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Publication numberUS3331367 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1967
Filing dateMar 31, 1965
Priority dateMar 31, 1965
Publication numberUS 3331367 A, US 3331367A, US-A-3331367, US3331367 A, US3331367A
InventorsHastings Thomas K
Original AssigneeHastings Thomas K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Orthopedic spinal brace
US 3331367 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 18, 1967 K. HASTINGS ORTHOPEDIC SPINAL BRACE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 31, 1965 INVENTOR. THOMAS K HASTINGS ATTORNEYS July 18, 1967 K. HASTINGS ORTHOPEDIC SPINAL BRACE 3' Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 51, 1965 I20 INVENTOR.

THOMAS K. HASTINGS ATTORNEYS July 18, 1967 T. K. HASTINGS ORTHOPEDIC SPINAL BRACE 5 SheetsSheet 3 Filed March 31, 1965 FIG.

llll G Rm O Tm mm V WK 8 A M O H T ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,331,367 ORTHOPEDIC SPINAL BRACE Thomas K. Hastings, 1488 E. 33rd St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11234 Filed Mar. 31, 1965, Ser. No. 444,223 13 Claims. (Cl. 128-78) This invention relates to an orthopedic brace, and more particularly to a spinal brace particularly adapted for use in connection with injuries to, as well as weaknesses of the back and spine.

The primary object of this invention is to provide an improved construction and arrangement of the members which together form the support for the back and spine.

Another object of this invention is to provide a spinal brace fitted to the body below the shoulder blades which can readily be converted to a spinal brace having additional support members extending above the shoulder blades, thereby providing a brace of great flexibility in use.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a spinal brace wherein the members thereof are easily detachable to facilitate shipping, storage, handling, washing, etc.

Another important aspect of this invention is to provide a spinal brace, the construction of which renders it easily adapted for use by males or females.

A still further aspect of this invention is to provide a spinal brace which comprises a frame of metal or other resilient material, said material being covered with a protective covering; adjustability being provided by a girdle-like member encircling the waist, which is readily detachably from the frame.

A still further important aspect of the invention is to provide an improved spinal brace which is strong and durable and yet can be economically manufactured and sold.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent when the following description is considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a spinal brace of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an exploded perspective view of the brace of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of a spinal brace of this invention, applied to the body of the wearer below the shoulder blades;

FIGURE 4 is a front elevational view of a spinal brace of this invention;

FIGURE 5 is a rear elevational view of the spinal brace of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view on the plane of lines 66 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 7 is a horizontal cross-sectional view on the plane of lines 77 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of the spinal brace of FIGURE 4; and

FIGURE 9 is a vertical cross-sectional view on the plane of lines 99 of FIGURE 1.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly FIG- URE 1, there is shown a brace 10 comprising an upper horizontal frame member 11, a lower horizontal frame member 12, and the vertical frame members 13 and 14 extending between the upper and lower horizontal frame 3,331,367 Patented July 18, 1967 members 11 and 12. The vertical frame members 13 and 14 are detachably secured by their upper and lower ends to horizontal frame members 11 and 12 and are evenly spaced at each side of the center of horizontal frame members 11 and 12. A pair of vertical side frame members 15 and 16 are detachably secured by their ends to the ends of horizontal frame members 11 and 12. The substantially rigid framework is completed by the vertical support members 19 and 20, substantially aligned with vertical frame members 13 and 14 and overlying the upper end of the outer side of vertical frame members 13 and 14, and together therewith detachably secured to horizontal member 11 and further detachably secured to the upper ends of vertical frame members 13 and 14, respectively.

The frame thus described is held in position on the body by means of a pair of fabric panels 17 and 18, each of which is fitted detachably to a respective one of vertical side frame members 15 and 16, as is later described. The brace shown in FIGURE 1 is further held in position by providing shoulder straps 21 and 22, one end of each being detachably or permanently secured to the upper end of vertical support members 19 and 20, respectively, and the other end also being detachably or permanently secured to vertical support members 19 and 20, the straps passing over the shoulders and beneath the arms.

