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Publication numberUS3350719 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 7, 1967
Filing dateSep 20, 1965
Priority dateSep 20, 1965
Publication numberUS 3350719 A, US 3350719A, US-A-3350719, US3350719 A, US3350719A
InventorsMcclure Jr Christopher C
Original AssigneeMcclure Jr Christopher C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Knee brace
US 3350719 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

NOV- 7, 1967 Y c; c. MCCLURE, JR 3,350,719

KNEE BRACE v Filed Sept. 20, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENITORZ ATTO RN EY Nov. 7, 1967 c. c. MCCLURE, JR 3,350,719

KNEE BRACE Filed Sept. 20, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 0 `INVENTOR2 v `A ORNEY United States Patent O 3,350,719 KNEE BRACE Christopher C. McClure, Jr., 1963 Hayes St., Nashville, Tenn. 37203 Filed Sept. 20, w65, Ser. No. 488,338 2 Claims. (Cl. 2-22) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A knee brace having a single upper bar and a single lower bar and a link bar pivotally joined at each end to the respective lower end of the upper bar and upper end of the lower bar on the outside thereof, and an upper cuff and a lower cuif for securing, respectively, the upper and lower brace bars to the outside of the thigh and calf, respectively, of a wearer.

This invention relates to a knee brace, and more particularly to a protective knee brace for the prevention of injury to the knee.

Heretofore, knee `braces have been primarily designed and used for the correction of injuries and disease to the knee. Moreover, prior knee braces have employed brace members on both sides of the knee, and have comprised upper and lower brace members, the ends of which are connected in the region of the knee by a single pivotal joint or hinge.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a knee brace for protecting the knee from injury, and at the same time, to provide maximum freedom of knee action.

`Another object of this invention is to provide a knee brace having articulated brace members which will afford lateral stability to the knee, without sacrificing true knee action.

A further object of this invention is to provide a protective knee brace having an upper brace member secured to the thigh and a lower brace member secured below the knee, both brace members being connected by a double hinge member.

Further objects of the invention will `be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the invention as used on the left leg of the wearer;

FIG. 2 is a left side elevation of the invention disclosed in FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a section taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. l;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top plan view of the invention;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary left side elevation of the double hinged connection; and

FIG. 6 is a section taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

Referring now to the drawings in more detail, the knee brace 10 includes an upper or thigh cuif 11 and a lower or calf cuff 12. These cuffs 11 and 12 may be made of leather, or any other suitable flexible material for wrapping around the leg of the wearer above and below the knee. The cuffs 11 and 12 disclosed in the drawings comprise two halfs provided with eyelets secured together by the lacing 14. As additional protection and comfort to the leg of the wearer, a knitted elastic sleeve 16 may be secured inlthe upper cuff 11 for fitting around the thigh, and a similar knitted sleeve 17 may be provided in the lower cuff 12 to fit around the lower portion of the leg below the knee.

A substantially flat upper brace bar 20 is protectively secured within a padded covering 21, made of leather or plastic, along the outside of the upper cuff 11. The upper portion of the brace bar 20 is fixed to a transverse arcuate reinforcing bar 22 also secured to the outside of lCC the cuff 11 by the protective covering 21. The upper brace bar 20 depends from the upper cuff 11 and terminates in an enlarged circular lower end 24.

In a similar manner, a substantially hat lower brace bar 26, having `a transverse arcuate reinforcing bar 27, is secured to the outside of the lower cuff 12 by a padded covering 28. Both coverings 21 and 28 may be secured to their respective cuffs 11 and 12 by any convenient means, such as stitching, adhesives or fusion. The lower brace bar 26 projects upwardly from the cuff 12 in substantially the same plane as the upper brace bar 20, and terminates in an enlarged circular upper end 3i).

A link bar 32 is mounted to overlap the outside surfaces of the upper bar 20 and the lower bar 26. An upper pivot pin 34 extends through a mating opening in the upper end of the link bar 32 and threadedly engages, or is otherwise fixed into, the lower end 24 of the upper brace bar 20, so that the center of the circular lower end 24 is coaxial with the axis of the pivot pin 34. As best disclosed in FIG. 6, the upper pivot pin 34 may be provided With a head or cap 35 having an inner annular groove 36 opposing an annular raceway 37 inset in the outer surface of the upper end of link bar 32 for supporting ball bearings 38. In a similar manner, inset annular raceways 46 and 41 may be provided in Opposing surfaces on the inside of the link bar 32 and the outside of the lower end 24 of the upper brace bar 20 for receiving ball bearings 42.

