US 3452978 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 1, 1969 R R 3,452,978
COMFORT DEVICE FOR FOOT STIRRUPS OF PHYSI CIANS EXAMINING TABLE Filed March 15, 1967 I N VEN'TOR. RAYMOND c. CREELM/l/Y United States Patent Office U.S. Cl. 269-328 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for use on the foot stirrups of a physicians examining table whereby the patients feet are made more comfortable as she applies them to the stirrups. Each device comprises a sleeve which is applied about the stirrup ring so as to stretch a seat or saddle of flexible covering material across the breadth of the ring, against which the patient may apply her foot, and in particular the heel of her foot, while using the stirrup. Ordinarily the sleeve also operates to interpose a pad of cushioning material between the patients foot and either or both of the cross bars at the top and bottom of the ring.
Field of the invention This invention relates to a comfort device for use with the foot stirrups of a physicians examining table; and more particularly, to a device for providing a broader base of support and/or cushioning for each of the patients feet as she applies them to the stirrups.
When undergoing a pelvic or other such examination on a physicians examining table, the patient is commonly instructed to place her feet in or against a set of stirrup rings mounted on posts swiveled into outlying positions at the sides of the table. Each stirrup ring ordinarily has a U-shaped lower configuration with generally upright legs, and a straight horizontal cross bar at the top. For the purposes of the invention, the bight of the U may also be regarded as a cross bar, and in use the patient may apply the instep of her foot to either of these bars, or she may attempt to rest the heel of her foot in the bight of the ring while applying the ball of her foot against the upper cross bar. In either case, she experiences some discomfort due to the cold metallic nature of the stirrups and the rigidity with which they resist the pressure of her feet.
One object of the present invention is to devise a sleeve for each of the stirrup rings whereby a strip or panel of flexible covering material is drawn across the gap between the upright legs of the ring so as to form a seat or saddle for the heel or other portion of the patients foot. Another object is to devise means for applying the sleeve to the ring whereby the sleeve is prevented from shifting with respect to the gap when in use. A still further object is, to devise means whereby a pad of cushioning material can be interposed between the patients foot and either or both of the cross bars at the top and the bottom of the ring. Other objects include the provision of a sleeve of this nature which is sturdily constructed, easily mounted and demounted on and from the ring, to withstand many years of use; and in addition, warmly and attractively finished, and readily sanitized for use by different patients. Still further objects will become apparent from the description of the invention which follows.
Summary of the invention These objects and advantages are realized by a comfort device of my invention which comprises a panel of flexible covering material and a web of binder material extending across the back of the panel and interconnected with opposite sides of the same so as to form a sleeve which is adapted to fit about the stirrup ring. The device also in- 3,452,978 Patented July 1, 1969 eludes means for securing the sleeve on the ring so that the panel is drawn across the gap between the upright legs of the same to form a seat for the heel or other portion of the patients foot. Preferably the panel is equipped with a pad of cushioning material for interposition between the patients foot and either or both of the cross bars at the top and bottom of the ring. However, the pad may be a separate item which is applied over either or both of the bars in advance of the sleeve.
There are various ways of securing the sleeve about the ring in requisite fashion. For example, the sleeve may be elastic in nature so that it can be slipped about the legs of the ring, and allowed to grip the ring in the manner of a sock. Or the sleeve may be a looser fit, yet form-fitting so that it grips the ring as the panel is flexed. In the latter case, the sleeve normally requires means to prevent it from slipping off of the ring when not in use. Certain preferred embodiments of the invention, for example, are equipped with a flap of binder material which extends across the upper end of the sleeve to prevent that end from slipping downwardly over the ring. In addition, the lower end of the sleeve is contracted, as by a drawstring or contouring in the sleeve, to prevent this other end from passing upwardly over the ring. However, to enable the resulting envelope to be mounted and demounted in the absence of a drawstring, some portion of the device, as for example the panel or the flap, is detachably connected, for example, to the web so that an enlarged opening can be formed by which to slip the sleeve on and off of the rrng.
Description of the preferred embodiments These and other features of the invention will be better understood by referring to the accompanying drawing which illustrates certain preferred embodiments of the invention.
In the drawing FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a typical physicians examining table, including a pair of stirrups for the patients feet;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of one of the stirrup rings, together with a perspective view of a comfort device for the ring which embodies certain features of the invention;
FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of the comfort device in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the device when mounted on the stirrup ring and in use by the patient;
FIGURE 5 is a rear elevational view of a modified comfort device embodying features of the invention; and
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of the modification in FIGURE 5.
In FIGURE 1, the table 2 is equipped with a pair of stirrups 4 which are hingedly mounted on one end of the table, to be swung into outlying positions suitable to the patient and physician. Each stirrup has a swinging arm 6 and a revolving post 8, and the post supports a stirrup ring 10 at its top. The posts are journaled in collars 12 fixed on the ends of the arms, and the arms in turn are journaled in collars 14 on the table. Each of the four collars has a set screw 16 and together the arms and posts enable the physician to position the stirrup rings at whatever location is convenient and comfortable for the patient.
