US 3208461 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 28, 1965 M. M. IRWIN CONVERTIBLE CANE-EQUIPPED CRUTCH Filed Aug. 9. 1963 Maurice M. Irwin I N VENTOR.
United States Patent 3,208,461 CONVERTIBLE CANE-EQUIPPED CRUTCH Maurice M. Irwin, Rte. 1, Box 50, Noblesville, Ind. Filed Aug. 9, 1963, Ser. No. 301,006 2 Claims. (Cl. 135-50) The present invention relatesto a cane-equipped crutch which is such in construction that it is better geared to the needs, preferences and abilities of the disabled user.
Although the regular wooden or equivalent crutch is still in demand and popularly used by most crutch users, it is equally true that convertible cane-type crutches are not only endorsed but are recommended for use by disabled and handicapped persons. The potential user will find therein satisfactory function and comfort and, because of the hand-grip on the cane, will find it an easy matter to learn to use the same whether employed singly or collectively. A typical cane-crutch combination (only one of many) is disclosed in the Grimball Patent 2,590,- 607 of March 25, 1952.
It is an objective in the instant matter to provide an improved cane and crutch combination wherein the component parts are so constructed and arranged that the ready-to-use implement will meet with the individual but varying needs of the user. To this end novel sections or component parts serve to make up the over-all implement with the result that the crutch, or crutches, can be adjusted for maximum utility whether the user is temporarily disabled or an amputee, paralytic or a similarly classifiable handicapped person.
A significant purpose of the present invention is aimed at the ever desired goal of constantly improving crutches and the like with a view toward complying with the many and varied requirements of orthopedic rehabilitation with a view toward enabling the user to function as nearly to normal as possible aided by the assured safety and usefulness of the herein disclosed advanced-type crutch.
Briefly summarized, the present invention has to do with a crutch construction having a built-in cane which is used as a part of the over-all crutch and which is capable of independent use as a regular walking cane. The structure embodies a lower leg section which is designed and adapted to serve as a cane and which has a rubber tip or the like at the lower end and a lateral hand-grip at the upper end. The companion and complemental extensible and retractable upper leg section is located to one side of and slidingly mounted on the lower leg section and it too is provided at its upper end with an arcuate or an equivalent armrest which is adapted to cradle the armpit of the users arm and shoulder therein in a generally well known manner.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a view of the retracted or collapsed crutch construction with portions of the upper and lower sections broken away and shown in section in order to illustrate the construction thereof;
FIG. 2 is a view in perspective showing how the user of the crutch (or crutches) employs the same as an aid when walking;
FIG. 3 is a view on a larger scale of the upper portions of the leg sections and with significant components thereof broken away and illustrated in section and which also shows the manner in which the two sections are separably bolted together;
FIG. 4 is a view in perspective on a larger scale detailing the upper part of the lower leg section by itself and with a major portion of the hand-grip omitted;
Patented Sept. 28, 1965 FIG. 5 is a view in perspective showing the detachable adjustable foot at the bottom of the lower section;
FIG. 6 is a cross section on the horizontal section line 6-6 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is a view on the horizontal section line 77 of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the views of the drawing and with initial reference to FIG. 1, it will be noted that the lower leg section or unit is denoted by the numeral 8. It comprises a hollow stainless steel, aluminum or an equivalent tube 10. The foot at the bottom thereof is denoted at 12 and it comprises a relatively short tube section 14 which is fitted telescopically into the bore 16 (FIG. 1) and which has bolt holes 18 registering with similar bolt holes in the tube 10 and which bolt holes serve to accommodate the insertable and removable bolt 20 and wing nut 22. There is an enlargement or head 24 at the bottom of the tube which is covered with a rubber suitably cushioned jacket 26 which constitutes the usual anti-skid tip. The lateral hand-grip 28 embodies a compound curve ineluding a curvate gripping portion 30. Actually this handgrip comprises a metal tube section 32 (FIG. 3) which is welded to the upper end of the tube 10 lateral thereto and which is completely encased in a plastic jacket or covering 34. With reference to FIG. 4, it will be noted that the plastic neck 36 extends down around the upper end of the tube and terminates short of the bolt holes 38. More particularly, this junctional joint between the hand-grip and tubular leg embodies a crotch 40 and a pair of diametrically opposite projecting piloting and retaining lugs 42. This section 8 is further structurally unique in that it is provided on one side just below the bolt holes 38 with a thimble or collar 44 which comprises a simple split sleeve 46 parallel to the tube and having its spaced apart edge portions 48 fitted against and welded at 50 to the surface 52 of the tube.
