attached to each side of the belt or body frame I5, as by screws I8, located through the belt I5 and plate I1 and into the studs I9 and 20, which are provided for detachably connecting the leg braces to the belt or body frame as will be later described in de tail.

Each leg brace includes' the angular support plate, indicated generally at 2 I having near one end an aperture 22 for pivotally mounting upon the stud I 9 and near its other end the vertically elongated opening 23 received over the stud and permitting a limited pivotal movement of the plate 2| upon the stud I9.

The length of the opening 23 may be adjusted to limit the pivotal movement of the suppoit plate ZI relative to the body frame I5, by means of a pair of set screws 24, threaded through the upper and lower edges of the plate 2I and extending into the ends of the vertical opening 23, for contact with the upper and lower sides of the stud 28 as the support plate is pivotally moved upon the stud I9.

The support plate 2I maybe detachably, pivotally mounted upon the studs I9 and 20 by means of a plate 25 having a spaced pair of key hole slots therein, the enlarged portions 26 of the key hole slots being of suicient diameter to pass over the outer ends of the studs I9 and 26 and the reduced portions 21 of the key hole slots being of suiiicient width to fit snuglyupon the annularly grooved portions 28 of the studs I9 and 26.

Each of the support plates 2| has at its forward end a downwardly and outwardly disposed arm 29, terminating at its lower end in the substantially vertical ear 36 located adjacent to the hip joint of the wearer and having the substantially vertical notch 3I in its lower edge, communicating at its forward side with the relatively shallow arcuate notch 3'2. At the rear side l of the notch 3| the lower edge of the ear 30 is substantially flat, as indicated at 33. f

Each leg brace includes the upper section, indicated generally at 34, extending approximately from the hip joint to the knee joint of the wearer, and the lower section indicated generally atV 35, extending from the knee joint to the foot or ankle joint. Each of these leg brace members is preferably formed of metal tubing, substantially oval in cross section.

A spaced pair of ears 36 is formed upon, or attached to the upper end of each upper brace member 34, and the ear 38, at the lower end of the arm 29 of the support plate, is received between the ears 36 and pivoted thereto as by the internally threaded bushing 31 integrally formed upon the nut 38, which is of elongated shape as shown in Figs. 3 and 10, and received in a correspondingly shaped socket 39 in the adjacent ear 36, as shown in Fig. l1.

The screw 46 is threaded into the bushing 31 from the other side of the plate, the head, 4I of said screw preferably being seated in a socket 42 in the other ear 36. The bushing 31 not only forms a pivot for the ear 36 but also serves as a spacer to prevent the screw 4D from clamping the ears 36 tightly together upon thevear 36.

The brace member 34 is provided with a longitudinal bore 43, within which is sl-ldably located vrelatively shallow,

'in full lines in Fig. 1.

a locking pin 44 which is normally urged toward the ear 36 by means of a coil spring 45 located within the bore 43 behind the pin. A wire or cable 46 is connected to the locking pin 44 and located through the tubular brace member 34 and around a pulley 41 which is pivoted between apair of arms 49, formed in the brace member 34, as by the bushing nut 49 and screw 50.

The pulley 41 is provided with two annular grooves 5I and 5Ia, the wire or cable 46 being located in the groove 5Iorr and xed to the pulley, intermediate its ends, as by the screw 52. After passing around thepulley 41, the other end of the wire or cable 46 is connected to the stud 26, as by means of e, bracket 53, which may be provided With an elongated opening 54 received upon the reduced outer end 55 of the stud 23 in back of the head 56 of said stud.

The end portion of the wire or cable 46 is located through a bore, 51 in the boss 58 of the bracket 53 and adjustably connected thereto, as by the set screw 59. In order to limit the movement of the pulley 41 the central flange 66 thereof, which separates the annular grooves 5I and lSlot, hasv an arcuate notch 6I formed therein, and the reduced end 62 of a spring loaded plunger 63 is normally located in said notch by means of the coil spring 64, located in the bore 65 between the plunger 63 and the nut 66.

