US 3307538 A
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March 7, 1967 E. H; GROLL 3,307,538
ADJUSTABLE ORTHOPEDIC SLING Filed Nov. 14, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR EDWIN H. GROLL ATTORNEY-5'.
March 7, 1967 E. H. GROLL 3,
ADJUSTABLE ORTHOPEDIC' SLING Filed Nov. 14, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. EDWIN H. GROLL A TTOR E Y5.
United States Patent Ofiice 3,307,538 Patented Mar. 7, 1967 3,307,538 ADJUSTABLE ORTHOPEDIC SLING Edwin H. Groll, 4724 NW. 6th St., Plantation, Fla. 33314 Filed Nov. 14, 1963, Ser. No. 323,731 Claims. (Cl. 128-94) This invention relates to surgical devices in general and more particularly to an adjustable orthopedic sling of the type used for the support of an injured arm in a position which is not only comfortable but one which gives the correct and complete support conducive to proper healing.
A great deal of effort has been expanded over the years in the development of orthopedic slings for supporting a persons arm since these devices experience wide-spread use. However, these efforts, for the most part, have resulted in devices which were either so complex as to render their use impractical or so simple as to render them ineffectual for the task for which they were designed.
Early orthopedic arm slinlgs quite closely resembled old-fashioned corsets and girdles in that they consisted of large panels of web-like material completely surrounding the wearers torso and interconnected by numerous belts and buckles. As a result, it was almost impossible for the wearer, especially in his injured condition, to put on and take oil? such a garment without considerable effort. And while these early slings were adjustable, there were so many adjustments which had to be made that the garment never fit properly and, therefore, was quite uncomfortable.
In contrast to these early slings, the more recent attempts disclosed in the prior art have been bare simplicity. However, in the attempts to provide a simple sling, the allimportant factor of adjustability was forgotten. The wearer, because he is injured and therefore restricted in his movements, must have a completely adjustable sling which is quite simple to put on and remove. In addition to adjustability, the construction of these recent prior art slings has the tendency to create pressure points on portions of the wearers body, such as, the neck and upper shoulders, where all of the weight of the supported arm is concentrated. These pressure points resulted primarily due to the attempts to over-simplify the sling.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an orthopedic sling which may be very simply and easily put on and removed by the wearer without outside help and without unnecessary movement of the injured arm.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an orthopedic sling which may be very quickly and easily adjusted to fit dilierent sizes and shapes of people, and is instantly adjustable to the light or heavy wearing apparel of the wearer.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide an orthopedic sling which is so constructed that the normal pressures which results from the use of the sling are spread over a large portion of the body of the wearer, thereby making possible the comfortable use of the sling over extended periods of time.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide an orthopedic sling which is flexible to the extent that it will not restrict movements by the wearer and yet will substantially maintain the arm to be supported in a fixed position.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide an orthopedic sling which is cosmetic, light in weight and washable.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide an orthopedic sling which can be used by the wearer for either arm without a major change in adjustment necessary.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide an orthopedic sling which will prevent or correct ulnar deviation of the wrist.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide an orthopedic sling which is extremely simple in design and construction.
By virtue of these and more specific features set forth with particularity in the claims annexed hereto, the invention provides an extremely simple, adjustable orthopedic sling with far superior characteristics to those heretofore attainable with a design of much less simplicity. This will be more fully understood from the embodiment of the invention illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the invention in its open or extended position showing the important features of the construction thereof;
FIGURE 2 is a front view of the sling as it is worn by an individual;
FIGURE 3 is a rear view of the sling as it is worn by an individual;
FIGURE 4 is a plan view of the embodiment of FIG- URE 1 in its closed or engaged position showing the cooperation of the various parts thereof;
FIGURE 5 is a front view of an individual wearing a sling and suffering from excessive ulnar deviation;
FIGURE 6 is a detailed view of a wrist support combined with the sling according to the invention, and
FIGURE 7 is a detailed plan view of the wrist support shown in FIGURES 2 and 6.
