US 3439673 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 22, 1969 A. SPRECHER 3,439,673
ELBOW IMMOBILIZER FOR USE ON MALE AND FEMALE PATIENTS Filed July 26. 1966 Sheet of 2 f 7 l8 l6 I0 22 36 70 I 33 20 INVENTOR CARL A. .SPRE CHE/1 ATTORNEY-5 April 22, 1969 I c, A. SPR-ECHER 3,439,673
ELBOW IMMOBILIZER FOR USE ON MALE AND FEMALE PATIENTS Filed July 26. 1966 Sheet .2 of 2 FIG? INVENTOR CARL 14. SPRECHB? BY who flak ATTORNEY United States Patent Office 3,439,673 Patented Apr. 22, 1969 3,439,673 ELBOW IMMOBILIZER FOR USE ON MALE AND FEMALE PATIENTS Carl A. Sprecher, Lebanon, Pa., assignor to Lebanon Machine & Manufacturing Co., Inc., Lebanon, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed July 26, 1966, Ser. No. 567,893 Int. Cl. A61f 5/37, 5/04; A61d 3/00 US. Cl. 128-133 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to an improved apparatus for immobilizing the elbow joint of a human being to facilitate intravenous administration of food, blood, or other fluids. In particular, the invention relates to an improved apparatus capable of convenient use on the arms of women as well as men.
For many years, it has been a common hospital practice to inject fluids directly into the circulatory system of the patient by insertion of a needle into one of the veins extending through the patients arm. Typically, the large vein passing close to the surface of the arm at the elbow is used. However, this has been found to necessitate the immobilization of the patients elbow joint since movement of the arm may cause the needle to penetrate the other side of the vein with resultant infiltration of fluid into the arm outside the vein. This causes discomfort to the patient as a result of the pressure of the fluid within the tissues and in addition, necessitates restarting of the intravenous administration, since, in general, the desired medical result can only be achieved by direct injection into the vein.
In the past, it has been a common practice to immobilize the elbow joint of the patient 'by securing his arm, with the dorsal side against a board extending from approximately the knuckles of the hand to above the elbow. The board is usually secured to the patients arm by winding gauze or adhesive tape around the palm and the board at one end, and around the upper arm and the board at the other end. Unfortunately, such a technique has been found to possess a number of serious short-comings.
First, the arm boards appear to render the patient quite uncomfortable. Intravenous administration may commonly last for as much as four or five hours, and is often applied several times a day, resulting in a tendency of the patient to try to move his arm due to discomfort from long immobilization. Taping of the arm to the board does not appear to sufficiently immobilize it so that the patient is often able to achieve enough'movement to cause the needle to penetrate the opposite side of the vein with the undesirable results outlined above.
In addition, it is found that adhesive tape is often irritating to the skin of many people, and creates the problem of pulling arm hair upon removal which may cause skin irritation or even a source of infection. The skin of certain people is found to be sensitive to common adhesive tape, in which case it is necessary to use hypoallergenic tape at considerably increased expense. Moreover, such tape does not overcome the various problems of insuflicient immobilization and discomfort.
A further disadvantage of commonly used arm boards is the necessity of maintaining a comparatively large number of different size boards to accommodate patients having arms of varying sizes. In addition, it isoften found diflicult and/or inconvenient to maintain sterility of such arm boards.
Recently, however, vastly improved apparatus for immobilization of the elbow joint has been made available. Devices of this type are disclosed in US. Patent No. 3,196,870 of Carl A. Sprecher et al., patented July 27, 1965, and assigned to the assignee of the present invention. The limb immobilizer there described providessubstantially complete restraint of the upper and lower arm whereby the elbow jointis completely immobilized. At the same time, the patented device eliminates the use of adhesive tape with its attendant disadvantages, yet provides complete immobilization without the possibility of a tourniquet effect cutting off circulation in the arm of the patient.
Briefly, the patented arm immobilizer comprises a pair of extended members of sufficient length to provide enough counter-leverage for preventing a strong person from bending his arm with the device attached. The device is attached to the arm on its ventral side by a pair of straps and a third strap intermediate the other two which extends across the dorsal side of the arm at the elbow.
The patented immobilizer has been found to be very eflicient in preventing the arm from being moved while at the same time it has proved to be most comfortable even during extended periods of use.
