US 3306284 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 28, 1967 P. E. MCKINLEY CERVICAL BRACE Filed March 12, 1962 INVENTOR. PAUL E. McK/NLEY ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,306,284 CERVICAL BRACE Paul E. McKinley, 4623 Boynton Place,
Columbus, Ohio 43227 Filed Mar. 12, 1962, Ser. No. 178,816 5 Claims. (Cl. 12875) This invention relates to improvements in cervical col lars. More particularly, it relates to improved cervical collar constructions characterized by features effective for firmly supporting the head and neck portions of a wearer against excessive and undesired movement while allowing limited movement as may be desired. The invention is more particularly concerned with a cervical collar for use in, and for the treatment of, pathological conditions such as sprained necks, arthritis, torticollis (wryneck), traumatic conditions, subluxations and dislocations, muscular strains, and for post-fracture treatment and for post operative support such as in connection with dowel transplant operations. The improved coll-ar construction provides for both fiexion and hyperextension and for a limited restriction of head motion but not total immobilization. The function of the collar in general is to take at least part of the load off the neck muscles.
Cervical injuries such as whip-lash injuries are often of such nature that the patient may be allowed to walk around, provided his neck and head are held quite rigid. To achieve such ambulation, it is customary to provide the patient with a cervical brace which supports his head and at least partially immobilizes it. Because of the widely different anatomies encountered in the treatment of cervical injuries, it has at times been quite customary to custom fabricate the cervical brace for each individ ual patient, taking the measurement and contour of the brace from a plastic mold made of the cervical and thoracic portion of the patients body. This procedure is not only expensive, but also requires the patient to wait for a considerable time before his brace is ready.
As an alternative, attempts have been made to manufacture standard cervical braces and adjust them to varying anatomies. This has to some extent resulted in lost rigidity which derogates appreciably from the required immobilizing action, and the patient is not as adequately protected as he should be.
In the manufacture of cervical braces I normally measure the patient carefully, then select an appropirate size of the necessary components from my stock, and assemble. Usually the patient can be supplied in about a half hour. I also propose to manufacture the one-piece cervical collar hereinafter more particularly described in an appropriate number of stock sizes and use these in combination with mandible cups and adjustable extensible braces also provided in stock sizes so that the finished cervical brace may be provided in even less time but nevertheless tailored to the individual size.
It is an important object of this invention to produce a cervical collar which has a very few components each produced in a series of standard forms, each suitable for many patients, while retaining the advantages of a custom fabricated cervical collar constructed according to a cast of the neck of the patient.
It is thus an object of this invention to obviate the necessity for time consuming and detailed individual or custom fabricating of cervical collars for each individual wearer.
It is another object of this invention to provide a cervical collar apparatus which is of semi-rigid construction and may also be adjusted to suit anatomies of different wearers.
Another primary object of the invention is to provide a simple, light, but sufficiently rigid collar structure that may be adjusted for higher extension but is also capable of lateral flexing.
It is another object of this invention to provide a cervical collar which may be produced in quantity in standard form and still provide adequate immobilizing for the wearer.
Another primary 'object of the invention is to provide a cervical collar structure of lightweight material, which is easily worn, which is readily adjustable for flexion, hyperextension, and also for support of the head in a level position, and which gives maximum optimum support when placed in operative position about the neck of the user so that as a result the collar may be used to provide requisite support without undue discomfort to the wearer.
It is another object of this invention to provide simplified means whereby a wearer may easily remove or disengage the cervical collar which he is wearing.
More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a one-piece cervical collar construction which has a base portion for engaging the chest and upper shoulder portion of the wearer and the back of the wearer, and also for engaging the base of the head or occipital bone at the back of the head and a separate upper cup for engaging and supporting the mandible area or chin of the wearer wherein the normally relatively immobile portions of a wearer (i.e. his or her chest or anthrax) provide support for the chin through the chest, shoulder, back and head engaging base piece which completely encircles the patients neck (and is thus relatively immobile during use) and wherein the normally relatively mobile portions of the wearer (i.e. his or her chin or head) are supported by the chin cup which is secured in fixed position on the neck-encircling piece. The construction reduces chances of chafing and discomfiture.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a cervical collar which includes means for fixing in various adjusted positions, the relative position of the collar and a chin cup associated therewith, whereby maximum support after adjustment is permitted each individual user. Any movement permitted the head by the collar is limited substantially, and this limited movement is normally permitted only by reason of the flexible nature of the material making up the base portion of the collar.
A further object of the invention is to provide a cervical collar of this character that is formed of a neckencircling sheet of semi-rigid material adjustably interengaged at its ends so that it closely fits the neck and the back of the head of the wearer and supports a mandible cup to obtain the desired degree of .hyperextension and control of the head while in use or to facilitate fiexion or stabilization.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a collar with a neck-encircling section having a lower chest engaging portion which also engages the shoulders and the back of the head and a mandible cup supported thereby, the neck-encircling portions being adjustable to permit the conformation thereof to the contour of the engaged chest and back of the head of the patient.
Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following specification and claims when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings illustrating one embodiment of my invention.
In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is a view in side elevation of a semi-rigid collar constructed according to my invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in side elevation illustrating the use of the embodiment of my invention illustrated in FIG. 1, the collar being in place upon a wearer and shown as supporting the chin of the wearer by means of the mandible cup; and
FIG. 3 is a view in section taken substantially on the line 33 of FIG. 1.
In general, my improved cervical collar comprises a mandible or chin cup adjustably mounted on a flexible plastic collar.