Horizontal frame members 11 and 12 are fitted to the body of the wearer by properly curving the member 11 to fit the back below the shoulder blades as shown in FIGURE 3 and curving member 12 to fit just below the lumbo-sacral area, as also illustrated in FIGURE 3. Vertical members 13 and 14 are fitted to the body of the wearer by properly curving these members so that when the brace is applied to the body of the wearer, the members 13 and 14 are disposed one on each side of the spinal column following the contour of, and firmly engaging the body of the wearer. Vertical side frame members 15 and 16 are also curved to follow the body contour from the pelvis to about the bottom of the rib cage. Vertically extending support members 19 and 20 are also curved to follow the body contour. The fabric panels 17 and 18 are shaped to be interconnected at the front by means of fasteners such as the straps 48 and the buckles 49 or similar fastening means. The shoulder straps 21 and 22 hold the body erect and firmly against vertically extending support members 19 and 20. Thus, since the frame is properly shaped to fit the body of the wearer, all of the inner surfaces of the frame members will firmly engage the body of the wearer.

Vertical frame members 13 and 14 are detachably secured to horizontal frame members 11 and 12 by screws 23 and 24. Vertical side frame members 15 and 16 are detachably secured to the ends of horizontal frame members 11 and 12 by screws 25. Vertical extending support members 19 and 20 are secured to horizontal frame member 11 by screws 23 and to vertical frame members 13 and 14 respectively, by screws 26. Fabric panels 17 and 18 are secured detachably to vertical side frame members 15 and 16 by providing each of panels 17 and 18 with a vertical pocket 27 open at both ends for receiving vertical side members 15 and 16 respectively. Shoulder straps 21 and 22 are secured by screws 28, or the like, to the upper end of vertically extending support members 19 and 20 and also to the same support members approximately half way between the top of each support member and the intersection of each support member with horizontal frame member 11. The shoulder straps may be permanently secured to vertical support members 19 and 20 by rivets or other permanently fixed means. The shoulder straps can be detachably connected to vertical support members 19 and 20 by buckles or other conventional detachable fastening means. Additionally, each shoulder strap can comprise separate sections, the upper section of each shoulder strap adapted to pass over the shoulders while the lower section is adapted to pass beneath the arms, with the front end of each section adjustably connected by buckles or similar fastenings. Thus, the shoulder straps may not only be detachably secured to vertical support members 19 and 20, but can also be adjustably fitted to the body of the wearer of the brace.

Horizontal members 11 and 12 and vertical members 13, 14, 19 and 20 each comprises a flat bar of metal or other suitable mate-rial which is light in weight, strong and resilient. Aluminum is an example of a material having these desired qualities. The bars are respectively designated as 11a, 12a, 13a, 14a, 19a and 20a. Referring to FIGURE 9, each bar is covered by a suitable protective covering. The protective covering comprises an outer layer of leather, or other suitable protective material 29, an adjacent layer of cloth or other soft material 30, a foam material or other suitable cushioning material 31 adjacent to soft material 30, and an outer layer of cloth or other soft material 30, the two layers 30 being formed from the same piece of soft material wrapped about the cushioning material 31. The two layers 30 can also be formed from different pieces of soft material secured to each other. The bar 12a is inserted in the pocket formed between the outside protective material 29 and the adjacent soft material 30. Cushioning material 31 is adjacent to soft material 30 which bears against the body of the wearer, thereby making the brace more comfortable to wear. The pocket for receiving bar 12a is formed by securing the sides of the protective material 29 to soft material 30 and foam material 31, as shown at 41 in FIGURE 9. Then one end of the materials comprising the protective covering is closed and the bar 12a is inserted in the pocket formed between outside protective material 29 and adjacent soft material 30. After the bar 1211 has been inserted, the other end of the materials comprising the protective covering is closed. The same procedure is employed for forming a protective covering on horizontal frame member 12 and vertical members 13, 14, 19 and 20.