The orthopedic sling according to the present invention provides simplicity in that, in general, it consists of but two strap members which form the supporting loops for the wearers arm. However, in spite of this simplicity, the construction of the sling provides for even distribution of pressure over a large portion of the wearers shoulders and back, completely eliminating the possibility that pressure points will be created. In addition, each of the strap members contains two means of adjustment, one of which permits the opening of the loop formed by a strap with a single tear-like motion providing for very simple removal of the sling.
Looking to the specific embodiment shown in FIGURES 1 and 4, a pair of straps designated generallyas 10 and 11 are identical in construction consisting of an upper strap member 12 and a lower strap member 13 both made preferably of a flexible, web-like material. The straps 10 and 1-1 are connected in the general vicinity of their centers as by a rivet 14 inserted through both of the upper strap members 12 so as to permit rotation of the straps relative to each other.
The ends 15 of upper strap members 12 are fastened to a buckle 16 by passing the end thereof through the buckle and sewing it to the main body of the strap portion. The lower strap members 13 are then adjustably secured to the upper strap members 12 by passing the ends 17 thereof through the buckle 16 and fastening it to a slip buckle located on the body portion of the lower strap member 13. With this arrangement, the total length of the straps 10 and 11 can be individually adjusted by merely sliding the slip buckle 17 toward or away from the buckle 16. The buckles 16 and 17 may be constructed of metal but preferably are constructed of plastic or other material which is sufiiciently durable but less hazardous than metal.
The free ends 18 and 19 of straps 10 and 1 1, respectively, contain on their upper side the complementary portions A and B of Velcro adhesive material which is a contact type of fastener recently introduced for use in fastening clothes. In a like manner, the free ends 20 and 21 of straps 10 and 11, respectively, also contain on their upper side the complementary portions B and A of Velcro adhesive material. The adhesive portions A have a very fuzzy fibrous surface and the complementary portions B have a surface which contains a plurality of minute hook-like projections. When the surfaces of A and B are placed in contact with one another, they become fastened to one another in a manner which is especially resistant to longitudinal forces parallel to the surfaces thereof. However, the portions A and B may be non-destructably separated by merely pulling them away from each other with a slight tear-like motion.
FIGURES 2 and 3 illustrate the manner in which the sling described with regard to FIGURE 1 may be worn. After initial adjustment of buckles 17, the straps 10 and 11 are placed across the back with the buckles 17 and the adhesive portions A and B facing out. The upper strap members 12 are then pulled over the shoulders and allowed to hang down over the wearers chest. One of the lower strap members, such as 13 of strap 11, is pulled around the wearers waist between his right side and his right arm and is given a half turn counterclockwise (see FIGURE 4), to provide a Mobius loop-type configuration, Which causes the strap to conform to the wearers side before the adhesive end A thereof is pressed in contact with its complementary end B on strap 10.
In a like manner, the lower strap portion 13 of strap 10 is pulled around the wearers waist between his left side and left arm and is given a half turn clockwise (see FIGURE 4), to provide a Mobius loop-type configuration, which causes the strap to conform to the wearers side before the adhesive end A thereof is pressed in contact with its complementary end B of strap 11.
The injured arm may be inserted into the loops formed by the strap members 12 and 13 at this time; or, if the arm is already in the horizontal position in front of the body and cannot be moved, the strap members 13 may be passed over the arm initially and then fastened to the strap members 12. Thus, the strap may be put on without moving the injured arm. In fact, due to the ability of the complementary adhesive portions A and B to adhere if any part of the two portions make contact, this fastening means also serves as a final adjusting means permitting the sling to be put on with perfect fit without moving the injured arm at all.
To remove the sling, the end portions 18 and 21 are pulled away from the end portions 19 and 20, respectively, with a tear-like motion, thereby opening the loops and permitting the sling to slide ofl the shoulders.
The manner in which the sling according to the present invention fits across the back and shoulders can be readily seen in FIGURE 3. Due to the manner in which the straps 1t}- and 11 fit around the body, the pressure resulting from the supported arm is evenly distributed, eliminating all possibility of pressure points and permitting its use for extended periods of time without fatigue.
An added feature of the instant invention is the provision of a wrist support shown in connection with lower strap member 13 in FIGURE 2. A very common problem which results from the use of present day slings is the creation of an ulnar deviation of the wrist. This malady which is illustrated in FIGURE is characterized by an excessive drooping of the hand and an abnormal transverse flexing of the wrist. Excessive ulnar deviation, if not corrected, can lead to contracture of the wrist and further serious complications.