In a similar manner, a lower pivot pin 44 having a head 45 is provided with an annular groove 46 opposing an inset annular raceway 47 in the outer surface of the link bar 32 to receive the ball bearings 48. The pivot pin 44 extends rotatably through a mating opening of the link bar 32 and is secured in threaded engagement with the upper end 3l) of the lower brace bar 26. The annular raceway Sil inset in the inner surface of the link bar 32 and the annular raceway 51 inset in the outer surface of the upper end 3i) of the lower brace bar 26 are adapted to receive the ball bearings 52. The pivot pins 34 and 44 provide a double hinge joint connecting the upper brace bar 26 and the lower brace bar 26 through the link bar 32. Y

Extending inwardly from and transversely of the link bar 32 is a ledge 53 having an upper surface 54 and a lower surface 55. The ledge 53 is adapted to extend into` the space between the lower end 24 and the upper end 3l). The lower end 24 is provided with an eccentric portion or stop segment portion 57, which is hat and extends outwardly frorn the intersection of the longitudinal axis of the upper brace bar 29 with the circular portion 58, with gradually increasing radii. The distance between the upper surface 54 and the center of the lower end 24 is approximately equal to the radius of the circular portion 58, so that the circular portion 58 may clear or easily ride over the upper surface 54 as the brace bar 20 is pivoted about the pivot pin 34. However, when the brace bar 20 is longitudinally aligned with the link bar 32, the stop portion 57 engages the upper surface 54 to prevent any further rotation in a counter-clockwise direction, as disclosed in FIG. 5.

In a similar manner, the upper end 30 is provided with a stop portion or segment 60 which is also flat and gradually increases radially from the circular portion 61 from a point on the longitudinal axis of the brace bar 26 to perform the saine function as the stop portion 57. The stop portions 57 and 60 are so positioned on their respective ends 24 and 36, that the pivotal movements of the brace bars 20 and 26 are limited when they have been rotated to a longitudinally aligned position simulating the thigh and calf of the leg when they are aligned in standing position. However, the pivotal movement of the brace bars 20 and 26 in the opposite direction is limited only by the flexural limits of the knee.

The insides of the brace bars 20 and 26 are padded by the cuffs 11 and 12, by the cuff extensions, and by the coverings 21 and 28. Moreover, the insides of the lower ends 24 and 3i) are covered by a soft leather pad 65 which is secured to the ledge 53 by pins or rivets 66.

The knee brace is preferably used by athletes, such as football players, in order to protect their knees against pulled ligaments and torn cartilages, which are frequently caused by blows against the sides of the knees and by twisting.

For these purposes, it has been found that a single brace bar 2t? secured above the knee and a single brace bar 26 secured below the knee, and double-hinged to the outside of the knee are more than ample to afford the necessary protection. By eliminating the inside brace bars, the side of each knee is protected from injury from the brace bar on the inside of the opposite knee, and there is greater freedom of knee action for running.

The double hinge action provided by the knee brace 10 in which the pivot pins 34 and 44 are approximately laterally aligned with the pivotal portions of the end of the femur and the end of the tibia, respectively, affords a very accurate approximation of the true knee action. In the human knee, the end of the femur and the end of the tibia terminate in cartilages, which are separated by a joint space and lubricated, and secured by ligaments. These joint ends and joint space are covered or enclosed by an articular capsule. Thus, in this knee brace, the upper brace bar simulates the action of the femur and the lower brace bar 26 simulates the action of the tibia. The link bar 32 spans the joint space and is connected to each brace bar 20 and 26 by separate pivot pins 34 and 44 in order to simulate the double-hinge action of the knee.

The stop portions 57 and 60 on their respective ends 24 and 30 further simulate the upright pivotal limit of the knee and leg.

The knee brace 10 may be worn by loosening the laces 14 and inserting the leg through the sleeves 16 and 17 until the sleeve 16 is tted on the thigh slightly above the knee, and the sleeve 17 is fitted around the portion of the leg below the knee. The link bar 32 is located opposite the knee so that the pivot pins 34 and 44 are substantially laterally aligned with the corresponding joint ends of the femur and the tibia. The cuffs 11 and 12 are then secured about their corresponding sleeves 16 and 17 by means of tightening and tying the laces 14. The

brace bars 20 and 26 are so mounted that they extend along the outside of the leg. The knee brace 10 may be removed from the leg by merely reversing the steps for putting on the knee brace.

This knee brace is such an improv-ement over prior devices, that it has already proved highly satisfactory in reducing injuries to the knee by football players wearing the device. Moreover, the device 10 so closely approximates true knee action, that a runner wearing the knee brace has been clocked in running the 10U-yard dash in the same time as he runs the 1D0-yard dash without the knee brace.. Y Y

It will therefore be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore the invention is not limited by that which is shown in the drawings and described in the specification, but only as indicated in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A knee brace comprising:

(a) a single fiat upper brace bar having an inside and an outside, and a lower end and a free upper end,

(b) a single flat lower brace bar having an inside and an outside, and an upper end and a free lower end,

(c) a at link bar having first and second ends,

(d) an upper pin pivotally connecting the first end of said link bar against the outside of the lower end of said upper brace bar,

(e) a lower pivot pin pivotally connecting the second end of said link bar against the outside of the upper end of said lower brace bar, so that said upper and lower brace bars will pivot in substantially the same plane and said link bar overlaps the outside only of both said brace bars,

(f) stop means on the inside of said link bar between said brace bars to limit the pivotal movement of said brace bars in one direction to an angle of approximately apart,

(g) said upper end of said upper brace bar comprising an arcuate transverse bar, concave inward, and terminating in free extremities,

(h) an upper cuff fixed to said upper brace bar and said upper transverse bar, said upper cuff being adapted to be secured about the thigh of a wearer so that said upper brace bar ts on the outside of said thigh,

(i) said lower end of said lower brace bar comprising an arcuate transverse bar, concave inward, and terminating in free extremities,

(j) a lower cuff fixed to said lower brace bar and said lower transverse bar, said lower cuff being adapted to be secured about the calf of a wearer so that said lower brace bar fits on the outside of said calf.