After considerable use of the above described patented arm immobilizer, by hospitals throughout the country, it has gained substantial acceptance. However, the universal utility of the patented arm immobilizer for women has been found somewhat limited by the fact that the bone structure of the female arm is different from that of the male arm.
- In particular, examination and comparison of the arms of male and female persons will show that in the case of males, the bones of the lower and upper arm extend in a generally straight line from the upper arm, through the elbowjoint, to the lower arm. In contrast, the female arm is found to bend outward at the elbow joint whereby the upper and lower arms are disposed at an angle with respect to each other. This angle, the so-called carrying angle, is typically eight to ten degrees or more (i.e. an outward bend of the lower arm of 8-10 In extreme cases, the carrying angle may approach as high as 15 '-2O". With the above described patented arm immobilizer, use on female patients requires bending of the above described extended bars to the appropriate angle to accommodate the carrying angle of the individual patients arm. This has been found to be somewhat inconvient, since the bars must be formed from moderately strong stock material in order to assure immobilization, with resulting diflioulty in bending. In addition repeated bending of the device to accommodate different patients mayresult in breakage of the bars due to fatigue and work hardening. In addition, after repeated bending, difiiculty may be encountered in completely straightening the bars in order to permit use on a male patient. (In extreme cases carrying angles of 35 are found in male patients but this has caused no difiiculty or limited use of the patented immobilizer.)
In contrast to the above, the improved arm immobilizer of thepresent invention is adjustably constructed to permit convenient adaptation to a substantially zero degree or at most 35 carrying angle for male patients, as well as to carrying angles as much as 15-20, such as are encountered in extreme cases with female patients. The present invention comprises a pair of longitudinally extended support members, connected by upper and lower cross straps adapted to extend over the ventral side of the patients arm, and a central, widened strap adapted to extend across the elbow joint on the dorsal side of the arm, as in the case of the previously described patented arm immobilizer. In addition, however, the apparatus of the present invention includes a pair of adjustable side bars attached to the main support members by which the portion of the device intended to support the lower arm may effectively be adjusted so that the portions of the device which actually bear on the arm of the patient are disposed in substantially parallel relationship with the arm both above and below the elbow. The apparatus includes suitable adjusting means by which the side bars may be rapidly and conveniently positioned at any of the angles which may be encountered during the use of the device including a zero carrying angle for male patients, as well as all other angles up to a maximum of about 15 -20 encountered in female patients.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved device for immobilizing the elbow joint of a patient during intravenous administration of fluids.
It is a related object of this invention to provide an improved elbow joint immobilizer which is conveniently adaptable for use with both male and female patients.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved immobilizer for human limbs which will provide substantially positive immobilization of the limbs of both male and female patients.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide a limb immobilizer for use in intravenous administration of fluids which is conveniently adjustable to accommodate the range of carrying angles generally associated with female patients.
It is a related object of this invention to provide a limb immobilizer as described above which is adjustable to accommodate the substantially zero carrying angle of male patients as well as the range of carrying angles typically encountered in female patients.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an arm immobilizer for intravenous administration of fluids adaptable to accommodate carrying angles varying from approximately zero to approximately 20.
It is also an object of this invention to provide a limb immobilizer comprising a pair of generally parallel extended members adapted to be attached to the arm of the patient above, below and at the elbow, and including means to adjust the effective angular disposition of one of each of the members with respect to the other end.
It is a related object of this invention to provide a limb immobilizer as described above including a pair of adjustable side members attached to the aforesaid extended members adjustable so that the portions which bear against the arm of the wearer may be positioned in substantially parallel relationship to the arm.
It is a related object of this invention to provide an arm immobilizer in which the angle between the side members and the extended members is adjustable to accommodate variations in the carrying angle of the arms of male and female patients.
