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Publication numberUS3278207 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 11, 1966
Filing dateOct 4, 1963
Priority dateOct 4, 1963
Publication numberUS 3278207 A, US 3278207A, US-A-3278207, US3278207 A, US3278207A
InventorsEmil Z Barish, Burton B Rutkin, Joseph A Witt
Original AssigneeEmil Z Barish, Burton B Rutkin, Joseph A Witt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball joint structure
US 3278207 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 11, 1966 E. z. BARISH ETAL BALL JOINT STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 4, 1963 FIG. .1. g


W MM/4% AT TORNEYS Oct. 11, 1966 Filed Oct. 4, 1965 E. Z. BARISH ETAL BALL JOINT STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS EMIL z. BARISH BURTON B. RUTKIN BY JOSEPH A. WITT Wa /M ATTORNEYS 3,278,207 BALL .llUllNT STRUCTURE Emil Z. Barish, 711 27th Ave, and Burton ll. Rutirin, 2845 Pierce St, both of San Francisco, Calif, and Joseph A. Witt, 10935 Caloden St, Gakland, Calif. Filed Oct. 4, 1963, filer. No. 313,826 4 Claims. (Cl. 287-12) This invention relates to a support structure and more particularly relates to a support structure having a plurality of independent joints wherein a single movement serves to lock all of the joints simultaneously and a single movement serves to unlock all of the joints simultaneously. The invention is particularly adapted for use in surgical clamping techniques and will be so described although it will be understood to those skilled in the art that the clamp structure is one of general application In many surgical procedures, it is necessary to hold some portion of the patients body in an exact position. Since the position may be exteremely precise, it is necessary to use a clamp having three or more separate joints therein so that any position within the size range of the apparatus may be achieved. The difiiculty with the use of such clamps as has heretofore been provided is that each of the joints, or at least each pair of joints, must be clamped with a separate movement so that after the patient is maneuvered into position it is still necessary to perform several operations to get all of the clamps fastened Thus, there is a substantial delay and danger of moving the patient out of the exact desired position.

It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a support having a plurality, preferably three or more, of joints wherein all of the joints can be locked by a single motion and also unlocked by a single motion.

In general, the objects of the present invention are achieved by providing a series of joints, at least one of the joints being in the form of a split ball, which split ball not only serves to clamp the particular joint at the ball itself but also to transmit force to clamp other joints, which other joints may be the same or dissimilar.

In the drawings forming part of this application:

FIGURE 1 is a side view of a device embodying the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a front view, partially in section, of the device shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURES is a sectional view of another device embodying the present invention.

FIGURE 4 is a top view, partially in section, of a base member suitable for use with the device shown in FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 5 is a partial sectional view of a device embodying a plurality of split balls.

Turning now to a description of the device by reference characters, and referring particularly to FIGURES l and 2, there is shown a headrest having three joints which are generally designated 7, 9 and 11. The joint 7 is of the type wherein a tube 59 is free to slide and turn on a hollow bar 57 until it is restrained by some form of clamping action. The rod 13 attached to top member 15 supports a headrest 17 with a pad 19 thereon. The joint 9 is of the split ball type while the joint 11 is of the single ball type.

The central section of the support comprises a composite outer tube which is made in two parts, namely an upper tube 21 and a lower tube 23. A collar 27 is attached to tube 23 and forms an extension of tube 23 which fits over tube 21. The upper tube 21 can slide within the collar and thus the effective length of the composite outer tube can be changed. Collar 27 is fastened to tube 23 by threads 23 for ease of assembly and adjustment. The change in length of the composite tube is accomplished by means of the handle 29 which has nited States Patent 0 arms 30 attached to pins 31 which are pivoted on collar 27. The inner ends 32 of pins 31 have eccentric surfaces which bear against a collar 34 on tube 21. Thus,

as the handle 29 is turned the eccentrics 32 bear against collar 34, changing the effective length of the composite outer tube. The upper tube 21 has a ball retainer 35 at the upper end thereof, while the bottom tube 23 has a similar ball retainer 37 at the bottom end thereof. These ball retainers, as well as similar retainers hereinafter described, are threaded onto the ends of the tubes for ease in assembly and to permit final adjustment to the exact tolerances required.

