US 3285244 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 15, 1966 w, COTTRELL 3,285,244
CERVICAL COLLAR Filed June 8, 1964 INVENTOR GEORGE W. COTTRELL ATTORNEY United States Patent M 3,285,244 CERVICAL COLLAR George W. Cottrell, 2254 NW. Lovejoy St., Portland, Oreg. Filed June 8, 1964, Ser, No. 373,302 1 Claim. (Cl. 128-45) This invention relates to cervical collars and the principal object of the invention resides in the provision of inflatable pneumatic means applied to a certain edge or edges of the collar in combination with means by which the user himself may apply such pneumatic pressure as he desires to the pneumatic means at the edges of the cervical collar to provide the maximum comfort commensurate with the degree of rigidity and holding which is desired to be applied in View of the particular cause Which may be involved rendering the use of the collar necessary.
Further objects of the invention include the provision of a cervical collar as above described which comprises in general two main parts that are substantially selfsupporting and are preferably made of a framework including plastic members and the like, these members being adjustable to provide for different degrees of height at the forward portion of the collar, at least one and preferably both of said adjustable members being provided at the rim portions or edges thereof with inflatable pneumatic means either completely encircling the respective member or extending along a portion only thereof as may be desired; in combination with a valve which is mounted on one of said members and which receives a hand-operated air bulb or the like in detachable relation with respect thereto so that said inflatable pneumatic means may have applied thereto a degree of air pressure desired therein according to the desire of the user of the device, to the end that the maximum of comfort with the maximum of holding and rigidifying function may be obtained through the use of the invention; and the provision of a cervical collar as above described including means covering the edges of the parts of the cervical collar so that there is a cushioning effect involved even though the inflatable means should be deflated.
The invention further relates to arrangements and combinations of parts which will be hereinafter described and more particularly set forth in the appended claim.
Reference is to be had to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in side elevation illustrating the device;
FIG. 2 is a view in front elevation thereof;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged section on line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a rear view illustrating the collar, and
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view in side elevation illustrating the bulb applied to the device.
In carrying out the invention, it is preferred that it be applied to a two-part cervical collar, the main part of which is adapted to encircle the neck and is generally indicated by the reference numeral 10, there being a smaller part 12 which extends toward the chest of the user and is indicated by the reference numeral 12. The part preferably comprises a plastic self-sustaining but yielding member, or other frame, which covers the throat at the forward portion of the device as at 14, and at the rear as shown in FIG. 4, terminates in two overlapping ends 16 and 18. These ends may be secured together in adjusted relationship by means of a strip of Velcro 20 to adjust the device to the selected circumferential size.
The other part of the device 12 includes a self-sustaining but yielding piece of material such as plastic, or other frame, and this is provided with end portions at 22 which are pivoted as by rivets 24 or the like to extend about 3,285,244 Patented Nov. 15, 1966 the forward portion 14 of the upper member 10. Snap fasteners or the like as indicated at 25 may be utilized to provide for pivotal adjustment of the member 12 in a general vertical direction with relation to the member 10, so that by the two adjustments specified approximate sizes of the device may be provided. It is to be under stood that other forms of cervical collars can also be utilized but the one described provides a light weight, strong construction.
The lower edge of the upper member 10 may be provided with a cushioning hem, rib or the like 26 and this can extend all about the bottom edge thereof if desired. The lower member 12 can also be so finished 01f at its upper edge as indicated at 28 if desired. However the upper edge at 30 of upper member 10 has applied thereto an impervious pneumatic inflatable casing generally indicated at 32 and this extends for the length of the device from one end 16 to the other 18 thereof. The inflatable casing is cemented in air-tight relation to the member 10. The pneumatic casing completely encloses the top edge 34 of the plastic member of which the upper member 10 is formed as clearly seen in FIG. 3. If desired, a soft sponge rubber or the like cushion member 36 can also be applied to the top edge 34 so that even when limp or uninflated the pneumatic member 32 together with the sponge rubber member 36 form a softening comfortable edge for the device. One simple way of forming the pneumatic member 32 and applying it to the device is to cement it at its edges to member 10 at each side of edge 30, and then fasten it as by stitching or clips 38. In this manner a completely impervious pneumatic casing is provided at the edge 34 of the upper member 10.
A similar inflatable, impervious member is provided at 40 with respect to the lower edge of lower member 12 and this extends from end-to-end of the lower member 12 approximately from one pivot rivet 25 to the opposite side thereof. The construction is substantially the same as above described. The pneumatic member 40 will envelop the bottom edge of member 12 and the cushion member 36 can also be used here if desired.
A fitting 42 is provided and this is in communication with a commercial valve device 44 which provides a hose connection 46 to the pneumatic member 32 and another hose connection 48 to the pneumatic member 40. Upon application of the usual squeeze bulb 50 to fitting 42, it will be seen that even with the device in place about the neck of the wearer and the Velcro or other connection 20 in place, the user himself may pump the device up by inflating pneumatic member 32 and pneumatic member 40 through the fitting 42, connection 44 and hoses 46 and 48. In the usual manner when the bulb is removed the valve will of course automatically close as is well known in the art, and the device is in the exact selected state of rigidity and comfort as desired by the wearer, to the end that the maximum comfort with the maximum of holding and rigidifying function may be obtained together with a variable traction force to separate the cervical vertebrae. Also it will be clear that the wearer may comfortably and easily apply intermittent traction forces to the neck.
Amongst the advantages of the present invention is the fact that it provides means to apply a variable traction on the cervical spine which can be controlled by the user himself by the degree of inflation of the bladders by the hand bulb. By this inflation, the collar is rendered longer, thus applying an easily controlled disc traction force between the base of the skull above and the servicalthoracic portion of the trunk of the body below. The device also provides a degree of immobilization of the cervical spine not possible by collars which do not have any easily variable distraction feature. This device which while portable and comfortable to the wearer, provides at the same time splinting and reduction of mobility of the cervical spine with effective traction.
Having thus described my invention and the advantages thereof, I do not wish to be limited to the details herein disclosed, otherwise than as set forth in the claim, but what I claim is:
A cervical collar comprising a pair of adjustable members, the first of which is adapted to encircle the neck of the wearer, the second member being pivotally secured thereto substantially diametrically thereof, the second member being adjustable about its pivot axis, said first member having an upper edge, portions of which are adapted to contact the person of the wearer, and the second member having a lower edge, portions of which are adapted to contact the person of the wearer, inflatable pneumatic casings substantially covering said edges at the portions thereof adapted to contact the person of the wearer, air hoses in communication with both casings, a fitting communicating with said hoses, and a handoperated air pressure bulb removably attachable with respect to said fitting for inflating said casings.
References Cited by the Exammer UNITED STATES PATENTS 775,342 11/1904 Abee 128-118 2,389,690 11/1945 Schreiber 128-87 2,806,471 9/1957 Breese 12s s7 2,911,970 11/1959 Bartels 12s- 75 3,070,090 12/1962 Taylor 12s 75 3,071,133 1/1963 Eisen 12878 3,164,151 1/1965 Vere Nicoll 12875 FOREIGN PATENTS 41,667 3/1933 France.
RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
J. W. HINEY, Assistant Examiner.