US 3504667 A
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April 7, 1970 A. J. MCFARLANE HEAD BRACE Filed Nov. 14, 1966 F/Gl.
INVENTOR. ARCHIE J. McFARLANE United States Patent M 3,504,667 HEAD BRACE Archie J. McFarlane, 2022 N. 7th St., Phoenix, Ariz. 85006 Filed Nov. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 594,143 Int. Cl. A61h 1/02; A61f /04 U.S. Cl. 128-75 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A head brace, including a flexible band having opposite edges at one side of said band and a median portion of said band at said one side provided with removable connection means and a plurality of substantially rigid stay members over which said edges are folded, such that said connection means may be engaged to hold the ends of said stays in juxtaposition relative to said band.
This invention relates to a head brace, and more particularly, to a head brace to be worn by individuals following spinal surgery in the neck area or after injuries incurred in accidents or for any other reason requiring support of a persons head.
Many surgical collars or head braces have been of very rigid construction, substantially uncomfortable, and have been custom made to fit various individuals. Many of these surgical collars or head braces are quite expensive, and must be produced by artisans specialized in construction thereof.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a head brace which may serve as a surgical collar, and which may readily be fitted to various persons without substantial changes in the structure thereof.
Another object of the invention is to provide a head brace in accordance with the present invention, which comprises a flexible neck surrounding band having upper and lower edges folded outwardly and over opposite ends of vertically disposed stay members; said stay members being formed of different lengths to accommodate the support of the collar or band of the invention in various areas around a persons neck.
Another object of the invention is to provide a head brace in accordance with the present invention, employing a flexible band adapted to surround a persons neck; said band having upper and lower edges folded outwardly and over opposite edges of vertically disposed and laterally spaced stay members, and wherein Velcro fabric and hook structures hold the folded portions of the band intermediate the vertical stay members so as to provide for simple assembly of a very efficient head brace, wherein the stay members may be positioned, as desired, to provide for comfortable bracing of a persons head, while the soft flexible material of the surrounding band of the invention is intimately engaged with a persons neck.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel head brace of novel construction having a novel chin rest structure.
Another object of the invention is to provide a very simple head brace, which may readily be fitted to a persons neck by a surgeon in such a manner, that the vertical stays of the invention may be easily and readily spaced and adjusted, as to lateral spacing as well as vertical length to custom fit the head brace of the invention to a persons neck without the use of special tools, whereby a very comfortable fitting of the head brace may be obtained.
Another object of the invention is to provide a very novel head brace to be worn around the neck of an in- 3,504,667 Patented Apr. 7, 1970 jured person; said head brace having a readily removable group of stays and having a flexible neck surrounding band supporting said stays in such a manner that the entire assembly may be readily dismantled without tools, such that the band may be washed and maintained in sanitary condition, and then reassembled with the stays, as desired.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention may be apparent from the following specification, appended claims and accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a head brace, in accordance with the present invention, shown positioned on the neck of a person;
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the head brace of the invention, taken from the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the head brace of the invention, showing the neck surrounding band thereof in straight flat position, and illustrating several vertical stays of the invention with respect to the neck surrounding band thereof;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view, taken from the line 44 of FIG. 3, and illustrating by broken lines, the manner in which opposite edges of the neck surrounding band are folded over opposite ends of the vertical stay members, and wherein fixture means, including Velcro fabric and hook means is disposed between the stay members and to hold the folded over edges of the band in position relative to the stay members;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view, taken from the line 55 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view, taken from the line '66 of FIG. 3.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, the invention is provided with a flexible fabric neck surrounding band 10. This band is provided with straps of Velcro fixture materials 12 and 14 adjacent opposite upper and lower edges 16 and 18 of the band 10. These strips 12 and 14 are adapted to engage a centrally disposed strip of Velcro material at 20 and 22, respectively. Then the positions 24 and 26, respectively, shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings.
