US 3086520 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 23, 1963 w. M. SCHOLL METATARSAL ARCH CUSHION SUPPORT Filed June 16, 1960 INVENTOR. William fit 50bit United States Patent 3,086,520 METATARSAL ARCH CUSHION SUPPORT William M. Scholl, 211-213 W. Schiller St., Chicago, Ill. Filed June 16, 1960, Ser. No. 36,591 1 Claim. (Cl. 128-80) This invention relates to improvements in a metatarsal arch cushion support, and more particularly to a support highly desirable for use on the human foot, especially in a case where the foot is spread in width and has dropped metatarsal bones, possibly accompanied with symptoms of pain and a burning sensation, although the invention may have other uses and purposes as will be apparent to one skilled in the art.
In the past, many and various types of metatarsal arch cushion supports have been developed, and in some instances those supports were held by a band encircling the foot. However, such formerly known supports, particularly if a foot encircling band was provided, were objectionably expensive to manufacture and in most cases embodied adhesive, stitching, or some other extraneous fastening means adding to the cost of manufacture and detracting from the durability of the device. Further, formerly known devices of this character, if capable of giving adequate support to a dropped metatarsal arch were not as comfortable to the foot of the user as is desired, in that the support would feel firm to the foot and after usage for some time would probably begin to irritate by its very firmness.
With the foregoing in mind, it is an important object of the instant invention to provide a metatarsal arch cushion support including a foot encircling band, in which all of the parts are securely bound together without the aid of adhesive, stitching, or any extraneous securing means.
Another object of the instant invention is the provision of a metatarsal arch cushion constructed so as to give adequate relief to a dropped metatarsal arch and firmly support the same, yet at the same time provide soft yielding pressure against the plantar surface of the foot that does not become uncomfortable even after extremely long wear.
Also a feature of this invention is the provision of a metatarsal arch cushion support embodying a foot encircling band and comprising a plurality of laminations of materials, and in which all parts of the entire structure including the band are firmly secured together in one simple single operation.
Still another object of the instant invention is the provision of a metatarsal arch cushion support which provides adequate and firm support for a dropped metatarsal arch without discomfort to the user, and which support is uneifected by foot perspiration, heat, body acids, and which may be laundered whenever desired.
It is also an object of this invention to provide a metatarsal arch cushion support that is extremely long lived, yet economical to manufacture, and which may be made with substantially any desired degree of firmness or substantially any desired quantity of cushioning material, without adding any noticeable cost to the manufacture of the article.
While some of the more salient features, characteristics and advantages of the instant invention have been above pointed out, others will become apparent from the following disclosures, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is an end elevational view of a metatarsal arch cushion support embodying principles of the instant invention;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view, taken substantially as indicated by the line II-II of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIGURE 3 is an exploded view indicating the assembly of the parts of the device during the manufacture of the same; and
FIGURE 4 is a bottom plan view of the device, but indicating a slightly different structure for the foot encircling band.
As shown on the drawings:
In the illustrated embodiment of the instant invention there is shown a metatarsal arch cushion support comprising a cushion body generally indicated by numeral 1 in FIGURE 1, and which is provided with a convex upper surface 2 curving downwardly in all directions away from a central high region, and a lower substantially flat central surface 3 surrounded by an upwardly inclined or curving marginal portion 4 leading to a heat seal seam 5 wherealt the upper and lower surfaces substantially coincide. This cushion body member is held in position beneath the metatarsal arch of the human foot by means of an elastic band 6 which circumscribes the foot. The band 6 may be of any suitable stretchable material, and the commonly known woven cotton band with rubber or equivalently elastic rthreads running lengthwise thereof is quite satisfactoly for the purpose. The ends of the band may be secured together in any suitable manner, such as by cementing or stitching 7 seen in FIGURE 3, and the joined ends of the band are disposed within the cushion body portion 1. Preferably the band extends entirely through the body portion as seen clearly in FIG- URE 3.
With reference more particularly to FIGURE 2, it will be seen that the cushion body of the device comprises a lower layer or sheet 8, preferably of thermoplastic film, vinyl film, unsupported, being satisfactory for this purpose. .Such film may be provided in any desired color and given an appearance to simulate leather, if so desired. The elastic band 6 passes through the device immediately above the lower film 8. 0n the film 8 is a metatarsal arch lift 9 which is preformed or shaped with a convex top curving in all directions from a central high region to a fine edge, and a relatively flat bottom. This lift 9 may be of any suitable or desirable material and of a desired density, depending upon the development or aggravation of a particular affliction. That is, a patient with a slight dropping of the metatarsal arch could effectively utilize a device having a lift 9 of relatively light density and high resiliency, whereas a patient with a decided dropping of the metatarsal arch would require a lift higher in density and less resilient. The lift can satisfactorily be made of artificial sponge rubber, thermoplastic foam materials such as vinyl or polyurethane foam, sponge or soft natural or artificial rubber, and various other substances.
