US 2994322 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 1, 1961 c. c. CULLEN ET AL PROTECTIVE SUPPORTER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 12, 1959 INVENTORS.
CHARLES C. CULLEN DUNCAN WILLIAM 1951 c. c. C-ULLEN ET AL 2,994,322
PROTECTIVESUPPORTER Filed Jan. 12, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
CHARLES C. CULLEN y WILLIAM R. DUNCAN J nW/L WC United States Patent F 2,994,322 PROTECTIVE SUPPORTER Charles C. Cullen, 6555 Windermere Road, and William R. Duncan, 3724 Oascadia, both of Seattle, Wash. Filed Jan. 12, 1959, Ser. No. 786,358 Claims. (Cl. 128-80) This invention relates to a protective supporter and, more particularly, to a device for protectively supporting ankles, knees and like joints of athletes, sportsmen and skiers.
It is an object of our invention to provide a joint protective supporter which may be worn and used as by skiers to avoid injury as well as to support a strained or painful joint after injury and without materially hindering or hampering the use of the joint. Another object has been the provision of a tight-fitting relatively thin supporting device which functions to allow normal flexing and torsion in a joint but to prevent strain on lateral ligaments by resisting and restraining inversive and eversive movements. A further object has been to provide a nonbulky supporting device which is simple to construct, extremely strong and highly functional for its purposes despite being very light in weight. These and other objects of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following disclosure in which are shown preferred and alternate stiffening devices embodying this invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a side view of a preferred form of our protective supporter;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary rear view of the device of FIGURE 1;
. FIGURE 3 is a partial perspective view of a collar used in the device of FIGURE 1;
- FIGURE 4 is a side view of an alternate device form of our protective supporter for the arch joints of a human foot;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of another alternate supporter device for the ankle joint;
FIGURE 6 shows the mode of securing certain reinforcing wire-like elements during manufacture of our supporter; and
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged crosssection view taken on line 7-7 of FIGURE 4.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the supporter comprises a pair of braces 10 one only being shown in this side view. A brace 10 is formed of a plurality of thin flexible stays 12 medially crossed between their ends and arranged fan-like on each side of the crossing 14. The stays 12 are shown seized together at the crossing which may be accomplished by a tie strand 16 that is useful during manufacture. It will be noted that the fanned stays forming the brace are arranged so that a forward stay in the one portion of the brace is oppositely or rearwardly located in the other portion of the brace, having passed through the crossing 14 therebetween.
A pair of braces 10 are preferably employed in a supporter and they are disposed juxtaposed to each other on opposite sides of the joint to be supported.
Each brace is secured at an end to a member which snugly engages the users pedal extremity. In FIGURE 1 a heel cup 18 is provided to receive the users heel and extension 20 extends forwardly to enclose the instep where it is secured snugly by lacing 22 in eyelets 23. The other ends of the braces, above the heel cup 18, are attached to collar 24 which engages about the leg above the ankle joint and is secured snugly in place by lacing 26 in eyelets 27. In the supporter shown in FIGURE 1, the fanned ends of each brace are secured in overlapping relation to the heel engaging cup 18 and the collar 24.
It is desirable both for securing the braces and for the Patented Aug. 1, 1961 "ice comfort and protection of the user that the braces be covered. For this purpose each brace is placed in a thin, semi-rigid sheath 28 preferably formed of like panels of fabric or leather marginally anchoredtogether and to the heel cup 18 and collar '24 by marginal stitching 29. Laterally rows of stitching 30 also serve to anchor the braces and to maintain the fanned arrangement of the stays 12.
Stays 12 are very satisfactorily formed of thin, stiff wire of the type commonly known as piano-wire. Obviously materials having similar characteristics may likewise be used. As an aid in securing or anchoring the stays 12 in place, the ends may be provided with hooks 13 as shown in FIGURE 4. A row of stitching 32 traversing the hooked ends anchors them and also serves to join the two parts of the sheath 28 together.
It is preferable that the crossings 14 of a pair of braces be disposed substantially on the transverse axis of the joint being supported. In the device of FIGURE 1 the crossings approximately coincide with the ankle joint. In this relation the normal dorsal and plantar flexion of the joint is not restrained and is unrestricted. Likewise, due primarily to the fan-like arrangement of the several stays 12 in the braces 10, the stays become compressiontension members upon the occurrence of lateral ormedial angulation, i.e. inversion and eversion, and external or internal rotational movement of the foot relative the axis of the leg is restrained and restricted.
By forming the heel cup 18 and collar 24 of leather or fabric, or both, they are strong yet thin enough to be Worn under a shoe or boot. This, of course, is facilitated by the thinness of the braces 10 at their ends due to the fan-like arrangement of the stays 1 2. It will be noted that at the crossings 14 the braces are relatively stiff and non-yielding but at the same time not unduly bulky. On occasion the inner surface of the crossing may be padded to relieve or distribute any pressure as on an ankle joint.