Vertical stay members 28 are preferably substantially rigid members, and may be of thin strips of wood comparable to the structure of tongue depressors. These stay members 28 may be of various lengths and are generally provided with opposite ends 30 and 32, the ends 30 being disposed upwardly and the ends 32 being directed downwardly, the stay members 28 being spaced laterally and horizontally from each other, as desired, and may be of a shorter length in the front of the head brace than at the sides. The stay members 28 may be of various lengths, in accordance with the length of a persons neck, and may be spaced laterally, as desired, according to the requirements recognized by the surgeon or doctor fitting the head brace to the patient.
It will be seen that the Velcro fastening strips 16 and 18 engage the intermediate Velcro fastening strip at the areas 20 and 22 between the vertical stays 28 so that upper and lower ends of the stays are held captive in a longitudinal, as well as a lateral direction.
Opposite ends 38 and 40 of the band 10 are disposed to be connected in overlapping relation with each other, as shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. The portion 40 being of one type of Velcro fastening material and the portion 38 being of another type complemental thereto so that op posite ends 38 and 40 are overlapped with Velcro material therebetween, thus providing an adjustable connection for band 16 at its opposite ends.
When the opposite edges 16 and 18 are in folded relation, as indicated by broken lines 24 and 26, they form comfortable rolled upper and lower edges 44 and 46 of the head brace of the invention, as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings.
The band 10 is provided a pocket 50 in which a shank 52 of a chin rest 54 is disposed. This holds the chin rest 54 in position for holding a persons chin in the event the patient requires such a fixture.
It will be appreciated that the Velcro fastening material at the folded over upper and lower edge portions of the band provides an infinitely adjustable means both for adjusting the elevation of the band at upper and lower edges of the stays, but also provides for the adjustment of the stays relative to each other in laterally spaced relation and permits the use of various length stays Without altering the basic structure of the band. Further, it will be appreciated that the band may be disassembled from the stays simply by ripping the Velcro fixture apart, releasing the stays, so that the band may readily be laundered. Further, the economy of this structure will readily be apperciated, such that a patient may be able to afiord several bands, and thereby maintain a very sanitary condition of these bands. Additionally, the bands, being made of soft flexible material, are quite comfortable and, with the facility of being disassembled and cleaned, considerable utility of the invention may be appreciated.
Additionally, the custom fitting of head braces or surgical collars to a patient is greatly facilitated by the present invention since the surgeon may utilize difierent lengths of the vertical stay members and dispose them laterally in various spaced relationships to each other to thereby adjust the invention to fit various patients whose necks may be larger, or longer, or injured in various ways.
It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications of the present invention may be resorted to in a manner limited only by a just interpretation of the following claims.
1. In a head brace, the combination of: a flexible band of a width adapted to be wrapped around a persons neck; said band being elongated and having opposite sides and edges; a plurality of spaced substantially rigid stay members disposed contiguous to one of said sides; said stay members having opposite ends and being of length substantially less than the distance between said opposite edges, said stay members being laterally spaced apart and longitudinally disposed transversely relative to said opposite edges of said band, said opposite edges of said band being folded over said opposite ends of said stays; and first fixture means disposed between said stays, second fixture means on the opposite edges, said fixture means removab y connected between said stay members, said fixture means holding said opposite edges to said one of said sides of said band and disposed to hold opposite end portions of said stays captive in said folded over portions of said opposite edges of said flexible band.
2. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: said fixture means comprises removably connectable Velcro fabric and hook structures secured to said one side of said band and adjacent said opposite edges thereof.
3. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: said flexible band is provided with opposite end portions adapted to be disposed in connection with each other, when said band is in surrounding relation with a persons neck; and second fixture means disposed to hold said opposite end portions of said flexible band connected to each other.
4. The invention, as defined in claim 3, wherein: said second fixture means comprises Velcro fabric and hook structures, said opposite end portions of said flexible band overlapped and said Velcro fabric and hook structures disposed between said overlapped opposite end portions of said flexible band.
5. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: a pocket means is disposed on a forward portion of said band; and a chin rest is provided with a shank carried in said pocket means.
6. The invention, as defined in claim 1, wherein: said one of said sides being disposable outwardly relative to wearers neck and the remaining side of said band being engageable with said persons neck.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1901 Birdsey 128570 7/1965 Duckman 12895 US. Cl. X.R.