US 3583397 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor George A. Baddour 18230 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44111  Appl. No. 762,513
 Filed Sept. 25, 1968  Patented June8,l971
 FINGER TRACTION DEVICE 12 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 128/84, 24/161  Int. Cl A61f 5/04  Field 01 Search 128/84, 77,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,546,303 3/1951 Holle 40/24 2,740,179 4/1956 Flora 24/213 3,273,562 9/1966 Brown 128/337 3,403,428 10/1968 Sheffer 24/161 FOREIGN PATENTS 413,538 10/1933 Great Britain 70/458 343,010 11/1919 Germany 24/87 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko Att0rney0ber1in, Maky, Donnelly & Renner ABSTRACT: A device for applying traction to a human digit comprising a wire clip having opposed prong portions adapted to penetrate opposite sides of a human digit. The bight portion of such clip may then be connected by resiliently distensible means to a banjo splint thereby to maintain tension upon such clip and digit. During inspection, the clip may be rocked back and forth about the axis of such opposed prongs to cause such prongs to drill into the digit until their points are closely juxtaposed.
FINGER TRACTION DEVICE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a finger traction device, and more particularly to a novel form of wire clip adapted to penetrate and engage a human digit such as a finger or toe which has been fractured and should be maintained under tension until the healing process has been substantially completed.
In the past, when it has been desired to apply bone traction to human digits which have been fractured or which are being subjected to surgical procedures, it has been the usual practice to drill through the bone of the digit near the outer end of the latter and pass a pin therethrough; a stirrup is then pivotally affixed to the respective protruding ends of such pin and the stirrup itself connected by means of a rubber band or like resiliently distensible means to a banjo splint, the latter being a heavy wire loop affixed to the foot or hand of the patient as by means of a plaster cast, for example, and projecting beyond the outer ends of the toes or fingers. This procedure has usually been deemed to call for the employment of a hospital operating room and a special drilling instrument and has not been well adapted for use under emergency conditions. The inserted pin is provided with a pointed end which interferes with the application of dressings and also with the normal disposition of the adjacent digits. When the device is to be removed, the stirrup must first be disengaged and a sterile technique employed inasmuch as it is necessary to draw one protruding end of such pin through the digit in order to extract the same; this necessarily involves some danger of contamination of the tissues and bone through which such pin is thus withdrawn.
It is accordingly an important object of this invention to provide a digit traction device which may be inserted in the digit relatively easily and with a minimum of equipment.
Another object is to provide such device which may subsequently be removed from the digit without the necessity of drawing any protruding or nonsterile portion through the digit.
Still another object is to provide such device which will have no sharp protruding ends or edges which would interfere with the application of dressings or contact adjacent digits of the patient.
A further object is to provide such device which may be bodily rocked back and forth while applying squeezing pressure thereto so that it is self-drilling and no separate drilling operation is required.
Other objects of the invention will appear as the description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the foregoihg and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawing setting forth in detail a certain illustrative embodiment of the invention, this being indicative, however, of but one of the various ways in which the principle of the invention may be employed.
In said annexed drawing:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the foot of a patient encased in a plaster cast and including a banjo splint having the new device of this invention attached thereto in operative engagement with the big toe of such patient;
FIG. 2 is an isometric view on an enlarged scale of a preferred embodiment of the invention; and
FIGS. 3 and 4 are fragmentary detail views of the end portions of the prongs of the new clip on a much enlarged scale, FIG. 4 being taken on the line 4-4 on FIG. 3.