This method of forming a protective covering is an important feature of the present invention because it permits the protective covering to be pre-formed prior to insertion of the bar therein. The protective covering can be manufactured in large quantities by a suitable machine which will secure the side of the various layers of material together. For example, a long row of the protective covering can be made by securing the sides of the materials together by machine or other means, and then cutting the protective covering into sections to fit the bars to be inserted in each protective covering. Additionally, the machine securing the sides of the protective covering and performing the cutting operation, can also close, by sewing or other means, one end of each section formed. After the appropriate bar has been inserted in the protective covering the other end of the protective covering is closed. This is an economical method of forming the protective covering, made possible because the members of the spinal brace of this invention are detachable. Braces having frame members which are riveted or permanently secured by other means are first, at least, partially assembled before the protective covering is formed on the brace. This results in a time consuming and costly procedure because the protective covering must be hand secured to cover the bars. Thus, the protective covering for these braces cannot be pre-formed as is possible with the spinal brace of this invention.

Vertical side frame members 15 and 16 each comprises flat bars of metal or other suitable material which are light in weight and resilient. The side of members 15 and 16 which face toward the body of the wearer may have secured thereto, by an adhesive or other means, cushioning material 31 or the like. This further minimizes any discomfort to the wearer when the brace 15 firmly in position.

Fabric panels 17 and 18 are made of any suitable fabric material having elastic sections 38 which facilitates movement by the wearer of the brace, such as bending, etc- Panels 17 and 18 are each provided with a vertical pocket 27 extending substantially from the bottom to the top of said panels and formed on the face opposite the side bearing against the body of the wearer. Pockets 27 are disposed at the ends of panels 17 and 18 opposite the end to which straps 48 and buckles 49 are secured. Pockets 27 are formed by securing an additional piece of material to the outer face of panels 17 and 18. Both ends of the additional piece of material and the sides immediately adjacent thereto are not secured to the panels thereby providing the flaps 36 and 37 as clearly shown in FIGURE 2. By lifting up flaps 36 and 37, screws 25 are accessible. Each pocket 27 receives one of vertical side members 15 and 16 which extend substantially the full length of the pocket. Vertical side frame members 15 and 16 have cushioning material 31 adhesively secured thereto, the cushioning material being adjacent to the outer face of panels 17 and 18 as shown in FIGURE 7.

Vertical frame members 13 and 14, vertical side frame members 15 and 16, vertical support members 19 and 20, and fabric panels 17 and 18 are provided with apertures 46 which may comprise eyelets or the like. Horizontal frame members 11, 12 and vertical frame members 13 and 14 are provided with threaded inserts 40. These threaded inserts 40 comprise a hollow internally threaded sleeve having annular rim 50, the threaded insert being press fitted into apertures in bars 11a, 12a, 13a and 14a. Apertures 46 are aligned with threaded inserts 40 and screws 23, 24, 25 and 26 are passed through apertures 46 and engage threaded inserts 40. Also, vertical support members 19 and 20 may be provided with inserts 40 for engaging screws 28.

The manner in which the various members are detachably secured is illustrated in more detail in FIGURE 6 which shows vertical frame member 13, vertical support member 19 and horizontal frame member 11. Members 13 and 19 are detachably secured to member 11 by screw 23, the threaded screw stem passing through each of protective material 29 of members 19, 13 and 11, bars 19a and 13a of members 19 and 13, soft material 30 of members 19 and 13 and cushioning material 31 of members 19 and 13, and engages threaded insert 40 in bar 11a of horizontal frame member 11. The threaded insert 40 is provided with an annular rim 50 on the face of bar 11a adjacent to soft material 30 of horizontal frame member 11. When the frame members are detachably secured together, the layers of the protective covering are compressed, as shown in FIGURE 6. As also shown in this figure, the vertical support member 19 is detachably secured to vertical frame member 13 by screws 26 which pass through each of: protective material 29 of members 19 and 13, bar 19a of member 19, soft material 30 of member 19, cushioning material 31 of member 19, and engages threaded insert 40 in bar 13a of member 13.