Disposed over the lift 9 is an initially flat piece or sheet 10 preferably of thermoplastic foam material, vinyl, polyurethane or a combination of both being satisfactory for this purpose. Over the sheet 10 is a top cover 11 which may be of the same material as the bottom sheet or cover 8. The top and bottom sheets 8 and 11 are secured together entirely around the device and through the elastic band 6 in a heat seal seam 5, and preferably the thermoplastic foam sheet 10 is also caught in that seam, the lift 9 being trapped and retained in position, and the structure assuming the general shape of the lift 9.
In the making of the device, a suitable electrode plate 12, diagrammatically shown in the drawings, having a flat top and covered with a buffer if desired, receives a stock 8a thereon. The elastic band 6 is placed in position over the stock sheet 8a with the junction 7 centrally disposed, and the band extending downwardly loosely around the electrode plate =12. The lift 9 is next positioned centrally on the band and sheet 8a and covered by a stock sheet 10a of thermoplastic foam material which is in turn covered by a top cover sheet 11a. When the parts are superposed in contact with each other, and electrode die having. a shape to define the completed body portion 1 of the structure is brought down upon the top stock sheet 11a and a high frequency current passed between the dies, thus fusing the top and bottom sheets 11a and 8a, aswell as the outer edge of the foam sheet 1011 together into the heat seal seam 5 which is preferably a fine line heat seal seam of substantially the original thickness of-one of the film sheets 8a or 11a. At the same time the heat seal seam is formed a tear seam is also established whereby the waste stock of the sheets 8a, 10a and 11a may readily be removed. The tear seal does not extend across the elastic band 6 and so immediately after the application of the high frequency current, the waste stock is physically torn away from the body portion of the device over the faces of the elastic band. This can be very easily accomplished if done rather promptly after the making of the seam.
It is to be especially noted that in the fusing of the thermoplastic sheets together to establish the seam, the melted material of these sheets goes entirely through the fabric of the elastic band and the bottom cover 8 and top cover 11 of the body portion 1 are actually fused together directly through the elastic band. The band is thereby firmly united to the other parts of the structure and cannot shift position or tear loose under normal handling of the device.
Following the establishment of the heat seal seam 5, the finished device is removed from the electrode plate 12 and the band is inverted or turned inside out to the position seen in FIGURE 1, and the device is complete.
In use, it is a simple expedient to pull the device on over the foot of the user, positioning the body portion '1 beneath the metatarsal arch with the high part of the body portion under the most aggravated part of the arch. The metatarsal arch will then be properly supported by a firm and positive pressure resulting from the lift 9, but at the same time thereis a'highly resilient and soft pressure immediately against the foot by virtue of the thermoplastic foam cushion sheet 10 which provides a soft and yielding contact to the foot without adversely effecting the firm corrective pressure of the lift 9. Thus, the device may be worn for long intervals of time and still remain quite comfortable. At the same time, the elastic band gives relief to a foot that is spread in width by tending to bring the foot back to normal width at the same time the metatarsal arch iselevated. If the particular foot is only mildly afllicted and not materially spread in width, the band offers no discomfort to the user, but tends to maintain the foot in as near a normal condition as possible.
The highly resilient pressure afforded by the device against the underside of the metatarsal arch of the foot is augmented by virtue of the fact that the heat seal seam 5 permits no more than a negligible lateral spreading of the body part of the device when in use and under body pressure. It should also be noted that the device may be removed and replaced as often as desired, and laundered whenever deemed desirable. If the joint 7 at the ends of the band is accomplished by stitching or by cementitious material, there is no danger of that joint deteriorating before the remainder of the device, because the joint is disposed well within the device under the lift 9 and the heat seal seam prevents the entrance of moisture to the joint.
In FIGURE 4 I have shown a bottom plan view of the device, but have also illustrated a slightly different structure for the elastic band. The bottom plan view is the same for the structure above described and for the structure utilizing the modified band.
In this instance, a band 13 is shown having its ends rather widely separated as indicated at 14 and 15. This arrangement permits the lift 9 to rest flatly on the bottom cover 8 throughout its entire area. The band ends are held by the heat seal seam 5 in the manner above described, and cannot become dislodged, pull out, or be distorted even after long usage.
It will be noted that either form of the invention is long lived, extremely comfortable and effective in service, and yet is more economical to manufacture than devices of this character heretofore known.
It will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention.
I claim as my invention:
In a surgical pad,
a pair of superposed sheets of thermoplastic material,
an elastic fabric band of non-thermoplastic material extending between said sheets and forming a loop externally of said sheets for attaching the pad to the body of a user, and
av fused seam composed of the material of said sheets joining said sheets through the fabric of said band to hold the band in place.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,318,972 Cook Oct. 14, 1919 1,767,263 Scholl June 24, 1930 2,904,814 Scholl Sept. 22, 1959 2,917,846 Scholl Dec. 22, 1959