Referring in detail to the drawings, it may be seen that I have shown in FIG. 1 a flexible plastic collar 11 supporting, by means of metallic braces such as 12 and 13, a mandible cup or plate 14. The cup is of metal and is thus relatively rigid. It is produced in several sizes but in addition any one may be squeezed or flattened in order to fit more perfectly. The braces, including the braces 12 and 13 (there being a brace similar to 13 on the opposite side of the cup 14 from the brace 13, as shown in FIG. 1) are adjustable. To this end the braces are made in two parts adjustably connected as the two parts of the brace 13 shown adjustably connected by a screw or pin at 19 in FIG. 1. The braces are pivotally secured to the collar 11, and the cup 14 (e.g. the brace 13) is pivotally secured as at 15 to the collar 11 and is pivotally secured as at 16 to the mandible cup 14. The brace 12 is secured pivotally to the cervical collar 11 as at 17, and the brace on the opposite side of the cup 14 is pivotally secured to the cup 14 as at 18. Holes are provided in the cervical collar 11, as for example at 21 and elsewhere, in order to allow air to circulate and provide additional comfort for the wearer. The upper part of the collar is provided with soft rolls as at 22 and 23 for contact with the head of the wearer in a comfortable manner. The lower part of the cervical collar 11 is also provided with a soft roll such as 24 for contact with the chest, shoulders and back of the wearer. Preferably the cervical collar 11 is made of two layers such as 26 and 27 as shown in FIG. 3, the coverings for the soft rolls 22, 23 and 24 being sandwiched between the two layers 26 and 27. The soft rolls 22, 23 and 24 may be of any appropriate material. I have used neoprene sponge cord. The covering 32, 33 and 34 for the rolls 22, 23 and 24, may also be of any suitable material. I have used sponge plastic. The main part of the collar 11 may be a polyethylene plastic. It is a semi-rigid, non-porous, waterproof material which is not sponge, but is semi-rigid. It does not yield readily to pressure, but it is not rigid and may bend where desired. It has a softer feel than metals and hard plastics such as Bakelite. Other suitable materials may be used, however, instead of the polyethylene plastic, if desired.
Secured to the outside of the outside layer 27 is a longitudinally extended adhering strip 28, and secured to the inside of the inside layer 26 at the opposite end of the collar is a similar adhering strip 29 which is also longitudinally extended. These adhering strips 28 and 29 are of such construction that when pressed together they adhere tightly and maintain the collar firmly and securely about the neck of the wearer in the adjusted position in which they are placed, but when sufficient force (much more than would be encountered in normal wearing use) is exerted perpendicular to the plane of the adhering surfaces, the adhering surfaces may be separated and the collar removed from the neck of the wearer. This mate rial is a type of nylon and has about 80 burrs to the inch and one type thereof is called Velcro, manufactured by Velcro Corporation.
Operation When it is desired to fit a patient with a collar constructed according to the embodiment of my invention disclosed herein, the collar 11 as shown in FIG. 1 is applied from the front to the neck of the wearer, the end bearing adhering portion 28 is pressed closely against the back of the neck so that the roll 22 supports the occipital bone of the wearer with the adhering portion 28 outside. Thereafter the portion of the collar bearing the adhering portion 29 is stretched tightly around the end bearing the portion 28, and the adhering portion 29 is pressed firmly against the portion 28. This outer end also supports the occipital bone of the wearer. This anchors the collar securely in place and supports the back of the head or occipital of the wearer. The chin cup 14 is then adjusted so that it fits tightly under the chin of the wearer and supports the front of the head. Thereupon the head of the wearer is supported in satisfactory comfort and to a degree that may be necessary for the relief of the condition encountered, but yet a slight movement as may be desirable for the comfort of the wearer is permitted. If it is desired to remove the collar, it may be done very simply by pulling outward 0n the outer end of the collar, bearing the end of the adhering portion 29, and thereafter moving the collar forward.
It is to be understood that the above described embodiment of my invention is for the purpose of illustration only, and various changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A cervical collar for entirely encircling and conforming generally to the shape of the neck of a wearer, for engaging the chest, upper shoulder portion, and occipital bone of the wearer, and for immobilizing the head of the wearer and having a separate component for supporting and substantially preventing rotary motion of the chin of the wearer, comprising:
a substantially tubular base component having an axial height with upper and lower side edges, said base component being formed of a semi-flexible material and having its end portion joined so as to form a substantially circular enclosure;
a separate substantially rigid concave chin cup component having opposite terminal portions spaced from but adjacent to the respective upper front side edges of the base component;
and means for adjustably but fixedly securing and supporting said chin cup in fixed position on the base component.
2. A cervical collar as defined in claim 1 in which the means for securing and supporting the chin cup comprises a plurality of adjustably extensible metallic braces.
3. A cervical collar as defined in claim 1 in which the means for securing and supporting the chin cup compr1ses an open framework of adjustably extensible metallic braces for adjustably connecting the concave cup to and securing the concave cup upon the base component.
4. A cervical collar as defined in claim 1 in which the means for securing and supporting the chin cup compr1ses an open framework having a centrally located metallic brace and a plurality of side metallic braces each of which braces is adjustably extensible and each of which is metallic and formed in two parts adjustably interconnected and in which one part of each brace is pivotally connected to the base component while the other part of each brace is pivotally connected to the concave cup.
5. A cervical collar as defined in claim 1 in which there is provided:
means for adjustably interengaging and fastening the ends of said semi-flexible material component and thereby forming said substantially circular enclosure for encircling the neck of the wearer; and
the means for securing and supporting the chin cup comprises an open framework having a centrally located metallic brace and a plurality of side metallic braces, each of which is adjus-tably extensible, for adjustably connecting the concave metal cup to and securing said cup rigidly upon the base component while allowing access to the front portion of the neck of the wearer.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Muller 128-87 Mikals-en 27280 McBee 128-87 Moore 128-75 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. 10 R. E. MORGAN. J. W. HINEY, Assistant Examiners.