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Publication numberUS2904040 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 15, 1959
Filing dateAug 11, 1958
Priority dateAug 11, 1958
Publication numberUS 2904040 A, US 2904040A, US-A-2904040, US2904040 A, US2904040A
InventorsRandall H Hale
Original AssigneeRandall H Hale
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cervical brace
US 2904040 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 15, 1959 R. H. HALE CERVICAL BRACE Filed Aug. 11, 1958 wwwwww WWW/ll INVENTOR.

RANDALL H. HALE United StatcsPatent Q CERVICAL BRACE Randall H. Hale, Los Angeles, Calif.

Application August 11, 1958, Serial No. 754,326

Claims. (Cl. 128-87) This invention relates to orthopedic appliances generally and in particular to a cervical brace for supporting the head and neck of a patient so as to immobilze the cervical spine during healing of a fracture or correction of a deformity.

The conventional cervical brace provides a truss structure including chest and back pads, suitably strapped to the body of the patient at approximately shoulder level to provide support, a chin cup and a neck (occipital) yoke for applying the support to the patients head in the areas of the chin and the back of the neck, said chin cup and neck yoke being strapped to one another for snug retention in contact with the chin and neck; and two pairs of struts, commonly referred to as tension rods, for transmitting the support from the chest pad to the chin cup and from the back pad to the occipital yoke respectively. In the past it has been considered necessary that the supporting struts be rigid and unyielding in the transmission of support, although it is common to provide means for adjusting the effective length of the struts, and in some cervial braces, means is provided for adjusting the chin cup and occipital yoke to selected angles of tilt with respect to the supporting struts. In all such cases, however, the support provided by the struts is a relatively rigid, unyielding support and it has been assumed that such is necessary in order-to properly immobilize the cervical spine.

The general object of the present invention is to provide a cervical brace which, though embodying the general elements of construction referred to above, is adapted to apply a spring-loaded support of limited yieldability to the chin cup and neck yoke, the spring load being of a sufiiciently high value to effect adequate immobilization of the occipital spine and the yieldability, on the other hand, being such as to provide just suflicient freedom of limited movement of the head, particularly in a forward rearward path, to provide for a limited exercising effect which, although it does not permit of any delaying or injurious effect upon the spinal area being treated, acually improves and speeds up the treatment through the stimulation of circulation and other beneficial effect of limited exercise upon the muscles of the neck and even the muscles in the chin and the back of the head in actual contact with the support applying pads.

A further object is to provide for such spring loaded support in combination with substantially immovable positioning of the axis of the neck and head.

A further object is to provide an improved cervical brace that does not require the conventional length adjustment in the support transmitting struts, and which eliminates the possibility of incorrect adjustment as the result of error in judgment or lack of adequate skill on the part of a medical attendant. In this connection, I find that the conventional cervical brace has the inherent defect, not heretofore recognized, of being substantially incapable of adjustment to provide and maintain exactly the right amount of pressure at each point of pressure application in order to attain maximum therapeutic ef- Fig. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of the laminate construction embodied in the chin cup and neck yoke; and

Fig. 4 is an enlarged axial sectional view of one of the support transmitting struts.

Referring now to the drawing in detail, my improved cervical brace comprises, in general, a chin cup 10 to receive and apply support to the chin of a patient (indicated in broken lines); an occipital yoke 12 to embrace and apply support to the back of the patients neck immediately below the rear-Wardly protruding rear area of the skull; a chest pad 14 adapted to restupon and derive support from the chest slightly below the shoulder level; a back pad 16 adapted to rest against and derive support from the patients back at approximately arm pit level; tie straps 18 connecting the chin cup 10 and occipital yoke 12 to one another on each side of the neck to maintain snug supporting engagement with the chin and neck areas respectively; shoulder straps 19 and arm pit straps 20 for strapping the pads 14 and 16 to the patients body; and two pairs of my improved struts 22 for transmitting support from the pads 14 and 16 to the chin cup 10 and the occipital yoke 12.

The pads 14 and 16 (Fig. 3) each comprise a stiff face plate 24 for secure attachment of the struts 22, and a cushioning liner sheet 26 of soft, compressible, resilient material for accommodating the respective pad to the surface contours of the patients body with a cushioning effect. The face plate 24 may be a relatively thick sheet of stiff, synthetic resin plastic material (e.g. relatively unplasticized acrylic thermoplastic resin) while the pad 26 may likewise be a thermoplastic synthetic resin but of the plasticized, foamed structure providing a spongy construction, or of sponge rubber.