For the purpose of manually withdrawing the plunger out of the arcuate notch 6I, a rod 61 is connected to the plunger and extends upward through the bore. At the lower end of the brace member 34 a spaced pair of ears 68 is provided, similar to the ears 36 above described, and a looking pin 69 is slidably mounted in the bore 16 of said brace member and normally urged downward by means of the coil spring 1I, a wire or `cable 12 being connected to said locking pin and passing up through the tubular brace member 34 and over the pulley- 13, the upper end of the Wire '2 being located in the groove 5I of the pulley 41 and fixed thereto as by the The ear 14 is received between the ears 58 i `and pivotally mounted therein, as by the bushing nut 15 and screw 16 similar to the bushing nut and screw above described with reference to the hip joint of the brace.

The ear 14 has in its, upper side, the relatively deep, narrow notch 11, communicating with the arcuatey notch 18, which notches are similar to the notches 3l and 32 in the ear 30, above described. v

The lockingV pin 69 is normally received into the'deep,` narrow notchV 11 inthe same manner that the locking pin 44 is received into the notch 3 I, to hold the knee and hip joints rigid, at which time the fiat upper end 19 ofthe ear 'I4 is received against the bottom of the slot between the ears 68 in the same manner that the hatA lower end of thev ear 36. is received' against the bottom v of the slot between the ears 36.

With the parts in this position, vas shown in Fig. 5', the brace members 34y andy 35 will` be rigidly locked together in straight condition, asl indicated ALy spring cylinder is mountedffupon the'fron't through a suitable bore in a boss 8| formed integrally with the brace member 34, a set screw 82 holding the cylinder in adjusted position there- A plunger 83 is slidably located within the cylinder 80 and provided at its lower end with a head 84 which may be provided with a leather 85 if desired. A coil spring 86, which has a pull considerably less than the weight of the wearer, is located within the cylinder 80, between the head 84 of the plunger and the cap 81 of the cylinder, which cap is threaded upon the cylinder as indicated at 88 so as to adjust the tension upon the spring.

In order to provide a further adjustment, the upper end of the plunger, above the cap 81, is threaded, as indicated at 89, and the sleeve 90 is threaded thereon and connected to the lower end of a cable 9|, the upper end of which is adjustably connected to a bracket 92, similar to the bracket 53, which is connected to a stud 93, xed upon the belt, or body frame, forwardly of the plate I1.

To provide a foot or ankle joint, which will prevent the toe of the foot from dragging upon the floor or ground and hold the foot in substantially horizontal position, a joint member as shown in Fig. 3 is provided. This joint member comprises a stirrup 94 adapted to be attached to the shoe of the wearer, as is common in braces of this general type.

For this purpose the upper end of the stirrup is provided with an ear 95 received between the spaced ears 96 at the lower end of the lower brace member 35. A flat stud or pin 91 is located through the ears 96 to form a pivot for the stirrup 94. The ear 95 of the stirrup is provided with a circular pivot opening 98 communicating with the restricted slot 99 open4 through the top of the ear 95.

For the purpose of preventing the toe of the foot from dragging a spring pressed plunger |00 is slidably mounted in a bore IIJI at the lower portion of the brace member 35, a coil spring |02 being inserted between said plunger and the screw plug |03, in the upper end of the bore, so as to normally urge the lower end of the plunger |00 into contact with the substantially flat, upper surface |04 of the ear 95 of the stirrup.

In order to connect the stirrup to the brace member 35 said brace member may be swung backward to substantially horizontal position, so that the flat stud 91 may be inserted through the rectangular slot 99 in the ear 95 of the stirrup, and the stud 91 is moved down into the circular opening 98 of the stirrup and the brace member 35 is swung above to substantially vertical position, as shown in Fig. 3, pivotally mounting the stirrup upon the brace member 35 and preventing accidental removal thereof.

