US 2760486 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 28, 1956 T. c. WARD 2,760,486
SPINAL FLEXION BRACE Filed May 19, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig] Fig.2
Thomas 0. Ward 1N VEN TOR.
B1. WZ Mm Aug. 28, 1956 T. c. WARD SPINAL FLEXION BRACE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 19, 1955 INVENTQR. @650.
illlilllllllilll Thomas 6. Ward SPINAL FLEXION BRACE Thomas C. Ward, Waco, Tex.
Application May 19, 1955, Serial No. 509,610
1 Claim. (Cl. 128-78) The present invention relates to surgical appliances and more particularly relates to a spinal brace for flexing the spine, and correcting posture deficiencies arising from lordosis or related spinal curvatures, as well as providing abdominal support.
A most important object of the present invention is in the provision of a spinal brace having upper and lower bracing elements for engaging the upper and lower portions of the back of a patient with interchangeable means for encircling the waist of the patient wearing the brace whereby one size brace may be adapted to patients having a variety of waist measurements in a simple and eflicient manner.
A further important object of the present invention ancillary to the primary object is in the provision of a spinal brace capable of sufficient adjustment so that only the waist measurement of a patient to wear the brace is necessary to fit the brace to any patient and wherein the waist encircling means of the brace to attach the brace to the patient is of an interchangeable nature whereby different sized waist encircling means may be provided with each brace.
A further object of the invention is in the provision of a spinal brace wherein the parts of the brace are constructed generally of a relatively soft, bendable metal to enable simple fitting of the brace to the contour of the body of the patient.
A still further object of the invention is in the provision of a novel means for retaining the upper and lower back bracing elements in longitudinal flexing relation with one another whereby they will exert continual pressure on the upper and lower regions of the back when the brace is in position on a patient and whereby the amount of pressure exerted by the bracing elements may be easily simply regulated.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
Figure 1 is a side elevational view of the spinal brace constituting the invention as applied to the body of a patient;
Figure 2 is a rear view of the brace as applied to a patient;
Figure 3 is a front view of the brace;
Figure 4 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view through the base taken substantially along the plane of section line 4-4 of Figure 3;
Figure 5 is a cross-sectional view through the brace taken substantially along the plane of section line 5-5 of Figure 3;
Figure 6 is an enlarged detail view of the hinge connecting one of the longitudinal connecting bars to one of the bracing elements of the brace; and
Figure 7 is an exploded perspective view of a portion atent of the adjusting means for attaching the brace around the waist of a patient.
In the drawings, the spinal brace constituting the invention is designated in its entirety by the numeral 10 and comprises upper and lower bracing elements 12 and 14 respectively interconnected to one another by means of a longitudinally extending connecting means 16. Intermediate the ends thereof, the connecting means 16 has detachably secured thereto a waist encircling means 18 for retaining the brace 10 in place on a wearer.
As will be noted particularly from Figure 2, the upper and lower bracing elements 12 and 14 are attached to the upper and lower ends of the longitudinally extending connecting means 16 intermediate their free ends.
The longitudinally extending connecting means 16 comprises essentially a pair of spaced, parallel, connecting straps or bars capable of longitudinal flexing, the material therefor being formed from spring steel or similar metal.
The upper and lower bracing elements 12 and 14 respectively may constitute simply transversely extending, slightly arcuated metallic plates of aluminum or the like, the surfaces of which are provided with covering material 20 of leather or the like. The face of the plate adapted to engage the back of the patient may be provided with a foam rubber or other sponge-like body as at 22 for adjusting to the contour of the back. Connecting straps 26, which form the connecting means 16 previously mentioned, are attached at their upper and lower ends by means of hinges 24 to the bracing elements 12 and 14 whereby these bracing elements are permitted pivotal movement relative to these connecting straps. As will be noted particularly from an examination of Figure 6, the pivotal axis of the hinge 24 is parallel to the transverse bracing element 14.
Intermediate the upper and lower ends of the connecting straps 26, a transversely extending comparatively rigid strap 28 constituting a portion of the waist encircling means 13 is attached.