Within the composite tube made by the sections 21 and 23 is an inner tube 39 having at its lower end a segment 41 and at its upper end a segment 43, both of which have concave hemispherical ends adapted to mate with a portion of a ball. A lower solid ball 45 which is attached to the rod 47 is retained between the members 37 and 41, while a split ball generally designated 49 is similarly retained between the members 35 and 43. It will be apparent that as the effective length of the outer tube is shortened, both balls will be grasped and clamped by the combined action of the outer and inner tubes. Rod 47 is clamped or otherwise held to a table, chair or other structure not shown.

The split ball 49 comprises an upper hemisphere 51 and a lower hemisphere 53. The lower hemisphere 53 pushes against the rod 55 which passes through tube 57 which is attached at its bottom end to the upper hemisphere 51. Although the lower hemisphere 53 could be attached to or could form a part of rod 55, such attachment is neither necessary nor desirable; it is preferred to have lower hemisphere 53 free-floating. It will be apparent that the same structure is preferably employed in the split balls hereinafter described. Thus, as the ball 49 is squeezed together, the rod 55 is pushed upwardly into the tube 57. The tube 57 is surrounded by an outer tube 59. Interposed between rod 55 and tube 59 is a bar 61 positioned in and guided by a slot in tube 57. Bar 61 is restrained from up and down motion relative to tube 57 by the top shoulder 58 and bottom shoulder 60 on tube 57. The bar 61 has a series of ratchet teeth 63 thereon. One side of the rod 55 has corresponding ratchet teeth 65 so that as the rod 55 is forced upwardly into the tube 57, the ratchet teeth force the bar 61 to move outwardly, resulting in the clamping action between parts 61, 55, 59 and 57. In this manner, as the handle 29 is rotated, all three joints are simultaneously clamped by this single movement; the force against handle 29 results in clamping actions at joints 7, 9 and 11.

Referring now to FIGURES 3 and 4, another embodiment of the invention is shown wherein a split ball is used but wherein the ball is clamped by a different mechanism and again serves to transmit force to a third joint, clamping it also. In this embodiment of the invention, a tube Til fits in a socket 72 formed between an outer member 74 and an inner member 76. The inner member 76 has attached thereto a shaft 78 which is journalled in the support member 80, the support member 89 being fastened to a table or other structure not shown. The outer member 74 is held in assembled relationship by means of inturned ends 81 on the arms 32 and 34, the latter being joined by the cross member 35. The members '74 and 76 are circular so that they are normally free to rotate relative to the support and the arms 82 and 84.

One side of the tube 70 is slotted, allowing link 83 to protrude therefrom, the link 88 normally fitting into a slot 90 formed in member 76. The link 83 is pivoted to an upper link 92 and a lower link 94. In turn, the opposite ends of links 92 and 94 are pivoted to the member 96 3 which is afifixed to the inside of the tube 70. Thus, the links 88, 92, 94 and 96 form a parallelogram linkage.

A split ball generally designated 98 is employed having an upper hemisphere 100 and a lower hemisphere 102, the lower hemisphere 102 being affixed to tube 70 while the upper hemisphere 100 is in contact with a rod 104 which rests against the lever arm 106 which is pivoted to the link 88. The upper surface of link 92 is formed as a cam as at 108 so that as the member 88 is forced inwardly into the tube, the cam surface tends to raise the rod 104, expanding the ball 98.

The composite ball 98 is held between the inturned end of an outer tube 110 and an inner tube 112 while at the upper end of said tube a solid ball 114 is similarly held. A rod 116 is attached to the upper ball 114 and to this is attached any device to be held, such as a headrest, retractor or the like. When no force is applied to the member 86, the tube 70 can be positioned anywhere along its length in socket 72 and can be rotated relative to the base member 80 and the two opper joints formed by the balls 98 and 114 are similarly free to move. Now if force to the left is exerted on the member 86 in FIG- URE 4, the action will be that members 82 and 84 will squeeze the members 74 and 76 together, clamping them to the base 80 and preventing further rotation, and at the same time pressure will be exerted on the link 88, forcing it upwardly, which in turn forces rod 104 upwardly expanding the ball 98 clamping this joint. At the same time, the inner tube 112 is forced upwardly with respect to the tube 110, clamping the joint formed by the ball 114. Thus, a single movement to the left of the member 86 clamps all of the joints described while a movement to the right frees all of these joints.

