US 3020908 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 13, 1962 c. J. DANIELS ET AL 3,020,908
MECHANICAL HAND 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 27, 1960 CHARLE6 J flA/V/ELS THOMAS A. SM/TH ATTORNEY 26 i K30 i 5 i as I INVENTORS Feb. 13, 1962 c. J. DANIELS ET AL 3,020,908
MECHANICAL HAND Filed June 27, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS CHA RL ES J. 04 N/EL 6 THOMAS A. 6 M/ TH ATTORNEY Feb. 13, 1962 c. J. DANIELS ET AL 3,020,908
MECHANICAL HAND Filed June 27, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS CHARLES J. flAN/ELS THOMAS A. uSM/TH BYWWM ATTORNEY Feb. 13, 1962 c. J. DANIELS ET AL 3,020,908
MECHANICAL HAND Filed June 27, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTORS CHAR/.55 J OA/v/ELS THOMAS A. SM/TH BY WWW 2W ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,020,908 MECHANICAL HAND Charles J. Daniels and Thomas A. Smith, Wilmington, Del., assignors to All American Engineering Company, Wilmington, Del., a corporation of Delaware Filed June 27, 1960, Ser. No. 39,014 6 Claims. (Cl. 128-26) The present invention relates to apparatus for the rehabilitation of quadriplegic patients and more particularly in the provision of a novel apparatus for restoring the use of the hands paralyzed as a result of injuries to the spinal cord at the cervical level, and for hands paralyzed by diseases, accidents and the like.
Heretofore, there have been many unsatisfactory attempts to devise suitable apparatus to permit the quadriplegic patient to regain functional use of his hands. However, all such apparatus has been too cumbersome, heavy and complicated for a quadriplegic patient to actuate and an object of the present invention is to provide a simple, lightweight and substantially effortlessly actuated device. For example, a device to assist in the reestablishment of the use of a paralyzed hand, as a properly functioning mechanical hand, should have the following specifications:
(1) The weight of the complete unit must be at a minimum, particularly due to the muscular weakness and paralysis of the hand and arm; I
(2) The most effective simple form of. mechanical activation to the hand possible must be provided, such as will result in at least a three digit gripping action, for example a three-jaw chuck-like gripping action;
(3) The control means provided for the mechanical operation must be feather-touch controlled and be mechanically simple, such as to require almost imperceptible muscular force by the patient;
(4) The complete unit must be very inexpensive with simple readily available component parts that are readily available, manufactured and replaceable if worn or broken; and
(5) The complete unit with its feather lightness in weight and its feather-touch operation must be comfortable for constant wear and likewise be cosmetically acceptable to the patient.
Thus the objects of this invention are to attain the above enumerated requirements together with other objects and advantages which will become apparent by reference to the following detailed description, which is best understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein;
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the present invention as it appears applied to the forearm and fingers of a patient; '0
FIGURE 2.isa detail in side elevation of the fore-part of the novel device illustrating the movement of the finger motivating portion thereof with the normal inactive position shown in solid lines and a relative dotted position thereof showing an active position of the actuating cylinder, hand spring and finger tines;
FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the hand actuating portion and a fragmentary portion of the splint portion of the device;
FIGURE 4 is a detail, partly in section, of one of the ball-joint connections formed on opposite portions of the arcuate arms of the hand held spring, showing how it connects to the ball joint projections of the end portions of the respective operating cylinder and piston means;
:FIGURE 5 is a side elevation view of the arm of a wheel chair or the like showing a novel means for mounting the patient master activator means thereon with a novel arm rest therefor;
FIGURE 6 is a top plan view of the said arm mounting with the arm rest shown in phantom;
FIGURE 7 is a general perspective view of a second modification of the present invention, showing another form of patient master activator means;
FIGURE 8 is a third modification of the invention, wherein a wrist watch is included therewith;
FIGURE 9 is an illustration of one master control means for operating the device, that is, by the bite of the patient;
FIGURE 10 illustrates an arm to body squeezing operation of the master control to actuate the device;
FIGURE 11 illustrates an arrangement to operate the master control by use of the patients chin pressure;
FIGURE 12 illustrates an arrangement for operation of the master control by the back of the patient; and
FIGURE 13 shows the use of the patients foot to operate the master control of the device.
Referring in detail to the drawings and first with particular reference to FIGURE 1 thereof, the present invention is shown secured to the arm A, hand H and three fingers E, F and G of a quadriplegic or partially paralyzed patient.