The transversely extending strap 28 is preferably of aluminum or other bendable yet relatively rigid metallic material. A suitable plastic possessing these properties would also be satisfactory. The strap or bar 28 has a pair of longitudinally spaced apertures therein intermediate the ends thereof, these apertures being designated by the numeral 30 as will be seen on Figure 4 and aligning with corresponding apertures 32 in the connecting bars or straps 26. The apertures are threaded for the reception of a removable screw 34. With this arrangement, obviously, the strap or bar 28 may be replaced with a similar, diiferent sized strap when desired.
Further, by the bendable nature of the material of the strap 23, the same may be bent adjacent its end portions to conform to the transverse contour of the back of a patient to which the brace is applied without difliculty.
Carried at the ends of the waist bar 28 are longitudinally extending side bars 36. The side bars 36 are adapted to lie along the sides of the patient and are preferably formed of aluminum or other simlar bendable material whereby they may be bent to conform to the side contour of the patient at the waist. To attach the side bars 36 to the ends of the waist bar 28, the end of the waist bar is provided with a suitable threaded aperture 38 aligning with or registering with a corresponding threaded aperture 40 intermediate the upper and lower ends of each side bar. A screw similar to screw 34 may then secure the parts to one another. In addition, the screw attaching each of the side bars 36 to an associated end of the waist bar 28 may serve to fashion a buckle holder clip 42 thereto.
Similar buckle holder clips 42 are attached to the upper and lower ends of each side bar 36. Buckles 44 are carried by these clips 42.
Disposed between the side bars 36 is an abdominal region engaging means in the form of an abdominal pad 46. Extending transversely across and secured to pad 46 at vertically spaced intervals thereon are belts or straps of a flexible nature 48. The free end portions 50 of the straps 48 are engaged through the belt buckles 44 for tightly fitting the brace on a patient. Loops 52 may be provided for preventing the free end portions 50 of the flexible straps 48 from flapping.
To position the brace 10 in place, the upper brace element 12 is disposed adjacent the scapula and the lower brace element 14 is disposed adjacent the sacrum. The connecting straps 26 are generally outwardly curved so that by varying the tension of the abdominal strap 46, the distance between the upper and lower brace elements 12 and 14 may be slightly adjusted,
To adjust the brace 10 on the waist of a patient on which the brace is to be used has, with prior art devices, been somewhat of a problem and necessitated several size ranges of brace. With the present invention, however, it is necessary only to interchange the waist bar 28 with larger or smaller brace bars as necessary. The interchangeability is accomplished simply and quickly by removing the screws 34. This eliminates the necessity for carrying a plurality of difierent sized braces since one common size may be utilized with various waist bars 28.
When positioned, the abdominal pad 46 is tightened into place by pulling on the free end portions of the flexible abdominal straps 48.
By virtue of utilizing the relatively bendable and lightweight metals such as aluminum in the formation of the waist bar 28, side bars 36 and bracing elements 12 and 14, it is possible to easily fit the brace to the contour of the wearer whereby one size brace 10 may actually constitute a custom fit for various sized patients.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those 4- skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
A spinal brace comprising a pair of laterally spaced upright, resilient metal straps for positioning at the back of a person upon opposite sides of the spinal column and normally bowed outwardly for flexing toward the back of a person to elongate said straps, a pair of upper and lower elongated rigid brace members attached horizontally intermediate the ends thereof to upper and lower ends of said straps for engaging the back of a person adjacent the scapula and sacrum respectively, and separative by elongation of said straps to stretch the spinal column, a bendable metallic waist strap for extension forwardly part way around the waist of a person and connected intermediate its ends to mid-portions of said straps, a pair of uprightside bars bendable to fit the sides of a person and connected intermediate their ends to the ends of said waist strap, an elongated pad for application in vertical position against the abdomen of a person, and upper, lower and intermediate flexible straps extending horizontally across said pad for tightening to pull the side bars forwardly for pulling the waist strap forwardly to flex said pair of straps, said upper and lower flexible straps being terminally connected to upper and lower ends of said side bars, and said intermediate flexible strap being terminally connected to said side bars at the ends of said waist strap.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 507,172 Sheldon Oct. 24, 1893 2,160,709 Peckham May 30, 1939 2,162,189 Williams June 13, 1939 2,181,689 Bell NOV. 28, 1939