The attachable, detachable and adjustable upper leg section 54 likewise comprises a rigid linearly straight tube which is disposed in parallel side-by-side relation in respect to the tube 10. It is provided on one side adjacent the bottom with bolt holes 56 which come into play when the leg sections are adjusted to the extended crutch-forming position illustrated in FIG. 2. Additional bolt holes 58 (see FIG. 3) are provided at the upper end portion and at a prescribed distance below the armrest 60. This armrest 60 comprises a relatively short arcuate rigid tube 62, the median portion which is fixedly mounted top the tube portion 64 (FIG. 3) and which is encased in or coated by a plastic jacket or covering 66 having a neck portion 68 encompassing the tube 64. This portion 64 when in the position illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 is conformingly received or nested in the crotch 40 and is held therein when the adjusting and assembling bolt 70 is passed through the holes 38 and 58 and fastened or secured by the wing nut 72. When the two leg sections are thus fixedly joined together in side-by-side relationship the lug-like extensions 42 straddle diametrically opposite sides of the tube portion 64 (in full lines in FIG. 1 and phantom lines in FIG. 3). It will be evident that the tube fitting in the crotch and bolted in place is not the sole means of joining the sections in cooperative relationship. In fact, stability of the assemblage of sections is assured and maintained with the aid of the aforementioned leg saddling collar 44. The leg section 54 passes through the collar and below the same. It should be noted in FIG. 6 that the diameter of the collar is appreciably greater than the outside diameter of the tube with the result that the tube has a sliding fit in the collar to make for adjustment for conversion from the cane construction illustrated in FIG. 1 to the cane-crutch construction illustrated in FIG. 2. There exists a slight friction drag between the surface 74 and the inner coacting surface of the collar as is thought to be evident from FIG. 6. This same friction drag feature is also properly achieved by the snug fit of a portion of the tube portion 64 in the aforementioned crotch 40. It follows that the two leg sections 8 and 54 can be more easily adjusted because of this particular construction and cooperation of features. This is to say that because of the fact that the two sections do not slide apart too freely it is easier for the user when making an adjustment to line up the holes 58 with the holes 38 and then insert the bolt 70. Stated otherwise, if the two sections were to slide relative to each other too easily, it would be a little more difficult for one to find and line up the bolt holes and then insert the bolt when desiring to shift from a cane to a crutch or from a crutch to a cane.
By referring again to FIGS. 1 and 3, it will be evident that the two sections 8 and 54 cooperate in providing a suitable cane. If it is desired to lengthen or shorten the cane, this is done by adjusting the foot 12 in what is believed to be a self-evident manner. When one desires to convert from a cane to a cane-equipped crutch (see FIG. 2), the bolt 70 is withdrawn from the bolt holes 58, 38 and the upper section 54 is slid upwardly relative to the section 8 and the bolt holes 56 are then aligned with the bolt holes 38 and the bolt 70 is replaced and secured by nut 72.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A cane and crutch combination comprising a cane of a length and cross-section comparable with and similar in length and cross-section with an ordinary type walking cane and having an anti-skid tip at the lower end and a handgrip joined at one end to and projecting laterally from the cooperating upper end portion of said cane, the junctional connection between said handgrip and cooperating upper end portion of said cane being provided on an exterior side with a lengthwise seating and stabilizing crotch and being further provided proximal to said crotch with a pair of outwardly projecting diametrically opposite piloting and retaining lugs, said cane being further provided with a laterally projecting collar, said collar being spaced below and in alignment with the crotch and lugs, that portion of the cane between the collar and crotch-equipped handgrip being provided with aligned bolt holes, a linearly straight rigid elongated crutch provided at an upper end with an armrest adapted to cradle the armpit of the users arm and shoulder therein, a median portion of said crutch being arranged alongside the cane and having a portion passing slidingly through the opening provided therefor in said collar and also having a portion slidingly seated in the crotch between said lugs, said crutch being also provided with bolt holes alignable with the aforementioned bolt holes, and a bolt passing through the respective bolt holes and having a bolt assembling and retaining nut.
2. The structure defined in claim 1 and wherein said collar comprises an elongate-d sleeve parallel to the cane, said sleeve being of an inside diameter greater than the outside diameter of the crutch and cooperating portions of the sleeve and crutch having friction held association with each other.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,555,220 5/51 Brown -4 2,590,607 3/52 Grimball 135-50 2,634,942 4/53 Hughes 287-58 X 2,960,095 11/60 Smith 135-50 X 3,093,402 6/63 Sisson 135-47 X HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.