In FIGURE 5, there is shown a double-split ball arrangement and it will be apparent from this arrangement how any number of split ball joints can be arranged in series so that clamping one clamps all. In this embodiment, the split ball generally designated 118 is formed of an upper hemisphere 120 and a lower hemisphere 122. The ball is set in the socket formed by an outer member 124 and an inner member 126. The upper hemisphere 120 is attached to a tubular member 128 while the lower hemisphere 122 bears against rod 130. In turn, the outer tubular member 128 is threaded to an inturned end 132 which, together with the member 134 attached to or bearing against the rod 130, forms a socket for the composite ball 136. The composite ball 136 in turn is comprised of an upper hemisphere 138 and a lower hemisphere 140, the upper hemisphere being attached to the tube 142 while the lower hemisphere bears against the rod 144. It is apparent that when the lower ball 118 is clamped as by moving the members 124 and 126 together, by means not shown, not only will the ball 118 be clamped but, because of the relative motion of the rod 130 and the tube 128, the ball 136 will similarly be clamped. This in turn will cause the relative movement of the rod 144 and the tube 142 and so on. Thus, an entire series of split ball joints can be thus clamped.

It will be understood to those skilled in the art that specific embodiments of the invention described are for illustrative purposes only and that departures can be made from the exact structures shown without departing from the spirit of the invention.

We claim:

1. A support structure having at least three joints which can be locked and unlocked simultaneously by a single movement, comprising in combination:

(a) a first joint comprising a split ball joint, said ball joint including first and second hemispheres held in a first socket, said socket having an opening therein, said first hemisphere being disposed adjacent said opening and said second hemisphere being disposed opposite said opening;

(b) a hollow arm secured to said first hemisphere;

(c) a rod movably disposed within said hollow arm, said rod passing through the first hemisphere and being in engagement with the second hemisphere;

(d) said first socket comprising an outer tube and an inner member movably disposed therein, said outer tube having a collar on one end forming a confining means for the split ball within the socket and the corresponding end of the inner member forming a seat for said split ball;

(e) a second socket at the opposite end of said outer tube wherein a collar at said end forms a confining means for a ball within said socket and the corresponding opposite end of the inner member forms a seat for said ball within the socket;

(f) an arm attached to said ball;

(g) said second socket and said ball comprising a second joint;

(h) a third joint having at least two members interconnected with said rod and hollow arm so as to be adapted to be locked by relative movement of said rod acting within said hollow arm;

(i) means for exerting a force between said first mentioned collar and said inner member so that the split ball hemispheres are moved relative to each other, exerting a force on said tube, locking said ball constituting the second joint and exerting a force on said rod simultaneously locking the third joint.

2. The structure of claim 1 having means for separating the split ball hemispheres comprising said hollow arm attached to one hemisphere of the split ball with said rod extending through said first hemisphere and in contact with the other hemisphere, a parallelogram linkage partly within said hollow arm with a first link thereof extending beyond said hollow arm and a second link thereof being in contact with said rod whereby as the first link is moved toward the tube the second link pushes against said rod, expanding the ball.

3. The structure of claim 2 wherein said hollow arm is mounted in a socket, said socket comprising two split halves rotatable with respect to a base with means for moving said halves together and locking the halves with respect to the base, said movement also serving to exert pressure on the first link and thus expand the split ball.

4. The structure of claim 1 wherein said third joint comprises two elements in side-by-side relationship and mating ratchet teeth on the elements whereby as the elements are moved relative to each other the ratchet teeth tend to force the elements apart, exerting a clamping action thereon.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,608,192 8/1952 Heitmeyer 287-12 X 2,827,101 3/1958 De Voss 287-12 X FOREIGN PATENTS 707,617 6/ 1941 Germany. 688,685 3/1953 Great Britain. 108,660 10/ 1943 Sweden.

CARL W. TOMLIN, Primary Examiner.

C. B. FAGAN, A. V. KUNDRAT, Assistant Examiners.

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US4767231 *Jan 3, 1985Aug 30, 1988Wallis Frederick AAdjustable arm
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U.S. Classification403/55, 285/312, 600/229
International ClassificationF16M11/14, A61G13/12, F16C11/10
Cooperative ClassificationF16C11/106, A61G13/12, A61G13/121, A61G13/10, F16M11/14, F16M11/2078, A61G13/101
European ClassificationF16M11/20A3E, F16C11/10B2, A61G13/12, F16M11/14, A61G13/10