|Publication number||US3313297 A|
|Publication date||Apr 11, 1967|
|Filing date||Jun 18, 1962|
|Priority date||Jun 18, 1962|
|Publication number||US 3313297 A, US 3313297A, US-A-3313297, US3313297 A, US3313297A|
|Inventors||Leslie T Applegate, Kavula Peter|
|Original Assignee||Surgical Appliance Ind|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (32), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
PY 3957 L. T. APPLEGATE ETAL 3,33,29?
CERVI CAL SPLINT Filed June 18, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORQ 7 BY m qf/ Amig N 3967 L. T. APPLEGATE ETAL 3,333,297
CERVICAL SPLINT 2 Sheetshee't 2 Filed June 18, 1962 QZ ZMR'S Md,
United States Patent Office aange? Patented Apr. 11, 1967 3,313,297 CERVICAL SPLINT Leslie T. Applegate and Peter Kavula, Cincinnati, Ohio,
assignors to Surgical Appliance Industries, inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed .lune 18, 1962, Ser. No. 203,024 3 Claims. (Cl. 12S- 75) This invention relates to orthopedic appliances and is particularly directed to a novel cervical splint.
In the past, many different types of appliances have been proposed for treating neck injuries. One commonly used appliance is a plastic cervical collar of the type shown in the pending United States patent application of Elmer J. Gruber Ser. No. 111,852 now U.S. Patent No. 3,135,256. These cervical collars encircle the patients neck beneath the chin and function to somewhat restrict movement of the cervical vertebrae and to relieve muscle tension by providing a support for the wearers head.
While this type of collar is satisfactory for use in treating minor injuries, it is not in general suitable for use in cases involving more serious injuries where it is necessary to provide a high degree of fixation of the patients head. For treatment of these more serious injuries requiring a hih degree of immobility, it has previously been necessary to utilize chest or torso engaging braces. Braces of this latter type include plates and straps which engage the wearers chest and back together with posts, or the like, which extend upwardly from these plates and carry cups which engage the wearers chin and head. While appliances of this latter type have the advantage of providing a high degree of immobilization, they are disadvantageous in that they are bulky and somewhat uncomfortable. Also, these braces tend to interfere with the wearers dressing and are considerably more unsightly than a cervical collar.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide a cervical splint which combines the comfort and appearance advantages of a cervical collar with the immobilizing features previously found only in chest engaging type devices.
More particularly, one preferred ferm of cervical splint constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention comprises a semi-rigid plastic collar member which tits snugly around the wearers neck and is contoured along its lower edge to continuously engage his shoulder muscles and clavicle. The collar member carries, adjacent to its front portion, a relatively short bracket which is vertically adjustable and supports a chin engaging cup which cradles the wearers chin and effectively restrains it against movement. The cradle is held rigidly in place by means of two tension straps which extend rearwardly from opposite sides of the cradle to the opposite rear portions of the collar.
One of the principal advantages of the present cervical splint is that it provides a high degree of xation so that the wearers head is more rigidly supported than was possible with prior art collars and even with some of the previously employed chest engaging braces.
Another advantage of the present invention is that it is very lightweight and comfortable to the wearer. The brace engages only the wearers neck and the contiguous portion of his shoulders and clavicle. Consequently, the brace does not interfere in any way with the patients clothing.
A still further advantage of the present collar is that it can readily be adjusted to comfortably iit the contour of the patient. Specically, the height of the chin cup is readily adjustable and as is explained in detail below, both the contour of the chin cup and the curvature of the collar can be bent to conform to the patient.
An additional advantage of the present collar is that it is lightweight, compact and or" attractive appearance.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description of the drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE l is a side elevational view of a cervical splint constructed in accordance wit-h the present invention, the collar being shown in the position in which it is worn.
FIGURE 2 is a front View of the brace shown in FIG- URE l.
FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the brace partly broken away to show details of construction.
As is best shown in FIGURE l, a cervical collar 16 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention includes a laterally flexible neck embracing collar member 11. This member is formed from a sheet 12 of a semi-rigid plastic, such as .060 gage polyethylene sheet. This sheet material is tiexible in a lateral direction, i.e., can readily be bent from a liat sheet into a collar configuration. However, the material is relatively rigid in its own plane so that the material etectively resists bending or buckling in a vertical plane when in place upon a wearers neck. Sheet 12 is coniigurated along its lower edge to include a downwardly extending arcuate portion indicated generally at 13 in the front center of the collar. The bottom edge of section 13 is adapted to overlie and engage the wearers clavicle when the brace is being worn. Sheet 12 is further conligurated to have upwardiy curving arcuate portions 1d joined to downwardly curving rear portions 15 formed at the two free ends of the sheet. The lower edge of the collar thus conforms to the contour of a patients shoulders and clavicle.
