US 3074420 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 22, 1963 c. GoTTMAN KNEE cRuTcHEs Filed .my 27. 1960 farma/7 (olf/mm United States Patent O 3,074,420 KNEE CRUTCHES Carman Gottman, 9303 E. 13th St., Kansas City, M0. Filed July 27, 1960, Ser. No. 45,602 3 Claims. (Cl. 13S-50) 'Ihis invention relates to new and useful improvements in crutches, and the principal object of the invention is to provide what may be referred to as a knee crutch or a walking `aid for persons with a leg amputation below the knee.
As such, the invention provides a knee crutch in the form of a vertically elongated frame which includes a pair of spaced side members and a transverse top member adapted to supportably engage the thigh of a user, a convenient hand grip yand a padded knee rest provided between the side members in downwardly spaced relation from the top member, and a single leg member connected to the lower ends of the side members and adapted at its lower end to contact the ground.
An important feature of the invention resides in the provision of means for vertically adjusting the side members so that the top member engages the users thigh at the desired height or level and so that the hand grip is conveniently accessible, while another important feature resides in the provision of means for adjusting the leg member together with the knee rest relative to the side members of the frame, so that the knee rest may comfortably seat the users knee.
Another important feature of the invention lies in a rotatable connection of the leg member to the crutch frame and to the knee rest, and in the provision of a laterally oifset lower portion on the leg member, whereby upon rotational adjustment of the leg member, its point of contact with the ground may be varied relative to the crutch frame so as to enable the user to walk with proper balance, both forwardly and rearwardly as well as laterally, regardless of whether the user is a left leg or a right leg amputee.
Some of the advantages of the invention reside in its simplicity of construction, in its efhcient and dependable operation, and in its adaptability to economical manufacture.
With the foregoing more important objects and features in View and such other objects and features as may become apparent as this specication proceeds, the invention will be understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters of reference are used to designate like parts, and wherein:
FIGURE l is a front elevational view of a knee crutch in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view thereof;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken substantially in the plane of the line 3-3 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view showing the upper end portion of the crutch frame, particularly the top member and hand grip thereof;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary vertical sectional detail illustrating the connection of the upper end of the leg member to the knee rest; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary perspective -view showing the invention in use.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings in detail, the knee crutch in accordance with the invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 10 and embodies in its construction Ia vertically elongated frame 11 including a pair of spaced side members 12 integrally connected together by a top member 13, the latter preferably 4being curved or arcuated somewhat, as is shown 'ice in FIGURE 4, so that it may comfortably engage the front portion of a users thigh and thereby assist in adapting the device to .an amputated leg. A suitable, substantially U-shaped hand grip 14 is rigidly secured to the upper end portions of the side members 12 in downwardly yspaced relation from the top member 13, the use of the hand grip being apparent from FIGURE 6.
The lower end portions of the -side members 12 are mutually convergent and secured to a tubular member 15 which has a vertical yaxis disposed Icentrally lbetween the side members and has extending therethrough a leg member 16, provided at its lower end with Ia ground engaging tip 17. The upper end Vof the leg member 16 is connected to a knee rest 18 which is suitably padded and disposed between the side members y12, as will be clearly apparent.
The entire device, with exception of the tip 17 and rest 13, may be formed from light weight, tubular material, having the various components thereof rigidly secured together such as by riveting, welding, or the like, in t-he event that it is custom made to suit the physical requirements of a particular individual and no adjustments thereof are necessary. However, the device preferably embodies certain adjustments such as are usually required to be made not only from time to time for a particular user, but also for possible use of the same device by different persons having different physical characteristics.
Thus, as one feature of adjustability, the side members 12 are preferably made in pairs of upper and lower slidably telescoped sections 12a, 12b, the lower section being slidable in the upper section and the lower end portion of the upper section being tapered and split as indicated at 19 in FIGURE 3, as well as being externally screw-threaded to accommodate a locking nut or sleeve 20 which, when tightened, serves to lock the sections 12a, 12b in a pre-adjusted position, whereby the effective height or vertical dimension of the crutch frame 11 may be varied so that the top member 13 engages the users thigh at the appropriate level and the hand grip 14 is convenient to reach.
As another feature of adjustability, the leg member 16 is screw-threaded into the tubular member 15 so that it may be raised or lowered relative to the side members 12 and thereby vary the height of the knee rest 18 ,above the ground. A suitable lock nut or locking sleeve 21 is provided on the leg member 16 in abutment with the member 15 to lock the parts in a pre-adjusted position. Rotational adjustment of the leg member 16 in the member 15 is facilitated by a rotational connection of the upper end of the leg member to the knee rest 18 which, for example, may consist of a keeper pin 22 provided in -the rest 18 in engagement with an annular groove Z3 formed in the leg member, .as exemplified in FIGURE 5.
Moreover, in conjunction with the last named adjustable feature, the lower end portion of the leg member 16 is preferably provided with a laterally offset region `as indicated at 16a, the region 16a being equipped with the aforementioned tip 17 and the arrangement being such that when the leg member 16 is rotated in the tubular member 15, the offset region 16a may be oriented either forwardly or rearwardly as exemplified at 16b in FIGURE 2, or laterally to either side, as exemplified at 16C in FIGURE 1, so as to vary the point of contact of the tip 17 with the ground accordingly, in relation to the crutch frame 11 and to the alected leg of the user. In this manner, the device may be adjusted not only to suit left leg as well as right leg amputees, but also in terms of maintaining proper balance in a forward and 3 rearward :direction for an amputee regardless of which leg is affected.
While in the foregoing there has been described and shown the preferred embodiment of the invention, vari- .ous modifications may become apparent to those skilled in the -art to which the invention relates. Accordingly, it Iis not desired to limit the invention to this disclosure, and various modifications may be lresorted to, such as may lie within the spirit and scope ofthe appended claims.
What is claimed asnew is:
1. In ka knee crutch, the combination of a vertically Yelongated frame including a pair of spaced ,side members Yhaving mutually convergent lower end portions, an openended vertical tubular member secured to the convergent lower ends of said side members, Vsaid tubularv member having -a screw-threaded bore, a rod-shaped vertical leg `member having a screw-threaded intermediate portion extending through and operatively engaging the screwthreaded bore of said tubular member, said leg member -ha-ving a laterally oiset lower end portion terminating in a ground engaging tip, a knee rest slidable vertically between the side members of said frame, means rotat- Lably connecting the upper end of said leg member to said knee rest whereby the knee rest may be raised `and low- -;ered relative to the frame upon rotation of kthe leg member in said tubular member and whereby the direction of lateral oset of said ground engaging `tip relative .to the axis of said tubular member may be adjusted also by rotation of said leg member in the tubular member, land releasable means for locking the leg member against rotation in said tubular member.
2. The -device as dened vin claim 1 wherein said last mentioned means comprise a lock nut Yprovided on said screw-threaded portion of said leg member in locking abutment with one end of said tubular member.
3. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein .said irame also `includes a curved top member connecting Atogether the upper ends .of said side members, said curved top member being `arched in -a horizontal plane forengagement -With the front ysurface of .a users thigh inserted 'between said side members.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 751,942 Renno Feb. 9, V1904 987,497 Shadell et al. Mar. 21, 1911 1,072,369 Spahn Sept. 2, 1913 2,778,370 Chamblee Jan. 22, .1957' 2,797,698 Molen `July 2, 1957 2,817,348 Holliday Dec. 24, 1957