Broadly, the device comprises a hand, wrist and arm contoured plastic splint 10 with an attaching strap 11, a nylon piston 12 and cylinder 13, a finger actuating C- shaped spring 14 with particularly spaced and arranged pairs of tines 15-16, 17-48 and 19-20 on which are mounted latex finger caps 21, 22 and 23, nylon tubing 24 and a patient master actuator means 25 positioned for convenient actuation by the particular patient using the device.
Plastic splint The contoured plastic splint 10, for example of acrylic plastic provides for comfort, neatness and cosmetic attractiveness to the patient. The splint lies on the volar aspect of the forearm and is transversely curved or contoured at the end along the forearm including a transversely contoured T-headed end portion for steadying the splint, whereby only one securing strap 11 is needed at the lower or wrist adjacent portion of the splint, see FIGURE 1.
As illustrated in FIGURE 6, a wrist watch W may be worn on the strap 11, if desired. 7
The splint 11 curves longitudinally from the wrist portion into the palm of the patients hand at a predetermined measured angle and to an extent for which each patient is fitted. For example, it has been determined that at an angled approximately40 degrees of the hand 'with respect to the wrist and forearm is the most desirable. This angle enhances and improves the grip or strength in a paralyzed hand when the muscles are practically usemechanisms carried thereby, see FIGURE 3.
Finger actuating spring I The finger actuating C-spring 14 comprises a C-shaped loop with a pair of spaced parallel coils 35 and 36, which both laterally. extend to one sideof the closed portion of the loop and which are coiled to normally bias the free ends of the arms of the .C-shaped loop toward each other. These coils 35 and 36- are secured to the bottom Surface 30 of the cut-out 29, by the headed pins 33, and
. 34, see FIGURE 3, and the spring coils continue into oppositely bowed portions at 37 and 38 from theend convolution of each spring and thence into a restricted portion 40 around which is loosely mounted a link 41. This link serves to limit the arcuate arms 42 and 43 of the C-shaped spring 14 from becoming spread apart too far during acutation by the servo unit, that is, the piston 12 and cylinder 13 mounted therebetween as hereinafter described in detail.
Each free end of each arcuate arm 42 and 43 is provided with a straight projection 39a and 39 and fixed to each projection of the C-shaped spring at predetermined or measured positions with respect to the patients thumb and next two fingers, are pairs of tines. For example, the thumb tines 19-20 are secured to arcuate arm 43 and the next adjacent two fingers, namely the tines 15-16 for the index finger E and the tines 17-18 for the next finger F are secured each to respective sides of the arcuate arm 42.
The latex finger caps The latex finger caps or thimbles 23 are formed with side longitudinal sockets 45 and 46, which receive the respective tines for the thumb G and each finger E and F. These latex caps or thimbles are preferably cemented onto the tines for permanency and are then gloved onto the thumb and respective finger tips with the arcuate arms 42 and 43 of the G-shaped spring 14 embraced by the patients hand, as shown in FIGURE 1.
These finger thimbles are molded in molds or casts taken of the thumb and fingers of the patient, who will wear the present device. Thus when applied to the thumb and fingers, the same will be accurately fitted and snugly and comfortably suited to the patient.
Servo-unit The servo-unit, comprising the piston 12 and cylinder 13, is preferably made of nylon to provide extreme lightness in weight and also for the reason that this material is non-corrosive. The free end of the piston 12 is formed with a projection 47 having a spherical or ball end 48 and the opposite free end of the cylinder 13 is likewise formed with a projection 49 having a spherical or ball end 50. The spherical ends each receive the round sockets 51 and 52, respectively, on the end of their respective projections 53 and 54, which extend inwardly toward each other from the interior sides of the arms of the C-shaped spring 14.
For example, the cylinder 13 may have a capacity of five milliliters, a one-half inch bore and a one inch maximum stroke. Also, leakage is prevented by rubber rings between the cylinder and piston member.
Master control unit The servo-unit connects with the master control unit 25 operated by the patient, see FIGURES 1 and 5, for example. Such connection is made by means of nylon tubing 24 from the side of the base of the cylinder 13, which tubing may have for example an inside diameter of 0.125 inch and which may permit a flow of 400 milliliters of fluid per minute from the master control unit. Water, for example, is the most satisfactory fluid and is always readily available.