The exact nature of the present invention, as well as other objects and advantages thereof will become apparent from consideration of the following detailed description, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view showing an embodiment of the improved arm immobilizer of the present invention in position on the arm of a female patient;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the improved limb immobilizer shown in FIGURE 1, but in position on the arm of a male patient;
FIGURE 3 is a side elevation of the embodiment of the improved limb immobilizer shown in FIGURES 1 and 2;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of an arm and attached '4 limb immobilizer taken along the line 44 of FIGURE '3, and showing the manner in which the apparatus is attached to the patients arm;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged view, partially in section, of the adjusting apparatus shown in FIGURES 1-3;
FIGURE 6 is a side view of the adjusting apparatus shown in FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary view, partially in section taken along the lines 77 in FIGURE 5;
FIGURES 8 and 9 are perspective views showing the details of the construction of portions of the adjusting apparatus shown in FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 10 is a side elevation, partially in section, of a modified embodiment of the adjusting apparatus shown in FIGURES 1-9;
FIGURES 11 and 12 are perspective views of portions of the modified embodiment shown in FIGURE 10;
FIGURE 13 is a side elevation of a further modification of the apparatus shown in FIGURES 1-9; and
FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary, partially sectional view showing the details of a portion of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 13.
With reference now to FIGURE 1, a first embodiment of the arm immobilizer of the present invention, generally denoted at 10 is shown in position on the arm 12 of a female patient. (It will be understood that the views shown in FIGURES l and 2 are representative of the right arm of a patient, when viewed from above, extended outward with the ventral or palm side facing the viewer.) The apparatus includes a pair of longitudinally extended support members 14 and 16, and upper strap 18, a lower strap 20, and a central strap 22, interconnecting extended members 14 and 16.
As clearly shown in FIGURE 1, the anatomy of the female arm is such that the upper arm 24 and the lower arm 26 do not lie in a straight line when the arm is extended. In particular, a line 28 represenative of the longitudinal axis of upper arm 24 and a corresponding line 30 representative of the longitudinal axis of the lower arm 26 are seen to be disposed at some angle C, with respect to each other. This angle, denoted above as the carrying angle, is typically 810 but may be as high as 15 20 in extreme cases. In contrast, FIGURE 2, shows the arm immobilizer 10 attached to the arm 12' of a male patient. Here, it may be seen that the relationship of the upper arm 24' and the lower arm 26" is such that a single substantially straight line 32 is representative of the longitudinal axis of the entire male arm.
The arm immobilizer previously described, subject of Sprecher et al. US. Patent No. 3,196,870 is comprised basically of a pair of longitudinal extended members similar to 14 and 16 in FIGURE 1, and three cross straps similar to straps 18, 20 and 22, shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. The patented arm immobilizer has proved to be extremely convenient and advantageous for use on the arms of male patients such as shown in FIGURE 2, since attachment merely requires adjustment, if necessary, of the straps corresponding to straps 18 and 20 in FIGURES l and 2, and attachment of large central strap 22 across the elbow joint itself. Since the male arm is substantially straight, the extended bars similar to 14 and 16 and the counter-balancing forces provided by the upper straps corresponding to 18 and 20 and the lower strap corresponding to strap 22, provide all the immobilization necessary for satisfactory intravenous administration.
However, difficulty may be encountered in use of the patented arm immobilizer, including only the two longitudinal extended members, when the value of the angle C, is substantially different from 0, as in the case of female patients. This difficulty can be minimized by bending the extended members to conform to the contour of the patients arm, but, as outlined above, this also entails inconvenience and/ or difliculty in many instances.
On the other hand, the construction of the present invention overcomes this difficulty in a convenient, effective,
and economical manner by providing an adjustable arm immobilizer capable of ready adaptation for use on both male and female patients. In particular, the improved apparatus of the present invention as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 includes an additional pair of adjustable side members 34 and 36 cooperating with support members 14 and 16 respectively, as described in detail in connection with FIGURES 5-9. An adjusting mechanism 38 which comprises a threaded rotatable collar 40 mounted on support member 14, and a slidable threaded shaft 42 is pivotally connected to plate 34 to permit the latter to be angularly adjusted relative to support member 14 whereby it will lie parallel to longitudinal axis 30 of the lower arm 26. A similar adjusting mechanism 44 is adapted to cooperate with support member 16 and adjustable side plate 36- so that this plate also may be disposed in parallel relationship to axis 30 of lower arm 26.
As shown, support members 14 and 16 include outwardly curved portions 46 whereby a recess 47 is provided on the inner surfaces of the members, which serve to receive an upstanding loop portion of side plates 34 and 36 when the apparatus is to be used for male patients or with female arms exhibiting small values of C i.e. with side plates 34 and 36 substantially in retracted position.