The upper edge of the collar slopes upwardly from the front center to two upwardly extending rear support pad portions 16 adjacent to the rear edges 17 of the brace. These pad portions which engage the rear neck areas of the wearer add support to the wearers head and at the same time eliminate play in the collar. A cushion 18 of plastic covered foam rubber, or the like, is secured as by means of stitching 2@ along the lower edge of sheet member 12. This cushion includes a round bead portion which extends under the sheet 12 and an Outer flange 21 which abuts the outer face of sheet 12. The front portion of the upper edge of sheet 12 is provided with a cloth binding 22. This binding is folded over the edge of the sheet and is joined to the sheet in any suitable manner, such as by stitching. Each of the side portions of the upper edge of sheet 12 is provided with cushions 23. These cushions are formed of plastic coated foam rubber, or the like, and are secured in place in any suitable manner, such as by stitching. Cushions 23 extend upwardly at the rear of the collar to form pad portions 16.
The front center portion of sheet 12 carries a lightweight reinforcing plate 24 formed of thin gage aluminum or the like. This plate is of generally triangular configuration including a generally horizontal upper edge 2S disposed closely adjacent to the top edge of sheet 12 and downwardly tapering side edges 26 and 27 which join in an arcuate apex portion 28 disposed closely adjacent to the lower center portion of sheet 12. Reinforcing plate 24 is secured to the outer front face of sheet 12 in any suitable manner, such as by means of a plurality of rivets 3). This sheet is preferably sufficiently heavy so that it remains rigid when in place upon a wearers neck and yet can be bent initially to provide an optimum Iit for the wearer.
A vertical side plate 31 is mounted upon reinforcing plate 24 in any suitable manner, such as by means of rivets passing through the reinforcing plate and slide plate. The slide plate is provided with two vertically spaced bores for threadably receiving set screws 32.. These set screws are received in a longitudinally vertically extending slot 33 formed in the vertical arm 34 of bracket member 35. The bracket member 35 is generally L-shaped and includes an upper horizontal arm 35. This arm carries the backing plate 37 of chin cup 38. Chin cup 38 further comprises a resilient pad 40 formed of plastic covered foam rubber or the like. Pad 46 is secured to backing member 37 in any suitable manner, such as by means of an adhesive.
Backing plate 37 is in turn joined to arm 36 of bracket 35 in any suitable Way, such as by means of rivets 4l. Plate 37 is preferably formed of relatively thin sheet aluminum, or the like, the sheet being sufliciently thick so that it remains rigid when worn but being sufficiently thin so that it can be bent slightly to provide a better fit when the cervical splint is initially placed upon the wearer.
The collar assembly 1t) further comprises two tension straps 42 and 43 formed of a suitable plastic material, such as polyethylene or nylon. The forward ends of straps 42 and 43 are secured to opposite sides of backing plate 37 of the chin cup by means of snap fasteners 44 and 45, the male element of each of these snap fasteners being mounted upon the plate 37 while the female elements of the snap fasteners are carried by straps 42 and 43.
The rear ends of the tension straps are detachably secured to pad portions 16 by means of fasteners 46. In a preferred embodiment, each of the fasteners 46 is a buckle type snap fastener having a male element secured to a pad portion 16 and including a buckle portion 48 having a female snap portion formed integral therewith. Each of the buckles 48 includes two spaced slots 50 for receiving straps 42 and 43. Each of the slots 50 is provided with teeth 51 for holding the strap in a taut position.
The collar is held in position upon the wearers neck by means of a strap portion 52 formed on one end of member 12.` This strap member carries a piece of Velcro tape 53 adapted to cooperatively engage a second piece of Velcro tape 54 secured to the exterior surface of the opposite end of the upper member. The details of construction of this Velcro tape are shown in Patent No. 2,717,437. In general, each of the pieces of Velcro tape 53 and 54 is mounted upon sheet member 12 by means of stitching. One of the Velcro strips S3, 54 is of the hook or male type, which is covered with a myriad of stiff little hooks. The other Velcro strip is of the pile `or female type which is covered with thousands of tiny soft loops. When the male and female straps are pressed together, the hook and loops interengage to form a secure joint. This joint is effective to resist pulling of the surface .apart either by direct pulling or by a sliding movement. However, the two pieces of Velcro tape can readily be separated by peeling the iiap rearwardly.