2. The invention according to claim 1 in which no portion of said stop means of or said link bar project inwardly beyond the inside flat surfaces of said upper and lower brace bars, and further comprising a substantially flat padded member secured to said link bar and covering the insides of the lower end of said upper brace bar, and the upper `end of said lower brace bar.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 489,258 1/1893 Marks 12S- 80 2,532,955 12/1950 Shook 2-22 2,632,440 3/1953 Hauser et al. 128-80 2,877,033 3/l959 Koetke 12S-80 X 2,959,168 11/1960 Shook 2-22 X JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner. 1I. R. BOLER, Assistant Examiner,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US489258 *Aug 6, 1892Jan 3, 1893 George e
US2532955 *Feb 13, 1946Dec 5, 1950Shook Ross O SKnee guard or brace
US2632440 *Dec 17, 1947Mar 24, 1953Hauser John MLeg brace joint and lock
US2877033 *Mar 16, 1956Mar 10, 1959Dreher Mfg CompanyArtificial joint
US2959168 *May 8, 1957Nov 8, 1960Shook Ross O SKnee brace
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3575166 *May 14, 1968Apr 20, 1971Maurice RosmanKnee brace
US3799158 *Oct 6, 1971Mar 26, 1974H GardnerKnee brace
US3945047 *Dec 19, 1974Mar 23, 1976Jarrell Jr Richard PKnee protector
US3958569 *May 19, 1975May 25, 1976Vosburgh Arthur EKnee protector and brace
US4245629 *Dec 13, 1978Jan 20, 1981Cummins Alfred BKnee and elbow joint protector
US4249524 *Feb 26, 1980Feb 10, 1981Anderson George CKnee stabilizer
US4256097 *Dec 29, 1978Mar 17, 1981Willis Robert EOrthopedic apparatus for protecting and supporting a bone joint
US4381768 *May 18, 1981May 3, 1983Stainless Mfg., Inc.Knee orthosis
US4643176 *Jul 19, 1985Feb 17, 1987Don Joy, Inc.Athletic knee protector with bowed leaf spring structure
US4691697 *Apr 5, 1985Sep 8, 1987Strom-Tec, Inc.Knee support
US4854308 *Dec 28, 1987Aug 8, 1989Drillio Robert CKnee orthosis having offset within hinges and anti-rotation straps
US4881299 *Feb 16, 1988Nov 21, 1989Young David EOrthopaedic and orthotic bi-pivotal hinge with improved adjustment means
US4905715 *Sep 23, 1988Mar 6, 1990Johnson Kathy JPadded leg guard
US4928670 *Dec 6, 1988May 29, 1990Delorenzo RichardHuman knee joint stabilizing orthosis with semi-rigid, substantial encasement means for lower leg
US4928676 *Feb 27, 1989May 29, 1990Timothy PansieraKnee brace with flexible secondary joint
US5000170 *Jan 31, 1989Mar 19, 1991Protectair LimitedAdjustable bipivotal hinge with interdigitating abutment plates
US6623439Aug 31, 2001Sep 23, 2003Dj Orthopedics, LlcContoured knee brace frame
US6878126Sep 23, 2003Apr 12, 2005Dj Orthopedics, LlcContoured knee brace frame
US7311687Apr 4, 2005Dec 25, 2007Djo, LlcOsteoarthritis brace
US7828759Nov 9, 2010Arensdorf Stephen CHeel lock ankle support
US7967765Nov 10, 2004Jun 28, 2011Djo, LlcOrthopedic brace suspension system
US8272073Sep 25, 2012Stromgren Athletics, Inc.Athletic protective padding
US20040068215 *Oct 8, 2002Apr 8, 2004Jeremy AdelsonOsteoarthritis knee brace apparatus and method
US20050148918 *Nov 10, 2004Jul 7, 2005Nathanson Jeremy J.Orthopedic brace suspension system
US20050240135 *Apr 4, 2005Oct 27, 2005Carl HoffmeierOsteoarthritis brace
US20090270784 *Oct 29, 2009Arensdorf Stephen CHeel lock ankle support
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/22, 602/26, 602/16
International ClassificationA61F5/01
Cooperative ClassificationA61F2005/0165, A61F2005/0137, A61F5/0123
European ClassificationA61F5/01D3