FIGURES 3 and 4 show in detail the manner in which arm immobilizer is assembled and attached to the arm of the patient. As may be seen, longitudinal support bars 14 and 16 (the latter being shown in FIGURE 3) are provided at their ends with a pair of slots 48 through which are threaded the upper and lower cross straps 18 and 20. Attached to the cross straps are conventional buckles 50 which permit adjustment of the effective transverse distance between the support members 14 and 16 for convenient use of the arm immobilizer on patients having arms of varying sizes. As shown in FIGURES 2-4, one end 52 of strap 18, e.g. that passing through slot 48 in bar 14 is secured to the main portion of the strap by means of a rivet 54 while the other end 56 of strap 18, after passing throughbuckle 50, is attached, by means of rivet 57 to the main portion of strap 18. While other types of adjustable strap and buckle arrangements may be used, the construction shown in FIGURE 4 is preferred since it prevents the accidental disassembly of arm immobilizer 10 during adjustment.
As shown in FIGURES l and 2, each of longitudinal support bars 14 and 16 is bent outwardly intermediate its ends at 58 to form a central section parallel but outwardly spaced from the main portions of support bars 14 and 16. As shown in FIGURES 1-3, central strap 22 is considerably wider than upper and lower straps 18 and 20, and is secured at one end 60 in any convenient fashion to central portion 58 of support bar 16. The outer side 62 of strap 22 is provided with a securing means comprising a first section of a material known as Velcro plus another section of Opposing Velcro, a material commerically available from the Velcro Corporation (selling agent), 681 5th Ave., New York, NY. This material is well known as a fastener, the Velcro portion being comprised of a large number of tiny eyelets extending outward from a base sheet, while the portion known as Opposing Velcro comprising a large number of very small hook-like projections adapted to engage with the loops or eleyets on the Velcro portion of the material.
In use, upper and lower straps 18 and are suitably adjusted to accommodate the size of the patients arm, and the apparatus is placed across the arm onthe ventral side. Adjusting means 38 and 44 are positioned to permit proper angular disposition of side plates 34 and 36 for the arm of the particular patient, as explained below, and the back surface 64 of Velcro strap 22 is placed across the dorsal side of the elbow joint and the end 66 brought up through the space 68 between the central portion 58 of bar 14 and arm 12. Sufiicient tension is placed on strap 22 to fully immobilize the arm, and the free end 68 is pressed along the main body of the strap 22 toengage the Velcro and Opposing Velcro portions of the strap. Thus, by the simple operation of adjusting upper and lower straps 18 and 20, if necessary, and positioning adjusting means 38 and 44 to permit plates 34 and 36 to conform to the contour of the arm, a highly effective, and convenient immobilization of the arm of either a male or female patient is assured.
Upper and lower cross straps 18 and 20, which may comprise any suitable plastic material are made as narrow as possible so that access to a maximum portion of the anm is available. Thus, substantially the entire vein is available for intravenous administration, e.g., should multiple simultaneous administration be necesary or to prevent toughening of the vein in the area of the elbow joint due to repeated punctures. Strap 22 is preferably of substantially greater width than straps 18 and 20 so that it covers a substantial portion of the dorsal surface of the elbow joint, thereby assuring a high degree of immobilization. For example, in a typical arm immobilizer such as described above, the entire length of the apparatus is preferably between 10 and 12 inches, support members 14 and 16 are formed from /2-inch by /s-inch steel or aluminum bars, and upper and lower straps 18 and 20 may be approximately inch in width. Under such conditions, it is found that Velcro strap 22 is perferably approximately two inches in width.
With reference now to FIGURES 1 and 59, the details of adjusting means 38 for side plate 34 will be described, it being understood that identical adjusting means 44 is provided for side plate 36. As may be seen, side plate 34 includes an upstanding loop portion 70 which may be stamped or otherwise raised from the body of the plate itself. A longitudinal slot 72 is formed in loop 70 to receive the lower end 71 of threaded shaft 42 (see FIGURE 1). Shaft 42 is pivotally attached to plate 34 by means of a pin 74 extending through a suitable aperture in the lower end 71 of shaft 42. Pin 74 includes enlarged end portions 76 to prevent shaft 42 and side plate 70 from becoming separated as shown in FIGURE 6. Slot 72 is larger than the end of shaft 42 to permit plate 34 to pivot the full required angular distance as described below.
As shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, the upper portion 78 of pin 42 is threaded but includes one flat surface 80 which may be provided, for example, by milling the pin after it has been threaded. As will be understood, shaft 42 extends through an aperture 82 in support member 14. The shape of aperture 82 as shown in FIGURE 9 is generally circular but includes a non-circular portion 84 adapted to cooperate with the flat 80 on threaded shaft 42. Aperture 82 is of substantially the same dimensions as shaft 42 so that non-circular portion 84 closely engages with flat '80 on shaft 42, whereby the latter is prevented from rotating in aperture 82. In other words, shaft 42 is constrained to slide up and down whereby to extend side plate 34 away from support member 14, under the influence of adjusting collar 40, as now described.
In order to provide for adjustment of shaft 42, the threaded collar 40 is mounted on curved portion 46 of support member 14 in alignment with aperture 82. Collar 40 includes an annular groove 86 adapted to receive a bifurcated retaining bracket 88 shown in FIGURE 8. Bracket 88 includes an arcuate slot 90 having approximately the same radius of curvature as annular groove 86 so that when one or more retaining brackets 88 are mounted on support member 14, as by spot or tack welding, collar 40 is firmly supported but free to rotate. Thus, since shaft 42 is restrained against rotation by fiat 80 and cooperating non-circular portion 84 of apeture 82, collar 40 serves to extend or retract shaft 42 threadedly engaged with it.
As may be seen in FIGURE 5, pin 42 is sufficiently short so as not to extend beyond the upper surface 92 of collar 40 even when side plate 34 is drawn tightly within recess 47. This avoids the possibility of shaft 42 becoming snagged on the skin or clothing of the patient. In addition, collar 40 and shaft 42' may be so constructed as to prevent the latter from becoming fully unthreaded with resulting separation of support member 14 and side member 34. For example, this may be accomplished by inserting a pin 91 (see FIGURE 9) through support member 14 and through a narrow slot 93 extending through shaft 42, so that the vertical travel of the latter is limited.
In order to accommodate the variations in carrying angle which may be encountered, shaft 42 must be of sufiicient length to permit angular adjustment of side member 34, in either direction (as indicated by the arrow in FIGURE The necessary length of shaft 42 depends in part upon the longitudinal extent of side plates 34 and also, of course, upon the anatomy of the arm. In one operative embodiment, it is found that a suitable length for plate 34 is approximately 2 /2 to 3 inches. Under these conditions, it is found that shaft 42 must possess a sufficiently long threaded portion to permit extension thereof approximately 0.5 inch or more.
FIGURES -12 show a modified embodiment of the adjusting mechanism described above. Here, side member 34' is attached to support member 14 by means of a pair of extended pins 94 (only one of which is shown in FIGURE 10) extending through an aperture 96 in support member 14, and a similar aperture in side mem ber 34'. Pin 94 is pivotally retained within aperture 98 by means of a rivet 100 extending transversely through side member 34 and pin 94. A small compressible spring 102 is positioned on pin 94 and retained by an enlarged head portion 104. In its normal position, spring 102 is extended whereby side member 34' is drawn closely against support member 14'. This permits convenient use of the apparatus with male patients, i.e., use of arms exhibiting small values of the angle C,,.
In order to permit adjustment of the angular disposition of side member 34 with respect to support member 14', there is provided a slidable wedge 106 positioned on side member 34, and received in a recess 107 formed by suitably bending support member 14. As shown in FIG- URE 11, adjusting wedge 106 is preferably an elongated cylindrical member having a round, or if desired, eliptical cross-section. An elongated slot 108 in support member 14' (see FIGURE 12) receives an upstanding stud 110 secured in any suitable manner to adjusting wedge 106. Stud 110 serves as a guide and also to retain adjusting wedge 106 between members 14' and 34'. For this latter purpose, a small pin 112 is preferably attached to stud 110 as shown in FIGURE 11.
