US 3512523 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. E. BARNETT CERVICAL COLLAR WITH MEANS F0 R VARYING THE D May 19, 197.0
HEIGHT AND SHAPE THEREOF 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 27, 196'? INVENTOR HARRY E. BARNETT ATTO R N EY vH'. CERVICAL COLLAR WITH MEANS FOR VARYING THE May 19, 1970 E. BARNETT I HEIGHT AND SHAPE THEREOF Filed Feb. 27. 196'? 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR FIG-9 HARRY E. BARNETT ATTORNEY United States Patent U.S.- Cl. 128-75 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A flexible cervical collar having means for selectively adjusting the height and/or shape of the same. The cervical collar includes means for converting the same to a traction head halter.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to cervical collars having means to adjust the height and shape thereof. More particularly, the invention relates to flexible cervical collars of the type described in'my US. 'Pat. No. 3,189,026 but which includes mean's ior readily adjusting the height and/or shape ofthe collar. 1: The cervical collar described in my aforementioned patent comprised an elongated flexible body having a longitudinal slit therein to'provide" two separable medial portions. The cervicalcollar tapered in width from a maximum at substantially the middleiareato a -minimum at the end portions. When the cervical collar wasfloperatively positioned around the neck .of the wearer, the separable" medial portions were juxtapositioned, one on the other, and the-collar-end portions overlapped fora desired extent of overlap. .The end portions included means to readily attach and detach the overlapped ends. Although my prior cervicalcollarwas a substantial improvement over the bulky, heavy and rigid type col: lars previously used, it nevertheless had several limitations whichprecluded the same collar from providing elfective andoptimum therapeutic relief and comfort independent of the patients neck length,-neck contour and chin contour. For instance, although'the tapering of the width of the collar afforded some height adjustment ,When positioning the collar aroundtheneck of the wearer, there was no provision to selectively or-incrementally decrease .or increase the width and .shape of the collar, Thus, there was not means to precisely -fit the same around the-neck of the individual patient. Hence, for the patient having a greater than average neck length or an irregular neck contour, a specialor custom fitted cervical collar was required-in order to achieve optimum comfort and support. I
Still another limitation of this prior cervical collar was the difliculty frequently encounted to maintain the collar comfortably and securely positioned around the neck without the collar slipping out of place .due to normal ,bodyor head movements. This was particularly .a problem for the patient having a receding chin, irregular chin contour or insuflicient protruding-bone structure. to-ade- .quately support the collar.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore a primary object of this invention to afford a flexible cervical collar having means whereby the length and shape thereof may be selectively adjusted, thereby providing a universally adaptable cervical collar.
It is another object to provide a flexible cervical collar having an adjustment means to incrementally vary the height and/or shape of the collar for precisely accommodating the same to the particular neck length and/ or the contour of the neck or chin of the patient.
It is a related object to provide a cervical collar having an adjustment means which may be varied both in a horizontal direction and a vertical direction in order to precisely fit the collar around the neck of the wearer.
It is still another object to provide an adjustment means for a cervical collar having separable medial portions with the capability of adjusting the height at a predetermined area of the collar to a value lessthan the combined heights of the individual separable portions.
It is a primary feature of this invention to aiford an adjustment means for a cervical collar having separable medial portions, said adjustment means comprising a flexible tab which extends outward from one medial portion for releasable and secure attachment within a predetermined area on the other medial portion; thereby providing selective adjustment of the height and/or shape of the collar.
It is another feature to provide an adjustment means for a collar having separable medial portions, said ad justment means comprising a pair of tabs positioned adjacent each other but split apart and both extending outward from one medial portion to selectively vary the size and shape of the collar.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For the purpose of facilitating an understanding of my invention, I have illustrated in the accompanying drawings a preferred embodiment thereof, from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, my invention, its mode of construction, assembly and operation, and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.
Referring to the drawings in which the same characters of reference are employed to indicate corresponding or similar parts throughout the various figures of the drawings: 7
FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of the cervical collar embodying the principle of the invention and showing the same operatively positioned. around the neck of the wearer with the adjustment means located at the front of the neck;
FIG. 2 is a pictorial view similar to FIG. 1, but showing the adjustment means located at the back of the neck; FIG. 3 is an elevational plan view of the cervical collar in a open and fully extended position;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the cervical collar similar to FIG. 2, but showing the reverse side therof;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on the plane of the line 55 in FIG. 3, and viewed in the direction indicated;
, FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on the plane of the line 66-in FIG. 3, and viewed in the direction indicated;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing the collar in a partially closed position and illustrating the tabs of the height and shape adjustment means operatively in place;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary enlarged elevationalviewof the collar, showing the tabs of the height and shape adjustment means so positioned as to make one side of the collar higher than the other side; and
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 8 but illustrating the tabs of the height and'shape adjustment means operatively positioned to cause the bands of the collar to overlap at substantially the center of the collar.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT 'Referring now to the various figures of the drawings, the reference numeral indicates generally a cervical collar device embodying the principles of the invention. Cervical collar 10 comprises a pair of elongated flexible bands or strips 12 and 14 joined together at the ends to form end portions 20, 22 (see FIGS. 2 and 3).