The new device of this invention for applying traction to a fractured digit or the like preferably comprises a wire clip of stainless steel having substantially axially opposed prong portions 1 and 2 connected to widely spaced parallel portions 3 and 4 normal to such prong portions and adapted to extend generally parallel to the respective sides of the digit which they embrace as illustrated more particularly in FIG. 1 of the drawing. Inclined shoulder portions 5 and 6 are connected to such widely spaced parallel portions 3 and 4 at angles of approximately thereto and are interconnected by a V-shape bight portion comprising two relatively closely spaced portions 7 and 8 joined at an angle of approximately l5. The ends 9 and 10 of prongs or tines l and 2 are sharp and pointed to facilitate insertion into the digit to which the clip is to be attached and such points will preferably very slightly overlap on the order of about 2 millimeters when portions 3 and 4 are in parallel relationship. Such portions 3 and 4 should desirably be spaced apart a distance sufficient to embrace the digit with very little extra clearance, so as to interfere as little as possible with necessary dressings and adjacent digits of the patient. All portions of the clip lie in substantially the same plane.
As best shown in enlarged FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawing, the points such as 9 and 10 of the prongs l and 2 will be sharp and preferably of a form to afford a drilling action when the prongs are rocked back and forth during insertion of the latter as described more in detail below. Such points may thus be provided with long tapers on opposite sides and relatively short tapers at right angles thereto, to provide such drilling points, but it will be understood that a variety of pointed or drilling configurations may be employed as desired. Since the longer flat tapered surfaces of the points or tips are closely opposed to each other when overlapped as shown in the drawing and described above, it will be understood that prongs l and 2 are maintained in proper alignment.
The method of employment of my new traction device may now be more fully explained with particular reference to FIG. I of the drawing. As illustrated in such FlG., the foot of a patient is shown encased in a plaster cast 11 with the toes, including big toe I2 exposed and protruding therefrom. A banjo splint in the form ofa wire loop 13 is embedded in plaster cast 11 and projects a substantial distance beyond the end of the cast in well known manner. The clip of this invention is inserted in such big toe 12 by engaging opposite sides of the latter with the respective points 9 and 10 of prongs 1 and 2 and rocking the clip back and forth about the axis of such prongs while applying squeezing pressure to clip portions 3 and 4. When clip portions 3 and 4 have been brought into parallelism the surgeon will know that points 9 and 10 are now in very slightly overlapping relationship within the bone of the toe. A rubber band 14 or like resiliently distensible means is engaged in the bight portion of the clip and affixedunder tension to the banjo splint 13, being secured, if desired, by wrappings of adhesive tape 15. When the toe has sufficiently healed, the clip may be readily removed therefrom by simply manually spreading apart the portions 3 and 4 to withdraw the prongs completely from the toe. This does not involve the passage of any nonsterile portion of the clip through the wound.
Resilient stainless steel wire is a preferred material of which to manufacture this new clip and when such clip has been inserted into a human digit in the manner described above there will, accordingly, normally be a tendency for such clip to spring partially open when released from the squeezing pressure. This may be avoided by applying extra squeezing pressure at the shoulders of the clip where inclined portions 5 and 6 join parallel portions 3 and 4, thereby to give the bight portion of the clip a set at the desired angle. While thus applying such pressure on the clip shoulders with one hand, the operator will hold the prongs in proper inserted position with his other hand. Obviously, the clip may be manufactured in a variety of sizes to accommodate different size digits, it being desired that there be about only 1 millimeter of the clip protruding on each side of the digit, not only to avoid interference with dressings and adjacent digits but also to avoid any further axial movement of the prongs 1 and 2 within the digit. Of course, when inserting and withdrawing the prongs from the digit an antiseptic will be applied to the regions where such prongs enter the digit. The clips themselves may be sterilized and individually packaged in sterile plastic envelopes so as to be available for immediate use when required. This is a particular advantage under emergency situations and also for military use in the field. The clip has no outwardly projecting sharp points which would tend to tear the envelopes enclosing the same.