The shoulder straps 19 function primarily to support the pads 14 and 16 at a selected height on the patients body, which height may be adjusted by means of adjustable fasteners (e.g. buckles 28) connecting the forward ends of the straps to the upper corners of the chest pad 14. The rear ends of the straps are detachably attached to the pads 16 by suitable releasable fasteners 30 which may be conventional snap-socket fasteners.

Similarly, the underarm straps 20 are detachably attached to the back pad 16 by snap-fasteners 32, and are adjustably attached to the lower corners of chest pad 14 by adjustable fasteners 34.

Referring now to Fig. 4, each of the struts 22 comprises a cylinder 36 having one end flattened to provide an integral tab 38 which is perforated for riveting the same to the base plate 24 and having its opposite end spun inwardly to provide an annular closure flange 40 defining a cylindrical bearing opening 42. A plunger rod 44 is slidably extended through bearing opening 42 and has a plunger head 38 secured to its inner end and slidably bearing against the inner wall of cyliner 36. A coil spring 40 is engaged under compression between the plunger head 38 and the closed end portion 39 joining the cylinder 36 to the tab 38. The opposite end of rod 44 is flattened to provide a tab 46 which is apertured and riveted to the chin cup 10 (or the neck yoke 12) as the case may be.

The space between plunger head 38 and the closed end Patented Sept.'15, 1959* if A 3! of the cylinder is largely filled with grease or other heavy lubricant which lubricates the spring 40 as well as the plunger head 38 to avoid friction between the plunger and the cylinder. The spring 40 is selected to provide (uponslightz compression thereof) a spring load which, in theiaggregate of all four struts, will automatically proexactly the right amount of supporting pressure as appfied tothe. chin. cup and occipital yoke respectively.

The range of possible movement between the head pieces. 10, 12 and the chest and back pads. '14 and 16 maybe restricted by front and rear regulator straps 48 and; iieach having one end anchored by a rivet 52 to a respective head piece or 12, and each having an adjustable connection to a respective pad 14 or 16 consisting in a button '54 anchored in a respective face plate-.24 and a series of button holes 56 in the other end of the respective strap, to selectively receive the button 54 to. provide varying effective lengths of strap.

In the installation of the brace, the operator or attendant, after initially installing the brace on the patients body withthe chin cup and occipital yoke in engagement with the chin and neck respectively, will adjust the height of'the pads" 14 and 16 (by adjusting the buckles 28) until the springs 40 are placed under compression. The operator will adjust the loading of the springs to meet the requirements of the case. A variation in the amount of spring deflection may be tolerated within a small range without unfavorably varying the value of the spring load. This is in contrast to the requirement for adjustment of the rigid struts of the conventional brace to exactly the right length in order to apply the proper amount of pressure. Furthermore, after the brace has been installed, with the proper amount of spring loading, the brace will accommodate a small range of relative movement between the chin cup and occipital yoke on the one hand and the chest and pack pads on the other hand, the springs either compressing further or elongating to accommodate such limited movements, and yet the head will continue to be supported with the neck axis substantially fixed (against lateral or fore-aft tilting) with respect to the shoulder axis and main body axis of the patient. At the same time, the limited amount of movement which is permitted is such as to provide for almost automatic exercising of the neck muscles so as to stimulate circulation in the area being treated, and will thereby hasten, as well as facilitate the treatment and healing processes.

' Iclaim:

1. In a cervical brace, in combination: chest and back pads for engagement with a patients chest and back re spectively; shoulder and under-arm straps connecting said pads and oriented for arching over the patients shoultiers and extending around the sides of the patients chest beneath the arms respectively; a chin cup and an occipital yoke adapted to engagerespectively the chin and the back of the patients neck; a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the chest pad and chin cup respectively; and a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the back pad and occipital yoke respectively; each of said struts comprising a cylinder having a closed end provided with attaching means, a piston slidable in said cylinder, a piston rod attached at one end to said piston and slidably extending through the other end, and a coil spring in said cylinder, engaged under compression between said closed end thereof and said piston and. providing yielding spring-loaded support for the patients chin and occipital area respectively.

4 2. In a cervical brace, in combination: chest and back pads for engagement with a patients chest and back respectively; shoulder and under-arm straps connecting said pads and oriented for arching over the patients shoulders and extending around the sides of the patients chest beneath the arms respectively; a chin cup and an occipital yoke adapted to engage respectively the chin and the back of the patients neck; tie means extending between and joining the chin cup and occipital yoke at the respective 4 sides of the patients neck; a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the chest pad and chin cup respec tively; and a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the back pad and occipital yoke respectively; each of said struts comprising a cylinder having a closed end provided with attaching means, a piston slidable in said cylinder, a piston rod attached at one end to said piston and slidably extending through the other end of the cylinder, said 7 piston rod having attaching means at its other end, and

a coil spring in said cylinder, engaged under compression between said closed end thereof and said piston and providing yielding spring-loaded support for the patients chin and occipital area respectively.

