US 3601819 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Harry l-l. Herrmann 9646 Bolton Ave., Riverside, Calif. 92503  Appl. No. 8,473  Filed Feb. 4, 1970  Patented Aug. 31, 1971  SHEATl-l DEVICE FOR AIDING PLACEMENT 0F PROSTHETIC LIMBS 4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl ..3/l,3/l7 R, 3/ l 7 SS  lnt.Cl A6" l/00, Afilf l /()2  FleldoiSearch ..3/l,2, 17 R, 17 SS, l9; 128/157, l65;2/239  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,666,927 l/l954 Morheiser 3/] 2,834,025 5/1958 Leavy 3/17 R Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-Ronald L. Frinks AttorneyM. Ralph Shaffer ABSTRACT: A sheath device for aiding the proper fitting of the limb stump of an amputee the the artificial limb or prosthesis therefor. Specifically, the device comprises a doubled-back sheath of resilient material, the ends of which are joined together to an elongate guide member; the latter is constructed for insertion through the normally provided vacuum holc communicating with the suction socket of the prosthesis. The sheath is fabricated of a knitted l'nbric such as indies hosiery, and when placed upon the limb stump, tightly grips the same so that the user, in pulling upon the same, will easily, firmly secure the stump area of the prosthesis. The user rolls the sheath off the stump within such socket by pulling solely on the outside layer thereof until the entire device is freed from the stump and withdrawn through the prosthesis aperture communicating with the socket thereof.
PATENTEU AUBBI l97l INVIJNTOR. Harry H. Herrmann His Attorney SHEATH DEVICE FOR AmilNG PLACEMENT F FROSTHETIC LHMBS The present invention relates to devices usable for securing the limb stump of an amputee to a prosthesis such as an artificial leg and, more particularly, provides a doubled-back sheath means which, when gripped in its entirety, urges the stump in proper position into the socket of the prosthesis, and yet admits all withdrawal of the device from the socket area by the user simply pulling on the outside layer thereof until the device is freed from the stump.
In the past, considerable difficulty has been experienced by amputees in properly fitting a prosthetic limb to the limb stump. If the suction socket of the prosthesis does not fit the stump accurately, soreness and blistering of the stump will occur. Additionally, if the prosthetic limb does not fit the flesh and bone contour properly, there is the unsure feeling of losing the prosthesis through physical activity. Finally, where the prosthetic limb is a leg, then walking is severely restricted where the limb does not fit properly.
In the past, certain devices such as those illustrated in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,834,025 and 2,666,927 have been devised wherein aid is given the amputee in properly fitting the stump to the socket of the prosthesis. However, there is extreme difficulty in these and other devices in accurately fitting the limb within the socket and in addition, conveniently withdrawing such device from the socket area.
The present invention overcomes these difficulties by providing as an aid, a doubled-back sheath device made of resilient material such as stocking material for ladies hosiery. The sheath will be devised such that it is resiliently stretched, and tight, when applied to the limb. Additionally, the opposite ends of the doubled-back sheath, which ends are disposed preferably in proximity with each other, are preferably both joined to an elongate guide member constructed and arranged to penetrate the small vacuum hole usually provided the prosthetic limb. When the device is fitted upon the stump, then the pulling upon the device at the elongate guide member, or by the user simply grasping together both inside and outside layers of the sheath, willbe operative so as to effect a Chinese fingers effect. This is to say, there will be a gripping and pulling action of the limb stump into the socket area of the prosthetic limb. Thereafter, the user will simply peel off the device from the stump by pulling on solely the out side layer of the sheath-this until the entire sheath device is removed from the stump.
Accordingly, a principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved aid device for amputees.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved sheath device which, when grasped and pulled, can securely seat a limb stump properly in the socket of a prosthetic limb, and yet also can be easily removed from the stump when solely the outside layer thereof is grasped.
An additional object is to provide a prosthetic limb aid for amputees which is easy to use in both seating the stump firmly within the socket of the prosthetic limb and also in removing the device from the limb stump once the same is disposed firmly in place.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims.
The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a prosthetic limb aid device constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary view of a portion of the structure in FIG. 1, and is taken along the arcuate line 2-2 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 illustrates the manner of use of the device of the present invention in aiding an amputee to place properly the limb stump within the suction socket of a prosthetic limb.
FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3, but illustrates the stump as being securely seated in the artificial limb socket by the user firmly pulling effectively upon both layers of the doubled-back sheath device.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevation of the artificial limb structure and aid device of FIG. 4, wherein the user peels off the device by pulling on the outside layer only of the sheath, thereby progressively lowering the doubled-back portion of the doubled-back sheath along the stump of the amputee.
FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5, illustrating that the device is peeled off and hence substantially free of the limb stump so as to be easily withdrawn in its entirety from the socket area of the prosthetic limb.
In FIG. 1, the aid device D of the present invention is shown to include doubled-back, resilient sheath 10. Sheath 10 comprises a fabric resembling the material of ladies hosiery, in a preferred form of the invention, and includes mutually slideable outer layer 11 and inner layer 12. The two layers are, of course, joined by doubled-back extremity 13. In practice, the resilient sheath 10 may comprise either two layers joined togetheror, as shown, a unitary, unseamed sheath or sleeve which is simply formed to a doubled-back configurement as illustrated in FIG. 1. Extremity 14 of outer layer 11, and extremity 15 of inner layer 12, are affixed or otherwise fixedly disposed with respect to elongate guide member 16 by means 17. Means 17 may comprise thread, cord, wire, cement, or other suitable means.
In FIG. 3, the artificial leg or prosthesis includes suction socket S and a small air valve hole or aperture A which communicates with socket S.
In practicing the invention, the device D of FIG. 1 is fitted over the stump T of the amputee in the manner shown in FIG. 3. Elongate guide member 16 is inserted through aperture A in the manner shown in FIG. 3. Thereafter, the person fits the prosthesis over the now-covered stump T in a manner shown in FIG. 4. When the user grasps and pulls the elongate guide member 16 and/or the layers 11 and 12 of sheath 10, then the resilient knitted nature of sheath 10 provides a Chinese fingers action with the stump so as to urge the stump downwardly and securely in proper position within socket S of prosthesis L.
At this point, the user will grasp with one or preferably both hands, one or more portions of outer layer 11 only, as is accessible outside of the prosthesis socket, so as to gradually roll the sheath 10 off the stump. Accordingly, the doubled-back extremity or portion 13 advances downwardly along the stump toward aperture A. See the progression illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6. Thus, the stocking or sheath It) can be rolled completely off the stump and drawn out of aperture A. Again, this is accomplished by virtue of the user pulling solely on the outside, or outer layer 11, so that the sheath device is conveniently and easily rolled off the stump. FIG. 6 illustrates a configurement of the sheath after the rolling" action is nearly completed and the remainder of the sheath is about to be drawn through aperture A.
What is provided hence, is a sheathlike device which enables effective placement of the stump of an amputee into the suction socket of a corresponding prosthesis, the effective double-layer device serving, when both layers are pulled upon, to grip the stump of the limb to facilitate proper placement of the stump in the prosthesis socket, and, subsequently, when the outside layer only is pulled upon, to allow the device to be rolled off the stump and withdrawn.
While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects.
1. A prosthetic-limb-placement device including, in combination, a doubled-back sheath having inner and outer layers,
ing the same to said elongate guide member.
4. A prosthetic-limb-placement device including, in combination, a sheath having inner and outer,'mutually slidable, fabric layers joined to each other at one end, and elongate guide means integral with said layers at the opposite end for guiding said device through an access aperture provided in an external prosthetic limb, said outer layer being independently graspable.