In an attempt to overcome this problem, in accordance with the teachings of the invention, a wrist support 22 is inserted in the lower strap member 13 which supports the wrist of the wearer as shown in FIGURE 6. The detail of the wrist support 22 is shown in FIGURE 7. The support is preferably made of leather but may be constructed of any material which is soft and flexible and will provide good support to the wrist.
As shown in FIGURE 7, the support consists of at least two layers of leather or other material which are stitched together along their outlines as at 2 3. The general outline of the support is rectangular with a rounded protruding portion 24 which is designed to fit adjacent the hand without being cumbersome. The outer face of the support 22 is shown in FIGURE 7 to contain a pair of spaced parallel loops 25 which are formed in the outer layer of the support as by slitting the surface thereof.
The support 22 is mounted on the sling by sliding the lower strap member 13 through the loops 25 with the rounded protruding portion 24 facing the fingers of the wearer and straight portion thereof facing the forearm. This cooperation between the strap member 13 and the support 22 to effect positive support of the wearers wrist is shown in the detailed view of FIGURE 6.
A sling according to the present invention is quite flexible due to its soft webbing construction and due to the riveted connection of the straps 10' and 11. As a result, this sling will not seriously restrict the movements of the wearer and yet it will provide firm support for the injured arm. In addition, the wrist support 22 will provide positive support for the wrist without being cumbersome.
While I have disclosed a particular embodiment of my invention, it will be, of course, understood that I do not wish to be limited thereto since various modifications and alternative constructions may be made. I, therefore, contemplate by the appended claims to cover all such modifications and alternative constructions as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.
1.. An adjustable orthopedic sling for supporting injured body members comprising first and second flexible strap members pivotally joined adjacent the centers thereof, each of said strap members containing a means for independently adjusting the length thereof and a further means associated with the ends of each of the strap members for cross-connecting by removable adhesive contact the one end of said first strap member to the opposite end of said second strap member and said one end of said second strap member to the opposite end of said first strap member.
2. An adjustable orthepedic sling as defined in claim I, wherein the opposite ends of said first and second strap members are rotated prior to joining so as to provide a configuration, in the joined position, of two interconnected Mobius loops, which configuration conforms to the wearers body.
3. An adjustable orthopedic sling for supporting injured body members comprising first and second flexible strap members pivotally joined adjacent the centers thereof, each of said strap members containing a means for independently adjusting the length thereof and a further means associated with the ends of each of the strap members for cross-connecting by removable adhesive contact the one end of said first strap member to the opposite end of said second strap member and said one end of said second strap member to the opposite end of said first strap member, and means associated with one of said strap members for providing a body member support which extends beyond the normal width of said strap members.
4. An adjustable orthopedic sling for supporting injured body members comprising a pair of flexible strap members pivotably joined adjacent the centers thereof, each of said strap members including an upper strap portion, adhesive means associated with the ends of each of the strap members, a buckle attached to one end of each of said upper strap portions, said lower strap portions being adjustably connected to said buckles by means of slip buckles, said upper strap portions being adapted to form loops with the lower strap portions of said opposite strap members by removable adhesive contact of the ends thereof.
5. An adjustable orthopedic sling for supporting injured body members comprising a pair of flexible strap members pivotably joined adjacent the centers thereof, each of said strap members including an upper strap portion and a lower strap portion, the ends of each of said strap members provided with adhesive means, a buckle attached to one end of each of said upper st-rap portions, said upper strapportions being adjustably connected to said buckles by means of slip buckles, said upper strap portions being adapted to form loops with the lower strap portions of said opposite strap members by removable adhesive contact of the ends thereof, wherein the opposite ends of said first and second strap members are rotated prior to joining so as to provide a configuration, in the joined position, of two interconnected Mobius loops, causing said straps to conform to the wearers body, and a substantially rectangular wrist support member adjustably mounted on one of said lower strap portions,
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 11/ 1892 Germany. 12/ 1916 Great Britain.
3/ 1957 Norway.
RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. 15 J. W. HLNEY, Assistant Examiner,