In use, the collar is snugly fitted to the patients neck and the reinforcing plate 24 and backing plate 37 of the chin cup are bent, if necessary, to provide a comfortable fit. The desired extension of the chin is achieved by vertically adjusting bracket 35 relative to reinforcing plate 24. When the bracket and chin cup are properly positioned they are permanently secured in place by tightening set screws 32. Side straps 42 and 43 are then tightened to place these members under a slight tension.
The collar sheet 12 is substantially rigid in a vertical plane. Thus, the bottom edge of the collar transmits the pressure of the chin downwardly. This edge is contoured to continuously engage tl'ie wearers body from the shoulder muscles at the sides of the brace on around to the clavicle in front of the brace. Thus, an even downward pressure is exerted over substantially the entire extent of the brace and there are no areas of localized pressure which might tend to cause discomfort.
The brace is firmly held in place about the wearers neck by means of the strap 52 and the Velcro tape. The combination of the short bracket member 35 and side straps 42 and 43, which form cup 38, and rear pad portions is effective to hold the chin cup rigidly in position and thereby impart a high degree of immobility to the wearers chin.
From the above disclosure of the general principles of the present invention and the above description of a preferred embodiment, those skilled in the art will readily comprehend the various modifications to which the invention is susceptible. Accordingly, we desire to be limited only by the scope of the following claims.
Having described our invention, we claim:
1. A cervical splint comprising a cervical collar formed of a semi-rigid plastic sheet shaped to snugly encircle the neck of a wearer, the lower edge of said collar being contigurated to engage the contiguous portions of the wearers shoulders and clavicle, the rear portion of said collar including an upwardly extending pad portion for engaging the rear area of a wearers neck, a reinforcing member mounted on the front surface of said collar, a vertically extending bracket member, means carried by said reinforcing member mounting said bracket member thereon, said bracket member including an outwardly extending horizontal ami formed at its upper end, and a chin cup shaped to receive the wearers chin mounted upon said horizontal arm, and straps extending rearwardly at each side of said cervical splint, each of said straps being secured at one end to said chin cup and at the other end to the rear portion of said collar.
2. A cervical splint comprising a cervical collar formed of a semi-rigid plastic sheet shaped to snugly encircle the neck of a wearer, the lower edge of said collar being coniigurated to engage the contiguous portions of the wearers shoulders and clavicle, the rear portions of said collar including two upwardly extending pad portions for engaging the rear side areas of a wearers neck, a reinforcing member mounted on the front surface of said collar, a vertically extending bracket member, means carried by said reinforcing member mounting said bracket member thereon, said bracket member including an outwardly extending horizontal arm formed at its upper end, and a chin cup shaped to receive the wearers chin mounted upon said horizontal arm, and straps extending rearwardly at each side of said cervical splint, each of said straps being secured at one end to said chin cup and at the other end to a pad portion of said collar.
3. A cervical splint comprising a cervical collar formed of a semi-rigid plastic sheet shaped to snugly encircle the neck of a wearer, the lower edge of said collar being contigurated to engage the contiguous portions of the wearers shoulders and clavicle, the rear portions of said collar including two upwardly extending pad portions for engaging the rear side areas of a wearers neck, a reinforcing member mounted on the front surface of said collar, a vertically extending bracket member, support means carried by said reinforcing member mounting said bracket member thereon, said bracket member including an outwardly extending horizontal arm formed at its upper end, a chin cup shaped to receive the wearers chin mounted upon said horizontal arm, straps extending rearwardly at each side of said cervical splint, each ot' said straps being secured at one end to said chin cup and at the other end to a pad portion of said collar, said support means being effective to mount said bracket member in a plurality of positions relative to said reinforcing member, Whereby the height of said chin cup may be adjusted, and means carried by said straps for adjusting the tension on said straps.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 591,339 10/1897 Fortney et al. 32-1 678,417
Kaiser 155-175 Benjamin 12S-87 Moore 128-75 Hall 128-87 Di Palma et al. 12S-75 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
7/ 1901 Muller 128-87 10 I. W. HINEY, Assistant Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||602/18, D24/191, 128/DIG.230|
|Cooperative Classification||A61F5/055, Y10S128/23|