3. In a cervical brace, in combination: chest and back pads for engagement with a patients chest and back respectively; shoulder and under-arm straps connecting said pads and oriented for arching over the patients shoulders and extending around the sides of the patients chest beneath the arms respectively; a chin cup andan' occipital yoke adapted to engage respectively the chin and the back of the patients neck; a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the chest pad and chin cup respectively; and a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the back pad and occipital yoke respectively; regulator straps anchored at one end to the chin cup and occipital yoke respectively; means for adjustably attaching the other ends of said straps to the chest and back pads respectively for varying the eifective lengths of said regu-- lator straps so 'as to provide regulated limits of springactuated extension of said struts; each of said struts comprising a cylinder having a closed end provided Withattaching means, a piston slidable in said cylinder, a piston rod attached at one end' to said piston and slid'ably extending through the other end of the cylinder, said piston rod having attaching means at its other end, and a coil spring in said cylinder, engaged under compression between said closed end thereof and said piston and providing yielding spring-loaded support for the patients chin and occipital area respectively.

4. In a cervical brace, in combination: chest and back pads for engagement with a patients chest and back respectively; shoulder and under-arm straps connecting said pads and oriented for arching over the patients shoulders and extending around the sides of the patients chest beneath the arms respectively, said shoulder straps embodying adjustable buckle means for varying their elfective lengths so as to vary the vertical spacing between said pads and said chin cup and occipital yoke, thereby to vary the spring loading in said struts; a chin cup and an occipital yoke adapted to engage respectively the chin and the back of the patients neck; tie means extending between and joining the chin cup and occipital yoke at the respective sides of the patients neck; a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the chest pad and chin cup respectively; and a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the back pad and occipital yoke respectively; means for adjustably attaching the other ends of said straps to the chest and back pads respectively for varying the elfective lengths. of said regulator straps so as to provide regulated limits of spring-actuated extension of said struts; each of said struts comprising a cylinder having a closed end provided with attaching means, a piston slidable in said cylinder, a piston rod attached at one end to said piston and slidably extending through the other end of the cylinder, said piston :rod having attaching means at its other end, and a coil spring in said cylinder, engaged under compression between said closed end thereof and said piston and providing yielding spring-loaded support for the patients chin and occipital area respectively.

5. In a cervical brace, in combination: chest and back pads for engagement with a patients chest and back respectively; shoulder and under-arm straps connecting said pads and oriented for arching over the patients shoulders and extending around the sides, of the patients 5 chest beneath the arms respectively; a pair of head pieces consisting in a chin cup and an occipital yoke respectively adapted to engage respectively the chin and the back of the patients neck; tie means extending between and joining the cup and occipital yoke at the respective sides of the patients neck; a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the chest pad and chin cup respectively; and a pair of struts attached at respective ends to the back pad and occipital yoke respectively; regulator straps anchored at one end to the chin cup and occipital yoke respectively; means for adjustably attaching the other ends of said straps to the chest and back pads respec- .tively for varying the effective lengths or said regulator straps so as to provide regulated limits of spring-actuated extension or said struts; each of said struts comprising a cylinder having a closed end provided with means attaching the same to a respective pad, a piston slidable in said cylinder, a piston rod attached at one end to said piston and slidably extending through the other end of the cylinder, said piston rod having means at its other end attaching it to a respective head piece, and a coil spring in said cylinder, engaged under compression between said closed end thereof and said piston and providing yielding spring-loaded support for the patients chin and occipital area respectively.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2736314 *Apr 13, 1953Feb 28, 1956Randall H HaleCervical brace
US2807260 *Jan 26, 1956Sep 24, 1957Orthopedic Equipment CoCervical brace
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3724452 *Mar 4, 1971Apr 3, 1973Green TCervical brace
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US4643174 *Jun 15, 1984Feb 17, 1987Tohru HoriuchiAdjustable cervical spine corset and truck corset
US4827915 *Sep 21, 1988May 9, 1989Gorsen Robert MSpring loaded cervical collar
US5003968 *Apr 16, 1990Apr 2, 1991Mars Suzanne PHead support
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Classifications
U.S. Classification602/18, D24/191, 128/DIG.230
International ClassificationA61F5/055
Cooperative ClassificationY10S128/23, A61F5/055
European ClassificationA61F5/055