Inside leg braces are provided for each leg comprising the upper and lower inner brace members |06 and |01 respectively, these brace members being similar to the outer brace members above described and connected at the knee joints. by hinge members indicated generally at |08. The lower ends of the inside brace members |01 may be detachably connected to the stirrup 94 by joints such as shown in Fig. 3 and above described.

The inner and outerleg brace members are connected together by the usual leather covered metal straps, as indicated at |09, adapted to t around the back 'of the leg, and by the straps I I0 and knee pad l I, tting around the front of the leg.

AIn the operation of the device, the wearer is of course supported upon crutches, particularly in cases of complete paralysis from the waist down. With the braces mounted upon the wearer, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, in order to produce a walking motion the weight of the wearer is shifted to the right leg and the left crutch is moved forward, and the body is bent slightly forward and toward the right from the waist, and this results in a pull upon the wire or cable 46 on the left side, which is suicient to pull the corresponding locking pins 44 and 69 out of the deeper notches 3| and 11 respectively of the hip and knee joints and into the wider arcuate notches 32 and 18, unlocking the hip and knee joints and permitting a limited pivotal movement of the upper and lower brace members 34 and 35 respectively, as shown in Figs. 8 and 9, and the spring cylinder upon that leg then operates, swinging the leg forward in a walking motion as indicated in dotted lines in Fig. 1.

It will be seen that as the body is bent forwardly and toward the right, for instance, placing the weight upon the right leg, the left side of the body frame or belt I5, as viewed in Fig. 5 of the drawing, will be tilted so that the stud 29 will be higher than the stud I9, pulling upon the cables 46 and 12 so as to release the locking pins 44 and 69 of the hip joint and knee joint respectively, withdrawing them from the notches 3| and 11 respectively, permitting the cylinder and associated parts of the left leg brace to pull the same forwardly in a walking motion so that the pivot joints of the hip and knee respectively of that leg assume the positions shown in Figs. 8 and 9 respectively.

The wearer thenl throws his weight to the left side, putting his weight on the left leg, which has been raised to the dotted line position and leans backward from the waist, releasing the tension on the spring loaded locking pins 44 and 69 on the left side and moving the hip joint back to the position shown in Fig. 5, engaging the locking pin 44 in the deeper notch 3| in the hip joint.

He then puts his right crutch forward and leans forward and to the left, keeping his weight kon his left leg, whereby the weight of his body overcomes the pull of the left hand spring cylinder, so that the left knee joint returns to normal, straight position and permits the locking pin 59 to enter the deeper notch 11, locking the left knee joint as shown in Fig. 5 and holding the leg brace on the left side locked in rigid straight position, while the brace on the right leg will be operated as above described to unlock the hip and knee joints thereof and swing the same forward in a Vwalking motion. This operation is repeated as each step is taken.

The pivotal connection of the support plate 2| upon the stud I9, and the elongated opening 23 in the support plate receiving the stud 29, permits a limited forward and backward bending of the body from the waist, during the walking movement.

When the wearer desires to assume a sitting position, the spring loaded plungers 63 are manually pulled upward out of engagement with the notches 6| in the pulleys 41, by means of the rods 61, and the wires or cables 46 are pulled upward manually, rotating the pulleys 41 suflciently' to withdraw the locking pins 44 and 69 entirely from the arcuate notches 32 and 'I8 so that both of these pivotal joints on each side may be flexed to the desired extent to permit the wearer to assume a sitting position. In Fig. is shown the manner in which the upper or hip joint of each brace may be flexed to a sitting position, and it will be obvious that the knee joints are correspondingly flexed in opposite direction.