The alternative supporter device of FIGURE 4 includes collar 40 having eyelets 41 on forward extensions 42 to receive lacing 43 whereby to secure the collar snugly in place about the lower leg. Heel cup 44 encircles the metatarsal arch portion of the foot and is secured by lacing 45 in eyelets 46. The sheathed braces 48 on opposite sides of the foot are secured in place by stitching 49, as previously described.
A simplified form of stiffener device is shown in FIG- URE S. A brace 50, used in pairs as described, is located to extend between the instep and a joint above the ankle. Each brace is formed of thin, stiff stays 52 medially crossed and anchored at their ends in sheath 54. An elastic snugly fitting stocking-like member 56 encases the foot above and below the ankle. The braces 50 are secured to member 56 by stitching 58'.
During manufacture of our supporter it is expedient to arrange the stays 12 in the fanned arrangement and then to quickly secure them as arranged. This is accomplished by placing the fanned stays 12 between thin webs 60, 60 in sheet form and having pressure-sensitive or other adhesive films on their facing surfaces. When webs 60, 60 are pressed together they anchor and secure the stays and hold them in place during their further securing in the sheath panels '48. Webs 60, 60 thus become integrated into the supporter and function to preclude dislocation of the stays 12 during use.
It will be observed that in the several forms of the invention shown there is a pair of braces formed of a plurality of thin stiff stays, medially crossed and fanned on each side of the crossing. The braces function somewhat in the manner of a hinge in that they permit free dorsal and plantar movement but resist rotational movement. Between like ends of such paired braces, band means are anchored thereto and adapted to snugly engage about a body member of a user, generally on'opposite sides of a joint being supported and braced. Each brace preferably includes at least three stays. More may be included in accordance with the degree of support required or desired. The stays areanchored in fan-like arrangement to the band means, most desirably in thin sheaths. Adhesive material may be placed between the sheath panels to join them and aid in preventing dislocation of the stays. The supporter is so constructed that it may be Worn under a skiers boot, will allow normal flexion, but will resist undesirable rotation of the foot It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications in structure and arrangement may be made to adapt this stiffener device to use at joints other than those described or shown. All such changes as fall within the spirit of this invention as defined in the claims are deemed a part hereof.
1. A device for protectively supporting ankles, knees and like joints, comprising: first and second juxtaposed braces each formed of a plurality of thin, stiff Wire stays medially crossed and arranged fan-like on each side of the crossing, spaced-apart band means anchored between each pair of opposed ends of said juxtaposed braces and adapted to snugly engage about a users body member oppositely adjacent a joint to be supported, and means anchoring the fanned ends of said Wire stays in their fanlike arrangement, said anchoring means being capable of preventing said fanned ends from closing together.
2. A device for supporting ankles, knees and like joints, comprising: first and second juxtaposed braces each formed of a plurality of thin, stiff wire stays medially crossed and arranged fan-like on each side of the crossing, spaced-apart band means disposed between each pair of opposed ends of said juxtaposed braces and adapted to snugly engage about a users body member oppositely adjacent a joint to be supported, and means forming a pliable semi-rigid sheath for each brace and being smoothly secured to each said band means, said sheath being capable of preventing the fanned ends of said wire stays from closing together.
3. An ankle supporting device, comprising: attachment means for snugly engaging, a users pedal extremity above and below the ankle joint, and first and second juxtaposed braces disposed on opposite sides of the ankle and secured to said attachment means, said braces each being formed of a plurality of thin stiff wire stays medially crossed and secured fan-like on each side of the crossing by means capable of preventing the stay ends from closing together.
4. A device for supporting pedal portions of the human body, comprising: a pair of braces each formed of a plurality of thin stiff wires medially crossed and secured fan-like on each side of the crossing, by means capable of preventing the stay ends from closing together, means forming a heel engaging member having extensions adapted to be snugly secured across the instep of the user, and means forming a band to snugly engage the user in spaced relation to said heel engaging member, said braces being disposed juxtaposed to each other and secured in overlapping relation to said heel engaging member and band on opposite sides a joint adjacent the users heel.
5. An ankle supporting device, comprising: a pair of braces each formed of a plurality of thin flexible wires medially crossed and secured fan-like on each side of the crossing, by means capable of preventing the stay ends from closing together, means forming a heel cup and having extensions adapted to be snugly secured across the users instep, beneath the ankle joint, means forming a collar to snugly engage the users leg above the ankle joint, and pliable sheath means encasing each brace and smoothly secured to said heel cup and collar said braces being disposed juxtaposed to each other on opposite sides of the ankle joint.
Eef'erences Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 325,280 Smadbeck Sept. 1, 1885 605,299 Perrottet June 7, 1899 929,179 Wood July 27, 1909 1,381,290 Diadul June 14, 192.1
FOREIGN PATENTS 509,569 Great Britain July 18, 1939