As illustrated, all portions of the clip will ordinarily lie in the same plane, which further facilitates packaging. While extremely efficient in accomplishing the objectives of this invention the new clip is nevertheless inexpensive of manufacture and its use tends to reduce the cost of the traction operation. Pain and discomfort of the patient are minimized and accuracy of the points of insertion is assured in contrast to the former practice where insertion was made from one side only. This is of some importance since there is a possibility of damage to vessels and nerves when a pin is inserted from one side and exits at a somewhat undetermined point at the other side of the digit. There is also a possibility in the former practice of the pin taking an oblique path through the digit, affording an oblique plane of traction. A local anesthetic will normally be administered at the time the new traction device is inserted but no such anesthetic is normally required at the time of its removal. During insertion a firm squeezing pressure on the prong shoulders is all that is required to penetrate the skin and soft tissues, the clip then being rocked back and forth to drill into the bone. Once inserted, the clip can move freely about the axis of the pointed prongs.
l. A digit traction device comprising a wire clip having substantially directly opposed prong portions adapted to penetrate a human digit and closely approach each other within such digit, spaced parallel portions extending therefrom and normal thereto adapted thus to extend closely parallel to opposite sides of such digit, a bight portion connecting said two widely spaced parallel portions adapted to extend beyond the end of such digit comprising more closely spaced portions beyond said widely spaced parallel portions, said bight portion of such wire being capable of taking a set when said closely spaced portions are squeezed toward each other, a banjo splint, and resiliently distensible means connecting said bight portion of said clip to said banjo splint.
2. The device of claim ll, wherein said prong portions terminate in sharp points.
3. The device of claim 1, wherein said wire is of stainless steel.
4. The device of claim ll, wherein the extreme end portions of said prong portions very slightly overlap in closely adjacent relationship when said spaced parallel portions are maintained in such parallel relationship.
5. The device of claim 1, wherein said wire is of stainless steel, said prong portions terminate in sharp points, and said sharp points overlap each other in closely adjacent relationship when said spaced parallel portions are maintained in such parallel relationship.
6. A digit traction device comprising a wire clip having substantially directly opposed pointed prong portions adapted to penetrate opposite sides of a human digit, spaced portions extending therefrom adapted to extend generally parallel to the respective opposite sides of such digit, and a bight portion connecting said spaced portions, said bight portion having outwardly inclined shoulder portions extending in the same general direction as said spaced portions but substantially closer to each other, said clip normally being in open position with the tips of said prong portions widely spaced apart and being of resilient stainless steel capable of taking a set in said bight portion when said clip is squeezed to force said prong portions toward each other.
7. The device of claim 6, wherein said prong portions terminate in flattened drill points.
8. A digit traction device comprising a wire clip having substantially directly opposed prong portions adapted to penetrate opposite sides of a human digit, spaced substantially parallel portions extending therefrom and normal thereto adapted thus to extend closely parallel to the respective opposite sides of such digit, a relatively narrow V-shape bight portion, and inclined shoulder portions connecting said bight portion to said respective parallel portions w erern said inclined shoulder portions of said clip extend toward each other at angles of approximately to said respective parallel portions, said V-shape bight portion has an included angle of approximately 15, all portions of said clip lie in substantially the same plane, and said prong portions terminate in drilling points which slightly closely overlap each other a distance of about two millimeters when said parallel portions are maintained in such parallel relationship.
9. The device of claim 8, wherein said prong portions terminate in sharp points slightly overlapping each other.
110. The device of claim 9, wherein said wire is of resilient stainless steel capable of taking a set in said bight portion when squeezed.
11. in combination, a wire clip having straight parallel juxtaposed prong portions adapted to be deeply inserted in a human digit from opposite sides thereof, spaced portions extending outwardly from said prong portions generally parallel to each other and to the respective sides of said digit closely adjacent the latter, a bight portion interconnecting said spaced portions beyond the end of said digit, a splint element adapted to be firmly mounted to the human member bearing said digit and to project therefrom beyond the end of said digit and said bight portion, and resilient means adapted to connect said bight portion and said splint under tension outwardly of said bight portion.
12. The combination of claim ll, wherein the tips of said prongs are in slightly overlapping relationship and said splint is a banjo splint.