As shown in the drawings, a shape and height adjustment means indicated generally by the reference character 23 is disposed on the cervical collar 10 in spaced relationship with the end portions 20, 22 thereof. As will be more fully disclosed hereafter, the adjustment means 23 provides the cervical collar 10 with the capability to precisely accommodate the contours of the neck and chin and thereby optimize the comfort and relief aiforded by the use of the cervical collar 10.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the outers edges 12' and 14 respectively of bands 12 and 14 are tapered inwardly from the medial portions to the extreme ends thereof. Bands 12, 14 are shown identically shaped although it may be desirable to make one band slightly longer than the other to accommodate the larger diameter at the base of the neck. For this condition, the longer band would normally be the lower band when positioning the collar around the neck.
Secured to one surface of end portion 22 is a plurality of slightly spaced apart fastening strips 24 (FIG. 3). A plurality of cooperating transverse strips 26 (FIG. 4) is secured to end portion but at the opposite side of collar 10 in relation to the location of the fastening strips 24 (see FIGS. 3 and 4). The cooperating strips 26 are constructed to provide a secure and releasable attachment with fastening strips 24 when brought in contact therewith at the desired length of overlap of the end portions 20, 22. Fastening strips 24 may be made of the material known as Velcro which includes a multiplicity of bristle-like gripping elements 27 (FIG. 3). The cooperating strips may be made of felt, Wool, or the like and are adapted to cooperate with the bristles 27 to provide an extremely strong but readily detachable fastening means in a manner well known to those versed in the art.
The height and shape adjustment means 23 comprises a pair of tabs 28, 30 which extend outwardly from the inside edge of band 12 for selective attachment to a patch 32 formed on band 14 adjacent the inner edge thereof.
A recess 40 (FIG. 3) on the outside surface of band 14 accommodates patch 32, whereas the upper portions of tabs 28, 30 are connected to band 12 within recess 42 (FIG. 4) on the inside surface thereof. Thus, due to recesses 40, 42 attachment of the tabs to the patch may be made without any variation in the thickness of the collar.
The patch 32 may also be made of Velcro material having the multiplicity of gripping elements 27. To cooperate therewith, the attaching surfaces of tabs 28, 30 are made from felt, wool or the like. 'Ihus, tabs 28, 30 make a secure but readily detachable connection with patch 32.
Tabs 28, 30 are preferably flexible in construction to enable even the slightest adjustment to be made with ease and precision. Tabs 28, 30, as shown, are adjacent each other but separated or split apart. Thus, both tabs 28, 30 may be used individually or together for adjusting the collar (see FIGS. 7, 8 and 9). Moreover, if one of the tabs 28, 30 is suflicient to determine the proper collar adjustment, the other tab could serve as a brace or support to insure that the flexible bands remain in the predetermined selected shape. This condition is shown in FIG. =8, wherein tab 30 determines the height adjustment 4 and tab 28 provides the brace to maintain bands 12, 14 in place.
Tabs 28, 30 may be attached at any point Within patch 32. Thus, the vertical attachment position of the tabs may be varied incrementally within the extreme vertical levels of patch 32. (See FIGS. 8 and 9.) Also, the position of the attachment of the tabs may be varied incrementally throughout the horizontal length of patch 32 (see FIGS. 7 and 8). Moreover, the tabs may be angularly attached to patch 32 as shown in FIG. 7. Thus, adjustment means 23 afford the collar adjustable capability in the horizonal as well as the vertical direction.
It is to be particularly noted from FIGS. 3 and 4, that substantially one half of the attaching surface of tabs 28, 30 extends outward from the inner edge of band 12 whereas the other attaching half is within recess 42. Thus, as shown in FIG. 9, when any part of tabs 28, 30 fastened within recess 42 is attached to patch 32, hand 12 and band 14 overlap each other. In this manner, adjustment means 23 also has the capability to decrease the height of the collar to a magnitude less than the combined height of the bands 12, 14.
Each of the bands 12 and 14 comprises a hollow tube 46 fitted around a filler material 48 (see FIGS. 5 and 6). The tube 46 may be made from any suitable material which is light in weight, readily washable, durable and having some stretchability in all directions. Ideally suited is a textile fabric known as stockinette.