From the side connection at the base of the servo cylinder 13, the nylon tubing 24 is reeved or threaded through a plastic bracket 57 secured to the underside of the splint by suitable fasteners 58 and 59 to the angled end of the splint and thence, the same is countersunk within an elongated groove 60 formed in the underside of the splint under the arm strap 11 and a second bracket 61 secured to the splint by fasteners 62 and 63. At the end of the splint the groove 60 is formed with a flared portion 64 and the tube 24 may be terminated and spliced with a tubular internal coupling nipple 65, see FIGURE 1. This splice prevents kinking of the tubing as it pays out from the end of the splint, and to further eliminate kinking an elongated coil spring 66 extends from the splice portion longitudinally around a spliced or tubing section 67, which is in fluid tight coupling connection to the bottom 69 of the master cylinder 70. The tubing 67 at this coupling connection is also enclosed by an elongated non-kink coil spring 71.
The master cylinder 70 is formed around its open piston receiving end with an enlarged annular portion 72 in the provision of an annular flange 73, for the purpose of mounting the master control unit 25 in a supporting block 74, see FIGURES 5 and 6. As shown, the master control unit 25 includes a reciprocatable piston 75 with a head portion 76, which piston when pressed into the bore of the cylinder 70 displaces the fluid to actuate the servo-unit members 12 and 13 and impart movement to the patients thumb and fingers, to thereby open the hand and permit the hand to grasp a pen or pencil or the like. For example, the slight opening pressure required for a simple pen or pencil grasping operation is accomplished by an approximate seven-pound (7) pressure, while to grasp a tumbler or larger object requiring the spring to be spread to a more open position is accomplished by an approximate twenty-four (24) pound pressure range.
Embodiment one In the first illustrated embodiment of the invention disclosed in FIGURES 5 and 6, there is shown the arm 81 of a wheel chair.. Secured to the front end of the arm is supporting block 77 gouged or contoured to fit over the arm and be secured thereto as by a fastener bolt 78. Laterally extending from each side of the block 77 are headed means, such as bolts 79 and 80, while mounted in a shallow socket 81a formed in the top of the block 77 in substantial alignment with the axes of the bolts 79 and is an elongated coil spring 83. This spring extends upward above the block 77 and yieldably retains a metal channel bar 85 having a flat top 86 and depending side flanges 87 and 88 in pivotal connection with the laterally extended bolts at the sides of the block 77. The spaced parallel side flanges 87 and 88 are formed with complementary bayonet slots 89 and 90 near the front end thereof and thus the channel bar 85 is readily mounted and demounted over the chair arm 81.
Spaced rearwardly on the chair arm 81 is the second support block 74 having a lateral side opening 92 with a half circular bore, which is counterbored to form a shoulder 93. This shoulder serves as a seat or rest for the annular flange 73 of the master cylinder 70, and permits the headed portion 76 of the master control piston 75 to extend upward above the arm, see FIGURE 6, with the underside of the channel bar 85 resting thereon. Thus when the patient presses upon the bar 85 the master control piston 75 is moved downwardly and the servo-unit is actuated to impart movement to the C-shaped spring 14.
The extent of the master piston movement may control the pressure imparted to the servo unit members 12 and 13, as required for the patients needs.
Embodiment two A second embodiment of this invention is shown in FIGURES 7 and 8 of the drawings, wherein the servounit, the C-shaped spring, the thumb and finger tines and thimbles identical with embodiment one. The splint is slightly different, for example, the servo-unit 101 is secured transverse the free end of the splint and the same is gouged to provide a tube receiving groove 102 along a longitudinal edge of the splint 100. The tube 103 is then secured to the splint by a clip 103a. The tube 103 may be spliced to a relatively larger tube section 104 and thence to a reduced tube section 105 leading from a master cylinder 106.
The master cylinder 106 has reciprocatable piston means 107 therein, said piston 107 having an extension 108 with a head 109 beyond the cylinder encircled by a coil spring 110. This spring is manually compressible 112 and 114 spread apart. These plates are joined together at one end by a hinge 115 and the piston head 109 and bottom wall 116 are secured between the respective plates 112 and 114 by transverse pins 117 and 118, see FIGURE 7.
Some further illustrations of the use of the present invention are illustrated in FIGURES 9 through 13, inclusive. Paralyzed patients may have varying degrees and conditions of muscular paralysis, for example in the following order the patient may be capable of only one of the following methods of master control operation:
(1) By mouth bite, see FIGURE 9;
(2) Bychin nudge, see FIGURE 10;
(3) By arm squeeze, see FIGURE 11; (4) By back pressure, see FIGURE 12; or (5) By foot pressure, see FIGURE 13.
