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Publication numberUS3345654 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 10, 1967
Filing dateMar 21, 1966
Priority dateMar 21, 1966
Publication numberUS 3345654 A, US 3345654A, US-A-3345654, US3345654 A, US3345654A
InventorsRuth I Noble
Original AssigneeRuth I Noble
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drop foot and heel guard for bed patients
US 3345654 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 10 1967 R. l. NOBLE 3,345,654

DROP FOOT AND HEEL GUARD FOR BED PATIENTS Filed March 21, 1966 7 INVENTOR P TH I. NOBLE /-/y/ 9 U BY United States Patent 3,345,654 DROP FOOT AND HEEL GUARD FOR BED PATIENTS Ruth I. Noble, 2630 Crestwood Lane, Deerfield, Ill. 60015 Filed Mar. 21, 1966, Ser. No. 536,068 2 Claims. (Cl. -319) This invention relates to a drop-foot and heel guard for bed patients.

In hospitals, nursing, convalescent, rehabilitation centers and rest homes, various expediencies have been employed to relieve the patients feet from the weight of the bed sheet and covers. A typical means is to employ a hoop which is arched over the lower end of the bed from side to side and supports the sheet above and generally out of contact with the feet of the patient.

This, however, is not enough to prevent drop foot or to assist patients who already have drop foot. Nor does it prevent injury due to rotation and pronation of the feet.

Some hospitals and nursing homes employ a drop foot board and sand bags to prop up a patients feet. However, this and similar expedients become inoperative if the patient moves up in the bed away from the board in seeking a more comfortable position.

The present invention provides an individual guard for each foot and that attaches to the foot and gives a maximum freedom of movement of the patient without becoming ineffective in holding the foot in a corrective position.

In carrying out the invention the guard is made up of a lightweight rigid thermoplastic or other suitable mate rial molded in a form to embrace the sole and sides of the foot, extending upwardly beyond the toes like a sandal and also extending around the heel and beyond the ankle to the calf of the leg. The top and front is otherwise open to facilitate application of the guard to the foot and the foot is held in place therein by wrapping with adjustable straps.

The heel of the foot is protected against chafing and bed sores as by providing a cavity at the back so that the heel does not touch the guard.

The guard is preferably perforated to let air get to the foot of the patient and it is possible to provide a lining of porous synthetic sponge such as an open polyurethane sponge which will add to the comfort of the patient.

Where rotation and pronation of the feet of a patient is a problem, a special support is attached to the back of the heel and which is preferably in the form of a lateral strip secured rigidly to the guard and which retains the foot uprightly at all times.

The accompanying drawings illustrate an embodiment of the invention in the best form presently contemplated.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the lower legs of a patient in bed with parts cut away to illustrate the application of the drop foot and heel guard to the feet of the patient;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view of the guard with the foot of the patient shown in phantom and with parts broken away and sectioned to show the heel support;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the guard taken generally longitudinally of the foot;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the longitudinally of the leg;

FIG. 5 is a detail sectional view showing one form of support attachment for a guard;

FIG. 6 is a similar view showing another form of attachment; and

FIG. 7 is a detail section taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawguard taken generally fort and eventually result in heel 3,345,654 Patented Oct. 10, 1967 ing comprises separate guards 1 and 2 for the corresponding feet 3 and 4 of a patient.

As shown in FIG. 1 when the patient lies on his back in a bed 5 the guards 1 and 2 support his feet uprightly beneath the sheet or cover 6. For this purpose the guards 1 and 2 extend upwardly a short distance beyond the toes of the patient and thereby support the cover 6 free of the feet of the patient, i.e. all weight of the cover 6 is supported by guards 1 and 2, leaving the patients feet entirely free of weight that might otherwise cause discombed sores, drop foot or in pronation of the feet.

Each guard 1 and 2 comprises a molded rigid foot support with a channel shaped foot portion 7 that generally fits the bottom or sole of the foot and extends upwardly around the sides sufliciently to locate the foot in the guard at all times, and with a channel shaped ankle portion 8 adapted to receive the back of the ankle of the patient and to extend along the back of the leg to the calf.