Heretofore the patient has applied her feet, generally the insteps of her feet, against the cross bars 18 (FIG- URE 2) at the tops of the rings 10. However, for many patients the narrow diameter of the cross bar creates a line of pressure across her instep which is particularly uncomfortable because the instep is a tender area of the foot, and an area to which pressure is seldom applied in normal use. Similarly, the lower cross bar formed by the bight 20 of the ring forms a line of pressure which is un- 3 comfortable to the tendons leading downwardly to the butt of the heel, when the heel is rested in the bight of the ring. Therefore, in order to avoid either discomfort, the patient must apply the ball of her foot or her heel against either cross bar, but this is difficult to do for any length of time.
To overcome this problem, a comfort device such as is illustrated in the drawing may be applied about each of the rings to place a cushioning pad between the cross bars and the tender areas of the patients foot, as well as to provide a flexible seat against which the patient may apply her heel to take some of the pressure off of these areas. Each device comprises a strip of natural or artificial leather which is inwardly tapered at the ends and made into an envelope 22 for application over the ring. In FIGURES 2-4, the strip is folded over onto itself and sewn together at the edges along the far side 24. The edges of the nearer side 26 are detachably interconnected by a mechanical zipper 28, and both the sewing and the zipper are terminated at the lower end of the envelope so that an opening 30 remains at the end to accommodate the stirrup post 8. Thus when the device is mounted on the ring and the zipper is drawn down along the length of the nearer side, the envelope clamps about the ring in oblate form-fitting manner and resists removal so long as the zipper remains closed.
The device is so mounted in FIGURE 4. As seen, the front and back panels of the strip, when joined by the zipper and the sewing, form a sleeve about the upright legs of the ring, and the closer front panel 32 acts as a flexible seat for the heel of the patients foot. The back panel 34 (FIGURE 3) on the other hand, acts as a binder web which is placed in tension when the patient applies her heel to the front panel; while the flap 36 of material across the bight of the strip, and the contracted formfitting configuration of the lower end 38 of the envelope, prevent the envelope from slipping off of the ring.
The device also has the additional features of cushioning the instep of the foot as it is applied against the upper cross bar 18. The front panel 32 is lined with a pad 40 of foam rubber or other such cushioning material which may be adhesively bonded or otherwise secured to the inner face of the panel. When the device is mounted over the ring, the pad is disposed abreast of the cross bar 18 to cushion the instep of the foot in the manner of FIG- URE 4.
Likewise, if the patient rests her heel in the bight 20 of the ring, the pad 40 also serves to cushion it against this cross bar of the ring.
envelope 22 is opened for mounting and demounting by folding back the flap 36 at the bight of the envelope, which in this case is detachably connected to the front panel 32' so that it can be opened in the manner of FIGURE 6. To secure the flap to the panel when the envelope is mounted on the ring, the mutually opposing surfaces of the flap and the panel have Velcro bonding strips 42 'which interengage with one another in well known manner. Obviously snap attachments and other such fastening means may be used in lieu of the Velcro strips.
Similarly, other changes and additions may be made in and to the invention without departing from the scope and spirit of the same as defined in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a physicians examing table having stirrup rings thereon with cross bars against which a patient may apply her feet, and a comfort device applied about each of the stirrup rings including a pad of cushioning material disposed abreast of one of the cross bars and a sleeve for retaining the pad on the ring.
2. In combination, a physicians examining table having stirrup rings thereon with upright legs and cross bars Should an attendant wish to remove the device, the
zipper 28 permits him to do so. However, the embodiment in FIGURES 5 and 6 illustrates another technique whereby the device can be removably applied about the ring. Referring again to FIGURE 1, it will be noted that each post 8 can be removed from its corresponding arm by loosening the set screw 16 on the collar 12. According to the modified form of FIGURES 5 and 6, the
against which a patient may apply her feet, and a comfort device applied about each of the stirrup rings including a panelled sleeve secured on the ring so that the panel is drawn across the gap between the legs of the same to form a seat for the heel or other portion of the patients foot.
3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein the panel has a pad of cushioning material abreast of one of the cross bars.
4. The combination according to claim 2 wherein the sleeve is applied in form-fitting manner about the legs of the ring and has a flap of binder material across its upper end and a contracted lower end, so as to envelope the ring, and there are means on the device for forming an enlarged opening by which to slip the sleeve on and off of the ring.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,138,305 5/1915 Miller l5--247 1,203,042 10/1916 Parnass 22398 X 1,622,313 3/1927 Gellhorn 269328 3,299,451 1/1967 Trogdon 5337 3,308,504 4/1968 Green 15-247 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,211,788 10/1959 France.
426,542. 4/ 1935 Great Britain.
ROBERT C. RIORDON, Primary Examiner.
JAMES F. MCKEOWN, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.