I claim:

1. WalkingV leg braces comprising a body frame adapted for connection to the trunk of the body of a wearer, leg braces, means upon the leg braces for connecting them to the legs of the wearer, means pivotally connecting the upper ends of the leg braces to opposite sides of the body frame, means normally locking the pivots in aligned condition, means operated by the tilting of the body frame forwardly and downwardly to one side for unlocking the pivot on the other side, and means connected to each leg brace and to the body frame for swinging each leg brace in a forward walking motion when the corresponding pivot is unlocked, whereby when said walking leg braces are connected to the body of a person the alternate shifting of the wearers weight from one leg to the other and simultaneous bending of the wearers body forwardly and in the direction of said other leg will cause the alternate unlocking of the pivots and swinging of the leg braces in a forward walking motion.

2. Walking leg braces comprising a belt adapted for connection to the trunk of the body of a wearer, leg braces, means upon the leg braces for connecting them to the legs of the wearer, means pivotally connecting the upper ends of the leg braces to opposite sides of the belt, each leg brace having a pivotal knee joint and hip joint therein, spring loaded locking pins for normally locking said pivotal joints in aligned condition, cables connected to said locking pins and to said belt at points tothe rear of said pivotally connecting means for unlocking said pivotal joints on either leg brace when the belt is tilted forwardly and downwardly to the other side, and means connected to each leg brace above the knee joint thereof and to the bel-t for swinging each leg brace in a forward walking motion when the pivotal joints therein are unlocked, whereby when said walking leg braces are connected to the body of a person the alterlnate shifting of the wearers weight from one leg to the other and simultaneous bending of the wearers body forwardly and in the direction of said other leg will cause the alternate unlocking of the pivots and swinging of the leg braces in a forward walking motion,

3. Walking leg braces comprising a belt adapted for connection to the trunk of the body of a wearer, leg braces, means upon the leg braces for connecting them to the legs of the wearer, means pivotally connecting the upper vends of thelleg braces to opposite sides of the belt, each leg brace having a pivotal knee joint and hip joint therein, spring loaded locking pins for normally locking said pivotal joints in aligned condition, cables .connected to said locking pins and to said belt at points to the rear of said pivotally connecting means for unlocking said pivotal joints in either leg brace when the belt is tilted forwardly and downwardly to the other side, and means including a cylinder mounted upon each leg brace above the knee joint, a spring loaded plunger in the cylinder and a cable connecting said plunger to the belt for swinging each leg brace in a forward walking motion when the pivotal joints therein are unlocked, whereby when said walking leg braces are connected to the body of a person the alternate shifting of the wearers weight from one leg to the other and simultaneous bending of the wearers body forwardly and in the direction of said other leg will cause the alternate unlocking of the pivots and swinging of the leg braces in a forward walking motion.

4. Walking leg braces comprising a belt adapted for connection to the trunk of the body of a wearer, depending brackets pivotally connected to opposite sides of the belt, leg braces, means upon the leg braces for connecting them to the legs of the wearer, each leg brace having a pivotal hip joint connecting them to the corresponding bracket and a pivotal knee joint, spring loaded locking pins for normally locking said pivotal joints in aligned condition, cables connected to said locking pins and to said belt at points to the rear of said pivoted brackets for unlocking said pivotal joints on either leg brace when the belt is tiltedV forwardly and downwardly to the other side, and means connected to each leg brace above the knee joint thereof and to the belt for swinging each leg brace in a forward walking motion when the pivotal joints therein are unlocked, whereby when said walk. ing leg braces are connected to the body of a person the alternate shifting of the wearers weight fromone leg toA the other and simultaneous bending of the wearers body forwardly and in the direction of said other leg will cause the alternate unlocking of the pivots and swing;- ing of. the.Y leg braces: in a forward walking motion.

JOHN H.l MURPHY.

REFERENCES CITED' The following references are of record in the le of this patent:`

UNITED' STATES PATENTS Number Name Date- 1-,585,828 Bierig May 25, 1926 2,111,018 Ahler. Mar. l5, 1938 2,267,848y Taylor Dec. 30, 1941

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Classifications
U.S. Classification602/16, 623/55, 623/31, 623/27, 602/23
International ClassificationA61F5/01
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/0102
European ClassificationA61F5/01D