With further reference to FIGURE 11, it may be seen that a recess or groove 114 on the under-surface 116 of Wedge 106 serves to further guide and retain the adjusting wedge between members 14' and 34. The width and depth of groove 114 is such as to permit wedge 106 to travel easily along side member 34 within the confines of elongated slot 108. To permit convenient positioning of wedge 106, the ends 118 may each include a small depression 120 for receiving the thumb and forefinger of the user.
The precise configuration and dimensions of the various portions will be determined in part by the maximum carrying angle which must be accommodated. For example, if side member 34" is formed from /2-inch by /s-inch bar stock of approximately 3 inch length, pins 94 are preferably spaced approximately 2% inches apart, with slot 108, centered between pins 94 being approximately 2 inches in length.
In use, wedge 106 is positioned as desired in slot 108, causing member 34" to be extended against the force of spring 102, at the proper angle for the patients arm. Then, the cross straps 18, and 22 are attached as previously described to assure immobilization of the arm.
A third embodiment of the adjusting mechanism described above is shown in FIGURES 13 and 14. Here, a support member 14" is connected to a side member 34" by means of a pair of adjusting screws 122. As shown in FIGURE 14, adjusting screws 122 each pass through a threaded aperture 124 in support member 14, which aperture is somewhat oversized with respect to the adjusting screw in order to permit a certain amount of play of screw 122 when the apparatus is adjusted. The lower end 126 of adjusting screw 122 is positioned within a retaining cavity 128 in side member 34 which may be formed, for example, by slightly upsetting the upper and lower surfaces 130 and 132 of side member 34" around an aperture 134 which adjusting screw 122 is positioned in the aperture. The lower end 126 of screw 122 is then swaged to expand the same within retaining cavity 128 as shown in FIGURE 14. As will be understood the working of side member 34 and screw 122 is sufficient to assure retention of the screw within cavity 128 but at the same time, screw end 126 is not expanded sufficiently to prevent plate 34" from freely pivoting to assume the required angular orientation such as shown in outline in FIGURE 13.
As in the above described embodiments, the location of adjusting screws 122 and the dimensions of the various portions of the device must be selected in order to provide sufiicient angular displacement of side member 34 to accommodate the variations in carrying angle normally encountered. For example, again assuming the use of a side member 34", formed from /2 by /s-inch bar stock, and three inches in length, adjusting screws 122, are preferably separated by a distance of 2 to 2% inches.
All of the above described embodiments are found conveniently to overcome the difiiculties attendant in the use of the above described arm boards for elbow immobilization, and considerably to extend the utility of the above mentioned patented arm immobilizer for convenient use with female patients whose arms exhibit wide ranges of carrying angle C The present apparatus provides substantially complete immobilization yet is comfortable, even during extended use. It is economical and simple to manufacture and provides the added advantage that it may readily be sterilized according to common hospital techniques. An additional advantage of the embodiments described in connection with FIGURES 5-9, and 13-14 is that in addition to angular adjustment described above, extension of side bars 34 and 34" away from support members 14' and 14 will effectively narrow the distance between the support members without the necessity of separately adjusting cross straps 18 and 20. Of course, by eliminating the necessity that support members 14 and 16 be bent to accommodate the arms of female patients, the attendant difiiculties and possibility of breakage due to metal fatigue are eliminated.
While three particular embodiments have been described above, it should be recognized that substantial further modification in accordance with the above teachings may well be apparent to one skilled in the art. For example, with regard to the embodiment shown in FIGURE 5, a variety of techniques is contemplated by which threaded shaft 42 may be piovtally secured to side member 34. Again with regard to FIGURE 10, it will be understood that the connecting link provided by pins 94 may be readily modified if desired. Also, if desired, the side members may be used on the upper rather than the lower arm as shown. Thus, the invention may be embodied in a variety of other forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments should be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by US. Letters Patent is:
1. A device for immobilizing a limb of a human being which is bendable at a joint and which limb may be characterized by substantial variations from person to person in the angular relationship between portions of the limb disposed on opposite sides of the joint comprising: a pair of elongated support members adapted to be positioned along the limb; first and second strap means connected to both the support members and adapted to overlie one side of the limb at spaced intervals above and below the bendable joint; third strap means connected to one of the support members and adapted to overlie the opposite side of the limb in the vicinity of the joint, thereby providing a counter-balancing force to prevent the muscular power of the limb from moving the point; adjustable means for modifying the efiective angular relationship between the portions of the support members adjacent to first and second strap means, said adjustable means comprising a side member movably attached to each support member adjacent to said first means, and adapted to lie in substantially parallel relationship with the support member when the portions of the limb on opposite sides of the joint are substantially colinear and in angular relationship to the support member when the portions of the limb on the opposite sides of the joint are not substantially in colinear relationship; threaded shaft means pivotally attached to the side member and constrained to lateral movement; and a threaded collar rotatably mounted on the support member and adapted to engage with the threaded shaft means whereby rotation of the threaded collar causes linear movement of the shaft means and the attached side member toward and away from the support means.