Other possible embodiments may be made of this invention without departing from the scope thereof. Thus, the frame members may be constructed of any suitable material, including plastic. The protective covering may be any material which contributes to the comfort of the wearer. Vertical support members 19 and 20 can be provided with a slot connection in each member thereby permitting the members to be adjusted higher or lower. Further vertical support members 19 and 20 can be detachably secured to frame members 11, 12, 13 and 14 by having the upper end of vertical frame members 13 and 14 overlying the lower end of vertical support members 19 and 20. Also, panels 17 and 18 may be interconnected by means other than straps and buckles, including hooks and eyes, or any other conventional fastening means.

The improved construction of the spinal brace of this invention greatly facilitates shipping, handling and storage of the brace because the frame members and fabric panels are detachable. Thus, the wearer of the brace can easily assemble and disassemble the brace. Further, the spinal brace shown in FIGURE 8 can readily be converted into a spinal brace having vertical support members extending above the shoulder blades. Therefore, a brace is provided which has great flexibility in use. Additionally, the same spinal brace can be worn by males or females because the fabric panels are detachable, thereby permitting use of panels of different sizes. Also, since the panels are detachable it facilitates washing the fabric material.

The embodiments disclosed are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is indicated by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A spinal brace comprising an upper and a lower horizontal frame member, said frame members each comprising a bar covered with a pre-formed protective covering; a pair of vertical frame members extending between said horizontal frame members and evenly spaced at each side of said horizontal frame members, said vertical frame members adapted to engage the back of the wearer of said brace on each side of the spinal column; threaded members comprising a screw engaging an internally threaded insert in an aperture for detachably securing said vertical frame members by their upper and lower ends to said upper and lower horizontal frame members, said vertical frame members each comprising a bar covered with a pre-formed protective covering; a pair of vertical side frame members each comprising a bar; threaded members comprising a screw engaging an internally threaded insert in an aperture for detachably securing said vertical side frame members by their upper and lower ends to the ends of said horizontal frame members; a pair of corset-type fabric panels adapted to be adjustably interconnected to secure the brace in position on the body of the wearer; a vertical pocket on the outer face of each of said fabric panels for detachably securing each of said fabric panels to a respective one of said vertical side frame members, said vertical pockets being formed substantially at the end of said fabric panels and adapted to receive said vertical side frame members; and means positioning a cushioning material between each of said panels and its respective vertical side frame member.

2. A spinal brace as set forth in claim 1, further including a pair of vertical support members aligned with said vertical frame members and extending upwardly from the upper ends of said vertical frame members and above the shoulder blades when said brace is fitted to the body of the wearer; said vertical support members each comprising a bar covered by a p-re-formed protective covering; and means for detachably securing the lower ends of said vertical support members to said upper horizontal frame member and to the upper ends of said vertical frame members.

3. A spinal brace as set forth in claim 2, further including a pair of shoulder straps; each one connected at its upper and lower end to a respective one of said vertical support members, said shoulder straps adapted to pass over the shoulders and beneath the arms when the brace is fitted to the body of the wearer.

4. A spinal brace comprising an upper and a lower horizontal frame member, said frame members each comprising a bar covered with a pre-formed protective covering which includes an outer layer on the side of the bar remote from the body of the user, an adjacent layer of soft material and a cushioning material adjacent to said soft material, said soft material encircling said cushioning material; a pair of vertical frame members extending between said horizontal frame members and evenly spaced at each side of the center of said horizontal frame members, said vertical frame members adapted to engage the back of the wearer of said brace on each side of the spinal column, and said vertical frame members each comprising a bar covered with a pre-formed protective covering which includes an outer layer on the side of the bar remote from the body of the user, an adjacent layer of soft material and -a cushioning material adjacent to said soft material, said soft material encircling said cushioning material; means for detachably securing said vertical frame members by their upper and lower ends to said upper and lower horizontal frame members; a pair of vertical side frame members each comprising a bar; means for detachably securing said vertical side frame members by their upper and lower ends to the ends of said horizontal frame members; a pair of fabric panels adapted to be adjustably interconnected to secure the brace in position on the body of the wearer; means for detachably securing each of said fabric panels to a respective one of said vertical side frame members; and means positioning a cushioning material between each of said panels and its respective vertical side frame member.