The filler material should be light in weight, extremely flexible, highly elastic and readily washable. A material found to have these qualities and successfully used is flexible polyurethane foam plastic.
End portions 20, 22 of the collar 10 may be formed by stitching over the ends of the bands 12 and 14. Stitching may also be used to fasten the tabs 28, 30 and the patch 32 respectively to the bands 12 and 14.
An eyelet or grommet 52 may be mounted adjacent the outer extremity of each of the end portions 20, 22. Thus, as described in my said Pat. No. 3,189,026, the grommet 52 affords coupling means for accommodating auxiliary traction apparatus when converting the cervical collar to a traction head halter.
It is also within the contemplation of the invention to afford a cervical collar comprising a flexible single body having a longitudinal slit therein to provide two separable medial portions and an adjustment means to vary the collar height and shape by varying the spacing between the separable portions.
The operation of the cervical collar 10 may now be described with reference particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. When the corrective procedure requires extension of the neck (viz., flexing the cervical spine), the collar -10 is positioned as in FIG. 1. Initially the medial portions of the bands 12 and 14 are fitted into place in the front of the neck and the end portions 20, 22 are overlapped at the back or nape of the neck. When the collar is comfortably positioned around the neck, the end portions are pressed together whereby the Velcro fastening strips 24 and the cooperating strips 26 securely lock the collar in place. The separable medial portions of bands 12, 14 are varied from their normally contacting position to precisely fit the collar of the contour of the neck and chin of the individual patient. After the optimum height and/or shape for the separable medial portions are found, the tabs 28, 30 are pressed on patch 32, thus positioning the medial portions in place. In arriving at this optimum setting for the medial portions of the bands,
it may be necessary to disconnect end portions 20, 22 and vary the previous setting for the extent of overlap.
When the corrective procedure requires flexing of the neck (viz., extension of the cervical spine), a similar procedure is followed for operatively positioning the collar 10 around the neck of the wearer except that the medial portions of bands 12, 14 are placed in the back of the neck as shown in FIG. 2, and the end portions 20, 22 are overlapped at the front of the neck.
From the foregoing description and drawings, it should be apparent that a novel cervical collar has been provided which includes means for adjusting the height and shape thereof, thereby precisely fitting the collar around the neck of the wearer. Moreover, the height and shape adjustment means is capable of being varied both in a horizontal and vertical direction. Furthermore, the adjustment means may be set to cause the separable medial portions to overlap and thereby decrease the height of the collar to a value less than the combined height of the individual medial portions. Thus, it should be appreciated that a cervical collar has been provided which may be easily and conveniently adapted to the neck of the patient independent of the neck length and neck and chin contour.
It is believed that my invention, its mode of construction and assembly, and many of its advantages should be readily understood from the foregoing Without further description, and it should also be manifest that While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described for illustrative purposes, the structural details are nevertheless capable of wide variation within the purview of my invention as defined in the appended claims.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A cervical collar for encircling the neck of the patient comprising an elongated flexible band having its medial portions slit to afford medial separable band portions for adjusting the width of the band and integral end portions;
adjustment means comprising at least one tab extending outwardly from the inside edge of one medial band portion for releasable selective attachment to the other medial band portion, said adjustment means including a patch on said other medial band portion, said tab and said patch including cooperating means to permit the secure and releasable attachment of said tab with the patch;
and a surface of one of said medial band portions includes a first recess and the opposite surface of the other medial band portion includes a second recess, said tab being fastened within said first recess and said patch being attached inside said second recess, whereby only the medial band portions need be adjusted to change the height or shape of the entire cervical collar.
2. The cervical collar as claimed in claim 1, wherein said tab and said patch are operatively attachable together whereby parts of the medial portions of the bands overlap to provide a height dimension less than the combined height of the individual bands.
3. The cervical collar as claimed in claim 1, wherein said adjustment means includes a second tab for selective attachment to said patch, each of said tabs being capable of providing independent height and shape adjustment of said collar.
4. The cervical collar as claimed in claim 3, wherein said tabs are adjacent each other and fastened at substantially the center area of said one band and said patch being also fastened to said other band at substantially the center thereof.
5. The cervical collar as claimed in claim 1, wherein: coupling means are associated with said end portions of the bands for accommodating auxiliary traction apparatus, the cooperation of said separable medial portions and said coupling means affording means for converting said cervical collar to a traction head halter.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,828,736 4/1958 Mon Fardini l2875 2,843,114 7/1958 Hall 12875 3,024,784 3/ 1962 Mon Fardini 128-75 3,135,256 6/1964 Gruber 128-75 3,189,026 6/1965 Barnett 128-75 L. W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner J. D. YASKO, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 128-164