2. The limb immobilizer of claim 1 where the threaded shaft includes a flat portion whereby to define a generally D-shaped cross-section for the shaft, and further including a generally D-shaped aperture in the support member adapted to receive the threaded shaft means and to prevent the same from rotating.
3. A limb immobilizer as in claim 2 further including means to limit the lateral movement of the threaded shaft means.
4. A device for immobilizing a limb of a human being which is bendable at a joint and which limb may be characterized by substantial variations from person to person in the angular relationship between portions of the limb disposed on opposite sides of the joint comprising: a pair of elongated support members adapted to be positioned along the limb; first and second strap means connected to both of the support members and adapted to overlie one side of the limb at spaced intervals above and below the bendabel joint; a third strap means connected to one of the support members and adapted to overlie the opposite side of the limb in the vicinity of the joint; thereby providing a counter-balancing force to prevent the muscular power of the limb from moving the joint; adjustable means for modifying the effective angular relationship between the portions of the support'members adjacent to first and second strap means, said adjustable means comprising a side member movably attached to each support member adjacent to said first and strap means; and an adjusting mechanism for said side members comprising a plurality of adjusting screws, each threadedly received in a respective aperture in said support members, the adjusting screws each being pivotally mounted in a socket means within the associated side member, said apertures in the support member being slightly oversized relative to the adjusting screws to permit a small amount of play of the adjusting screws therein, said socket means comprising a generally cylindrical aperture having a first diameter intermediate the ends thereof and a somewhat smaller diameter adjacent the ends.
5. A device for immobilizing the limb of a human being which is bendable at a joint and which limb may be characterized by substantial variations from person to person in the angular relationship between portions of the limb disposed on opposite sides of the joint comprising: a pair of elongated support members adapted to be positioned along the limb; first and second strap means connected to both support members and adapted to overlie one side of the limb at spaced intervals above and below thebendable joint; a third strap means connected to one of the support members and adapted to overlie the opposite side of the limb in the vicinity of the joint, thereby providing a counterbalancing force to prevent the muscular power of the limb from moving the joint; adjustable means for modifying the effective angular relationship between the portions of the support members adjacent to first and second strap means, said adjustable means comprising a side member movably attached to each support member adjaceht to said first strap means; and an adjusting mechanism comprising a spring loaded pin pivotally attaching each end of the side member to the respective support member, and wedge means slidingly disposed between each supporting member and the respective side member and adapted to be positioned at various distances from the pin means, whereby the displacement of the wedge means from a position intermediate the pin means causes varia tion in the angular relationship between the side member and the support member, the side member and the support member being in substantially parallel relationship when the wedge means is disposed intermediate the pin means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 664,838 1/1901 Dean 119-127 801,901 10/1905 Norwood 12887 1,709,046 4/ 1929 Throgmorton l28133 2,357,323 9/1944 Goldberg 12877 X 3,196,870 7/1965 Sprecher et al. 128133 3,299,888 1/ 1967 Muckinhaupt 128-87 DALTON L. TRULUCK, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.
3 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. ,439,673 Dated April 22, 1969 Inventor(s) RL A. SPRECHER It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
' Column 2, line 56, "inconvient" should read inconvenient Column 3, line 50, after "one" insert end Column 5, line 63, "eleyets" should read eyelets Column 9, line 11, "point" should read joint Column 9, line 47, "bendabel" should read bendable Column 9, line 56, delete "and" (first occurrence).
SIGNED AND SEALED JAN 2 119m (SEAL) Atteat:
wmnml E. 'SOHUYLER, commissioner of Penn" MatingOfficer