5. A spinal brace as set forth in claim 4, further including a pair of vertical support members aligned with said vertical frame members and extending upwardly from the upper ends of said vertical frame members and above the shoulder blades when the brace is fitted to the body of the wearer, said vertical support members each comprising a bar covered with a pre-formed protective covering which includes an outer layer on the side of the bar remote from the body of the user, an adjacent layer of soft material and a cushioning material adjacent to said soft material, said soft material encircling said cushioning material; means for detachably securing said vertical support members by their upper ends to said upper horizontal frame member and to the upper ends of said vertical frame members; and a pair of shoulder straps, each one detachably connected at its upper and lower end to a respective one of said vertical support members.

6. A spinal brace according to claim 4 wherein the means for detachably securing said vertical frame members to said horizontal frame members and the means for securing said vertical side frame members to said horizontal frame members comprise threaded members.

7. A spinal brace according to claim 5 wherein the means for detachably securing said vertical frame members to said horizontal frame members, the means for detachably securing said vertical side frame members to said horizontal frame members and the means for detachably securing said vertical support members to said upper horizontal frame member and to said vertical frame I members comprise threaded members.

8. A spinal brace according to claim 6 wherein the means for detachably securing each of said fabric panels to -a respective one of said vertical side frame members comprise a vertical pocket on the outer face of each of said panels, said pockets being formed substantially at the end of said panels and adapted to receive said vertical side frame members.

9. A spinal brace according to claim 5 wherein the means for detachably securing each of said fabric panels to a respective one of said vertical side frame members comprise a vertical pocket on the outer face of each of said panels, said pockets being formed substantially at the end of said panels and adapted to receive said vertical side frame members.

10. A spinal brace according to claim 6 wherein the threaded members comprise a screw engaging an internally threaded insert in an aperture.

11. A spinal brace according to claim 7 wherein the threaded members comprise a screw engaging an internally threaded insert in an aperture.

12. A spinal brace according to claim 8 wherein the threaded members comprise a screw engaging an internally threaded insert in an aperture.

13. A spinal brace according to claim 9 wherein the threaded members comprise a screw engaging an internally threaded insert in an aperture.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8 FOREIGN PATENTS 13,385 9/1903 Austria. 115,594 12/1900 Germany.

OTHER REFERENCES Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, volume 46-A, #3, adv. page 30, April 1964, Truforrn Orthopaedic Appliances Atlas, volume 1, 1952, page 212, 214 and 216 relied upon.

RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.

J. W. HINEY, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US664250 *Jun 4, 1900Dec 18, 1900Samuel N FitzpatrickBody-brace.
US1301276 *Jun 11, 1917Apr 22, 1919Mary M KroetzSupport for the correction of malpositions of the cervical vertebrę and the occiput.
AT13385B * Title not available
*DE115594C Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3620211 *May 7, 1969Nov 16, 1971Goodell AlbertExtrication back splint
US3771513 *Dec 8, 1971Nov 13, 1973Velazquez TSpinal brace
US5158531 *Jul 2, 1991Oct 27, 1992Christina M. ZamoskySpinal orthosis
US5362304 *Oct 28, 1992Nov 8, 1994Restorative Care Of America IncorporatedThoracic lumbar sacral orthosis device
US5435563 *Jun 17, 1994Jul 25, 1995Salvatore; RobertGolf posturing device
Classifications
U.S. Classification602/19
International ClassificationA61F5/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/024
European ClassificationA61F5/02E