Embodiment three The third embodiment of this invention may be a part of any artificial limb arrangement using a wrist strap 120 and to which a watch W may be attached in any wellknown manner. Also, other devices and ornamental arrangements may be mounted on the strap, if desired.
Thus there is provided a novel arrangement for rehabilitation of paralyzed patients, whereby the hands are paralyzed as a result of injuries to the spinal cord at the cervical level, which arrangement is mechanically efficient and operable by almost completely helpless patients. And, also, wherein the assembled parts are of feather weight, replaceable and when assembled are cosmetically acceptable to the patient, so that the patient is not reluctant to constantly were and use the same.
Without further description, it is believed that the operation of the mechanical unit is obvious and while only three embodiments are illustrated and described in detail, it is to be expressly understood that this invention is not intended to be limited to the precise formations, construction or arrangement of parts as illustrated and described. For this latter purpose reference should be had to the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Hydro-mechanical device for mobilizing the hands of quadriplegics or the like comprising a splint, means for securing said splint to a patients arm, said splint having a forward angled end extendng into the palm of the wearers hand, a pair of arcuate arms supported by said forward angled end of the splint, said arms being off-set from the splint and embraced by the thumb and index finger of the patients hand, said arms being curved with the free ends thereof toward each other, spring means formed at the rear of the said arms, said spring means resisting the spreading apart of said arms, power means connected between the said arms adapted to spread the same apart against the resistance of said spring, and thimble means carried by the free end of each arm for receiving finger tips of the patients hand.
2. Hydro-mechanical device for mobilizing the hands of quadriplegics or the like comprising a splint, means for securing said splint to a patients arm, said splint having a forward angled end extending into the palm of the wearers hand, a pair of arcuate arms supported by said forward angled end of the splint, said arms being off-set from the splint and embraced by the thumb and index finger of the patients hand, said arms being curved with the free ends thereof toward each other, spring means formed at the rear of the said arms, said spring means resisting the spreading apart of said arms, a fluid actuated servo-unit connected between said arms, a master control unit operable by the patient, and finger thimbles secured to the respective free ends of the said arms slidable over the thumb and two fingers of the patients hand, said master control unit being mounted for actuation by the strongest body muscles of the particular patient wearing the device, to thereby move the said arms to impart movement to the said thimbles.
3. Means for providing motive power to a paralyzed hand of a quadriplegic comprising a hand held C-shaped spring, servo means secured in the said spring for spreading the same as it is held in the hand, flexible thimble means mounted on each free end of the spring, and master control means operatively connected to said servo means actuated by the quadriplegic.
4. Hydro-mechanical means for mobilizing a paralyzed hand comprising a palm retained C-shaped frame, said frame being formed with a laterally extending pair of coil springs formed as a continuous part of said frame, a splint having an end thereof so shaped and so formed as to secure said frame thereto by means extending through the coiled bore of each of said springs, strap means to secure said splint to a patients arm, said springs resisting the spreading apart of the ends of said frame, U-shaped frame means secured to each of the respective ends of said C-shaped frame, latex thimbles secured to said U- shaped frames, a hydraulic servo unit swivelly connected at each end transverse said C-shaped frame, tubing connected to said servo-unit, and a master control unit connected to the opposite end of said tubing, said control unit being operable by the patient.
5. Hydro-mechanical means for mobilizing a paralyzed hand as described in claim 4, wherein said split is made of acrylic plastic formed with an elongated groove longitudinally thereof, said tubing being mounted in said groove.
6. Hydromechanical means for mobilizing a paralyzed hand comprising a palm retained C-shaped frame, said frame being formed with a laterally extending pair of coil springs formed as a continuous part of said frame, a splint having an end thereof so shaped and so formed as to secure said frame thereto by means extending through the coiled bore of each of said springs, strap means to secure said splint to a patients arm, said springs resisting the spreading apart of the ends of said frame, U-shaped frame means secured to each of the respective ends of said O- shaped frame, latex thimbles secured to said U-shaped frames, a hydraulic servo-unit swivelly connected at each end transverse said C-shaped frame, tubing connected to said servo-unit, a master control unit connected to the opposite end of said tubing, said control unit being operable by the patient, said master control unit comprising a nylon cylinder and piston therein, said cylinder being formed with a mounting flange around the piston entry end thereof, whereby said cylinder may be supported in a supporting block counterbored to seat said cylinder therein.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,429,866 Broste Oct. 28, 1947 2,528,464 Wilkerson Oct. 31, 1950 2,545,947 Felip Mar. 20, 1951 2,553,277 Robinson May 15, 1951 2,885,686 Giaimo May 12, 1959