The two portions 7 and 8 of the guard are generally at right angles to each other and are joined by the heel portion 9 which has a backwardly extending recess 10 that frees the heel from contact with the guard at the back when the patient is lying on his back, thus eliminating the tendency for heel sores to develop. The ankle of the patient thus supports the foot in the guard, and the area of support is substantially greater than it would be if the heel functioned as the support.

If desired a pad of open pore synthetic sponge such as a polyurethane or other suitable ventilated cushion 11 may be provided in the ankle portion 8 in the area of support contact between the ankle and the guard.

The guard is made with suitable spaced holes 12 through the same for ventilation purposes.

Where rotation and pronation of the feet are problems, a support is provided for each guard and preferably cornprises a molded strip 13 extending laterally beneath the guard at the back of the heel portion 9. The strip 13 may be permanently secured to the heel portion 9 as by suitable rivets 14 shown in FIG. 5, or strip 13 may have an interlocking loop 15 attached to the heel portion 9 as shown in FIG. 6 and which receives the member 16.

In FIG. 6 a loop 15 is secured to the back side of the ankle portion 8 and a lateral member 16 is adapted to slip through the loop 15 until a central portion of it interlocks with the portion 8 and the member is thereby rigidly and removably secured to the corresponding guard 1 or 2 so that when the member rests upon the mattress the foot of the patient will be held upright thereon.

The guards 1 and 2 and their corresponding support strips 13 may be molded of a suitable synthetic plastic such as polyethylene which can be re-shaped by heat in case a special shape is required in any given instance.

The feet of the patient are secured in the guard by suitable removable binding tape 18 which may extend around the foot portion 7 and over the foot of the patient, and also around the ankle portion 8 and the ankle of the patient.

The guards 1 and 2 are entirely separate from each other thus permitting the patient to change the relative position of his feet from time to time. Likewise, the securing of the feet in the corresponding guards 1 and 2 permits the patient to move upwardly toward the head of the bed or vice-versa without danger of loss of the foot support.

The guards protect the feet of the patient from heel sores, and from the weight of the covers which tend to cause drop-foot, and also from the tendency to rotate and cause pronation.

The guards are very simple in construction and when made of suitable thermoplastic material they can be readily molded from a flat sheet of the stock material.

By providing the guard with an open front both for the foot and the ankle portions, the guard may be readily applied to and removed from the patient. In general, three or more sizes should be provided.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.

I claim:

1. A foot and heel guard for bed patients comprising an individual foot receiving member of rigid generally channel-shape having a foot portion extending from the heel to beyond the toe and an ankle receiving portion extending from the heel upwardly of the ankle generally at right angles to the foot portion, said foot and ankle receiving portions being molded integrally of a thermoplastic material and being open at the front to facilitate application of the same to the foot of a patient, means to secure a lateral support member at the back of the ankle portion to support the foot of a patient upright as when the patient is lying prone on the back, and means References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,664,886 1/1954 Colfman 128-80 2,789,624 4/1957 Aucoin 5-327 X 2,847,991 8/1958 Andrews 1288O 2,878,493 3/1959 Delia 5327 2,911,657 11/1959 Streeter 5-327 2,960,151 11/ 1960 Fairgrieve 5--327 3,244,389 4/ 1966 Wilkins 297-423 DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.

R. D. KRAUS, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US2789624 *Feb 11, 1954Apr 23, 1957Ancoin John JFoot support
US2847991 *Aug 5, 1955Aug 19, 1958Adam AndrewsDrop foot brace
US2878493 *Nov 21, 1957Mar 24, 1959Delia NicolaTherapeutic device
US2911657 *Aug 23, 1957Nov 10, 1959Streter Iii George WLeg and foot rest
US2960151 *Apr 20, 1959Nov 15, 1960 D fairgrieve
US3244389 *Jul 17, 1964Apr 5, 1966Jim ZegeerFoot supports
Referenced by
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US3916886 *Mar 12, 1974Nov 4, 1975Memorial Hospital Medical CentPreformed self-conforming drop foot brace
US4090268 *Aug 30, 1976May 23, 1978Turner Jeanette AFoot support for sunbathers
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U.S. Classification5/650, 5/505.1, 602/28, 5/651
International ClassificationA61G7/05, A61G7/075
Cooperative ClassificationA47C21/022, A61G7/0755
European ClassificationA47C21/02A, A61G7/075L