US 3502071 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 24, 1970 E. A. HOLLY HAND CONTROLLED LEG BRACE Filed Sept. 21, 1967 Edward A. Hal/y INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,502,071 HAND CONTROLLED LEG BRACE Edward A. Holly, 6300 SW. 62nd Place, Miami, Fla. 33143 Filed Sept. 21, 1967, Ser. No. 669,461 Int. Cl. A6111 3/00 US. Cl. 128--25 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A leg brace which enables a user to cope with a para lyzed leg which cannot perform its natural function when standing or walking. It takes the place of a heavy cumbersome full length leg brace. To use, merely strap the restraining shackle around the limb above the knee, catch hold of the lifting and controlling handle means and, by practice, learn to use it with requisite skill.
This invention relates to new and useful improvements in a leg brace which enables a leg which is without muscle control to perform its necessary movement when walking or standing and pertains, more particularly, to a readily applicable and removable brace which is usable in lieu of the commonly used full length leg brace and is actuated and controlled by acceptably usable brace handling means.
The appliance disclosed is a manually actuatable leg brace which is light in weight, can be quickly attached and detached, is suitably and acceptably usable in place of a cumbersome and comparatively complicated full length leg brace, and has been formed, when properly used, to prevent buckling of the knee joint of a paralyzed or similarly handicapped leg.
Briefly, this device, a self-contained brace, is characterized by two units; namely, leg encircling pressure focusing means, and handle means which is operatively joined to said leg encircling means. The first-named means comprises a substantially semi-circular paddel band which is adapted to be conformingly saddled over the users leg just above the knee cap and which is applied and held in place by an adjustable restraining strap. The handle means comprises rigid links whose lower ends are pivotally joined and are thus shackled to the respective ends of the band. The upper ends of the links are joined by a handgrip. This inverted U-shaped handle means functions to lift, stabilize and control the restraining means and the encircled knee and reduces the likelihood of knee buckling to a minimal degree.
The leg encircling means is unique in that it is made up of a rigid adapter band of conformable curvature covered with appropriate padding and firmly bound in place by an easily adjustable restraining strap. Suitable pivoting studs are provided at the respective end portions of the band. The handle means is equally simple in that two like spaced parallel bars or links have their lower ends hinged to the studs and their upper ends joined by a manually regulable handgrip.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a hand controlled leg brace constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and showing how it is harnessed in place on the users right leg and is thus readied for use.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken approximately on the plane of the section line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a view on a smaller scale and in side elevation which shows the manner in which the elongated inverted U-shaped handle is pressed downwardly and rearwardly to achieve the leg straightening and stabilizing result desired.
And FIG. 4 is a view in side elevation similar to FIG. 3 and which shows in full and dotted lines the manner in which the handle or handle means can be lifted upwardly to assist in controlling the lower leg and knee action.
Referring to the drawing it will be evident that the leg brace, generally speaking, is made up of two component parts or units; namely, leg encircling pressure focusing and actuating means which is denoted as an entity by the numeral 6, and complemental handle means which is denoted generally stated by the numeral 8. The unit 6 is characterized by a lightweight but substantially rigid semi-circular adapter band 10 which is wholly enclosed in an appropriately fabricated and cushioned or padded cover 12. The end portions 14 of this band are provided with diametrically opposite outstanding headed pivoting or hinging studs 16. This padded band is adapted to be saddled over the users leg above the knee cap in the manner shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4. As a general rule the band will be approximately semi-circular so that the hinge points will be properly related to diametrically opposite sides of the encompassed leg. The band is applied and held in place by a restraining strap 18 one end portion 20 of which is secured in place as shown in FIG. 2. The other free end portion 22 is attached by buckling and adjusting means 24. Thus the strap-equipped padded band is herein described as restraining or shackling means. The handling means or handle 8 is of inverted elongated and U-shaped form. It preferably comprises a pair of straight spaced parallel rigid links or bar members 26. The lower end portions 28 (FIG. 2) are hingedly connected with the aforementioned pivoting or hinging studs 16. The upper end portions 30 (FIG. 1) are appropriately secured as at 32 to the end portions of a suitably shaped handgrip 34 which can be and preferably is of the generally cylindrical shape shown in FIG. 1.
In practice the shackling means is harnessed on the users leg above the kneecap and joint in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4. When thus positioned the handle means can be satisfactorily utilized to exert and imposed downward and rearward stabilizing pressure on the knee joint with which it is oriented and connected in a manner to adequately cope with knee joint failure and buckling.
The person using the brace applies a downward pressure on the yoke-like handle 8 the moment he takes a forward step with the handicapped leg. The leg may also be projected forwardly by hand control in the event the thigh muscles are unable to perform this customary act. Downward pressure on the handle means corresponding in a manner to pressure as is customarily exerted by a person using a cane, exerts downward and backward force on the bars or links 26 which enables the user to employ the handle means in the manner suggested by the arrow A in FIG. 3 and in addition by the arrow B in FIG. 4. The user need not remove the brace because of possible water damage when for instance taking a shower, swimming or other activities in, near or around water. In fact, and with slight additional means (not detalied), the wearer can actually temporarily strap the handle 34 to the leg in such a manner as to free his arm when he desires to resort to swimming.
Experience has shown that a hand controlled leg brace constructed in the manner herein shown and described well serves the purposes for which it is intended.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A manually usable self-contained leg brace for use on a paralyzed leg or a handicapped leg which has a knee joint which buckles uncontrollably when standing or walking comprising: shackling means designed and adapted to encircle the wearers leg above the knee joint, and handle means provided at an upper end with a handgrip and having a lower end pivotally joined to coacting portions of said shackling means and in a manner that end thrust pressure properly applied downwardly and rearwardly by way of said handle means prevents the knee from buckling, said handle means being U-shaped and embodying elongated rigid links and wherein downward pressure can be exerted on said links similar to the supporting function achieved when using a walking cane, and also wherein said links can be used to lift and move the handicapped leg forwardly in the event the thigh muscles are incapable of performing their normally required function.
2. The leg brace defined in and according to claim 1, and wherein said pivoted handle means is rigid and amply elongated that the handgrip can be conveniently caught hold of by the hand of the user while standing as well as while walking.
3. The leg brace defined in and according to claim 1, and wherein said shackling means comprises a rigid substantially semi-circular adapter band shaped to conform to the part of the wearers leg over which it is adapted to be saddled and with which it is cooperable, said band being wholly and conformably covered with padding, and an adjustable applying and restraining strap adapted to be bound around the wearers leg, said strap having its ends joined to coacting ends of said band.
4. A manually usable self-contained leg brace for use on a paralyzed leg which has a knee joint which buckles uncontrollably when standing or walking comprising, shackling means, said shackling means comprising an arcuate rigid band designed and adapted to conformingly saddle itself over the wearers leg just above the knee joint, said band being covered by yieldable padding and being provided at its ends with diametrically opposite pivoting studs, a restraining strap having one end anchored on a continuous end of the band and its other end adjustably connected to the adjacent end of said band, and handling means for said shackling means, said handling means comprising an elongated U-shaped handle embodying a pair of spaced parallel rigid links having upper ends which are joined together by a handgrip and lower ends straddling said band and hingedly joined to their respectively cooperable pivoting studs.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS L. W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner