US 3604412 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  lnventor William J. Gardner 13700 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44120  App]. No 759,941
 Filed Sept. 16, 1968  Patented SepL 14, 1971 s41 THERAPEUTIC DEVICE 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 128/75, 128/84  lnt.Cl r. A6lh 1/02  Field of Search 128/75, 84, 87, 84.1, 84.2, 84.4, 85, 86, 303
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,225,274 12/1940 MacGoun 128/76 X 2,166,229 7/1939 Anderson 128/84 3,072,118 1/1963 Standerwick et a1. 128/87 3,224,440 12/1965 Wright 3,439,673 4/1969 Sprecher ,1
ABSTRACT: A thereapeutic device for applying clamping and traction force components to selective portions of an animate body including a yokelike frame having opposed abutment mechanisms disposed adjacent the ends of the frame. The abutment mechanisms include a resiliently responsive pin assembly and a selectively adjustable pin assembly with a calibration device associated with one of the pin assemblies and the frame for automatically applying a predetermined pressure on the body upon actuation of one of the pin assemblies. A traction mechanism is mounted on the frame for applying a traction force to the frame and to the body via the pin assemblies.
THERAPEUTIC DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to medical devices, and more particularly relates to a therapeutic device for applying generally radial and/or axial force components to selective portions of an animate body for treatment.
In the treatment of patients suffering from neck injuries, such as broken and/or dislocated vertebrae or severely strained muscles, it is often necessary to maintain the injured portion of the patient's body in a relatively immobile or stationary position to facilitate proper therapeutic treatment thereof. In certain cases it is necessary to apply a traction force to the body which tends to straighten the strained muscles and/or maintains the injured vertebra in proper aligned relation during treatment. It has been found that in treating different conditions, that greater or lesser traction forces for a given type of therapeutic treatment are often desirable.
In addition, it has also been found desirable that the fraction forces be applied in a manner so as not to injure the body of the patient. and which is not directed toward or otherwise contact the injured portions of the body while providing a positive holding action during treatment thereof.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an improved therapeutic device which is adapted for applying radial and/or axial force components to selective portions of an animate body. The device comprises a yokelike frame member having abutment means mounted thereon for clamping the device in secured engagement with said body. The frame includes a pair of oppositely disposed arrn members which are spaced apart for mounting around the body. In a preferred form, the abutment means includes a resilient, normally movable pin assembly and a normally fixed adjustable pin assembly, each having pin members for clamping coacting engagement with said body. A calibration means is operably associated with one of the pin assemblies for automatically regulating the pressure applied to the body upon actuation of the other pin assembly, and a traction means is operably connected to the frame for applying a traction force to said pin assemblies and hence, to said body.
By the foregoing arrangement, there is provided a novel therapeutic device for applying clamping (radial) and axial (traction) force components to selective portions of an animate body which can be readily adjusted and maintained within safe operating limits so as not to cause injury to the body during treatment thereof. In the invention, the parts of the device coact to exert such force components on selective portions of a body, such as the neck, arms, limbs or the like, to hold the same immovable for therapeutic treatment. The device can be manipulated by a single operator for use with conventional medical equipment and for use in generally all positions of the patient's body. The improvements in the invention overcome the uncertainty in the manual application of clamping and tractive forces to the patient and insure positive results with mechanical precision.
THE DRAWINGS BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the therapeutic device of the invention shown in its installed position on a patient;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary top plan view of the therapeutic device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary elevation view, partly in section, of the therapeutic device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a pin assembly taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view showing a modified form of the pin assembly for use in the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The therapeutic device of the present invention, designated generally at 2, is shown in the applied position on a patient, as
at P, when such patient is disposed in a horizontal reclined position on a table T, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. In a preferred form, the device 2 includes a yokelike frame member 4 which is adapted to encompass, in radially spaced relation, a portion of the patient's body, such as the head H. Abutment means I0 are mounted on the frame 4 adapted for engagement with opposite sides of the patients head. The abutment means 10 preferably include a first pin assembly, such as 11, which is resiliently biased with respect to the frame member 4, and a second normally fixed, yet selectively adjustable pin assembly, such as 12, which pin assemblies automatically coact for exerting and maintaining a predetermined clamping pressure on the patient's body. A traction mechanism 13 coacts with the frame member 4 for applying an axial force to the frame and hence, to the pin assemblies 11 and 12 for applying traction force on the patients body.
In a preferred form, the frame member 4 is of an open shape, such as a C-shaped construction, when viewed in eleva tion (FIG. 3), and includes a pair of rigid, arcuate side arm members 6 and 8 which are integrally joined together by a central arcuate bight portion 16. The arms 6 and 8 extend divergently outwardly away from one another in a concaveconvex manner to define a generally arcuate-shaped opening 18 which is adapted to receive a selective portion of an animate body, such as a head or the like, in spaced relation therein. In the form shown, the frame 4 is preferably of a substantially uniform width (FIG. 1) and may taper in thickness in a direction away from the bight portion 16 toward the opposed distal ends 20 and 22 of the arms 6 and 8, respectively. The frame 4 may be made of any suitable substantially rigid material, such as metal, plastic or the like, so that the arms 6 and 8 will yield only slightly in a direction toward one another when the pressure between the respective pin assemblies is ap proximately 30 pounds. For example, a yield of one-quarter inch is desirable for a frame having a transverse dimension between the opposed distal ends of approximately 20 cm. during use of the device in accordance with the invention.
As shown in FIG. 3, the pin assemblies 11 and 12 are mounted adjacent the opposed distal ends of the arms 6 and 8, respectively, and project generally radially inwardly toward the longitudinal central axis of the frame 4. As shown, the arms mount the pin assemblies 11 and 12 so that the latter extend at a slight acute angle in an upward direction generally toward the bight portion 16 for positive clamping engagement with a body. Preferably, the pin assembly 11 is of a resiliently biased construction and comprises a pin member 30 which is movable with respect to the frame 4 upon application of a generally axial force thereto and which is adapted for reciprocal sliding movement within an aperture 32 disposed adjacent the distal end 20 of the arm 6. In one form, the pin 30 includes an outer section 34 and an inner section 36. Preferably, the outer section 34 includes an elongated shank portion 38 disposed for axial sliding movement within the aperture 32 and an enlarged head portion 40 disposed adjacent the outer end of the shank portion 38 adapted for abutting engagement with the frame 4 so as to limit inward movement of the pin 30 into the opening 18. The inner end of the shank portion 38 may be constructed for detachable connection to the inner section 36 so that the pin 30 may be removed and cleaned and/or replaced, as desired. To this end, the inner end of the shank portion 38 may be provided with a threaded axial bore 42 adapted to threadably receive a complementary threaded stud shaft 44 provided on the inner section 36. The inner section 36 is preferably sharply pointed adjacent its inner end, as at 46-, for positive securement of the pin 30 with a selective portion of an animate body, such as the skull bone of a patient. An integral, annular flange portion 48 may be provided between the pointed end 46 and the stud shaft 44. The flange 48 preferably has a diameter greater than the diameter of the shank portion 38 so as to provide a stop or abutment for biasing engagement with a resilient member 14.
In a preferred form, the resilient member 14 is constructed in the form of a leaf spring which may be suitably connected at one end, as at 49, to the frame 4, such as by welding or the like. The spring 14 is of a arcuate configuration is elevation (FIG. 3), with the movable or end opposite the fixed end 49 extending generally laterally of the arm 6 and radially into the space 18. Preferably, an aperture 51 is provided in one end of the spring 14 adjacent the inner distal end 52 which is adapted to receive the shank portion 38 of the pin 30 therethrough. The diameter of the aperture 51 is preferably smaller than the diameter of the flange 48 on the pin 30 to provide an abutment for the movable end of the spring 14. In the invention, the spring 14 is in a preferably preloaded condition so as to hold the pin 30 in the innermost position when the device is not in use, as seen in FIG. 3. Accordingly, the pin 30 of the pin assembly II is held in a spring-biased condition via the leaf spring 14 ready for radial retractive movement upon pressure engagement of the pointed end 46 with a selective portion of a body to be treated.
As shown in FIG. 5, another modified form of the resilient biased construction for the pin assembly 11 is shown. In this form, in place of the leaf spring 14 there may be provided a coil spring, such as 140, adapted for bearing engagement at one end against the associated arm 6 and at its other end against the annular flange 48. As shown, the spring 14a may be disposed circumferentially around the shank portion 38 of the pin so that the spring will be compressed in an axial direction upon application of force to the pin 30.
As best seen in FIG. 3, the other pin assembly 12 includes an elongated pin member 24 which may be connected adjacent the distal end 22 of the arm 8. In the form shown, the pin 24 is also sharply pointed at one end, as at 25, for positive clamping securement with the skull bone of a patient. Preferably, the pin 24 is threaded, as at 26, along a substantial portion of its length for threaded engagement through a threaded aperture 29 provided in the arm 8. A control knob 28 may be disposed adjacent the end of the pin remote from the end 25 to facilitate rotation of the pin and hence, to provide selective adjustment of the transverse distance between the respective points 25 and 46 of the pins 30 and 24. Preferably, the pins 24 and 30 are aligned with respect to one another so that the extension of the longitudinal central axis of one of the pins intersects the longitudinal central axis of the other of the pins at a point substantially intermediate the arms 6 and 8 and which together define a plane which extends substantially parallel to the general plane defined by the frame 4. Accordingly, this point of intersection of the pins 24 and 30 substantially coincides with the geometric center of the frame, as best seen in FIG. 3.
To automatically indicate and correlate the clamping pressure to be exerted by the pins 24 and 30 via the points 25 and 46, a calibration means 54, such as indicia, marks or the like, may be inscribed on the shank portion 38 of the pin 30. By this arrangement, as the pin 30 is urged outwardly under the influence of the leaf spring 14, the indicia marks 54 will be brought into registration with another reference mark, such as on the inner surface 56, of the frame 4. Accordingly, the axial difference between the registered reference marks will automatically indicate the amount of compressive force imparted by the springs 14 or 14a on the pin assembly 1 1.
In accordance with the invention, the traction mechanism 13 preferably includes a counterweight 58 which is suspended, as by gravity, from one end of a flexible support element 60, such as a wire or the like. The flexible element 60 may be turned freely about a rotatable pulley 62 which may be supported on the table T by means of a pintle bracket 64. The other end of the flexible element 60 may be detachably connected to a retainer plate 65 having a plurality of circumferentially spaced apertures 66 for selective attachment of the flexible element 60 thereto. By this arrangement, the counterweight 58 will apply a predetermined tensioning force to the flexible element 60 which will be translated into a generally horizontally directed force component generally parallel to the table T to apply a corresponding force component to the frame 4 and hence, via the pin assemblies l1 and 12, to a selective portion of the patients body, such as the head, as seen in FIG. 1.
In a typical application of the therapeutic device of the in vention, the patients body P may be disposed in a horizontal or reclining position on the table T. In this position, the device may then be applied by mounting the frame 4 so that the arms 6 and 8 extend in radially spaced and encompassing relation around the upper portion of the patients head which is then disposed interiorly of the space 18. The pin 24 of the pin assembly 12 may then be selectively adjusted so as to bring the points 25 and 46 of the pins 24 and 30, respectively, into clamping engagement with the confronting opposed sides of the patients head. After initial contact of the points 25 and 46 with the patients head, the pin 24 may be further adjusted so as to compress the leaf spring 14 (or spring 14a) until the desired pressure is achieved between the pins 24 and 30 which will be automatically indicated when the indicia mark 54 is aligned with the reference mark 56 on the frame 4. Thus adjusted, the counterweight 58 may then be attached via the flexible element 60 to the frame 4 for applying the desired traction force, as desired.
The terms and expressions which have been used are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and descriptions of excluding any equivalents of any of the features shown and described, or portions thereof, and it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed.
1. A therapeutic device for applying generally radial and/or axial force components to selective portions of an animate body comprising,
a generally open, yokelike frame,
abutment means disposed adjacent opposed ends of said frame,
resilient means coacting with one of said abutment means to maintain said abutment means in predetermined pressure engagement with the portions of said body,
a selectively adjustable means operably coacting with said frame and with one of said abutment means for adjusting the pressure applied by said abutment means,
traction means coacting with said frame to apply a traction force to the portions of said body through said abutment means,
said abutment means including a first pin assembly mounted on and adapted for relative axial movement with respect to said frame, and a second pin assembly mounted on and adapted for selective adjustable movement with respect to said frame, and
said resilient means being in the form of a leaf spring connected at one end to said frame and at its opposite end adapted to receive said first pin assembly for maintaining a pressure engagement with the portions of said body.
2. A therapeutic device in accordance with claim 1, wherein each of said pin assemblies includes pin members projecting inwardly from said frame in a general direction toward one another.
3. A therapeutic device in accordance with claim 2, wherein said pin member of said normally moveable pin assembly is operably connected to one end of said leaf spring, and
said leaf spring coacts with said frame to normally urge said pin member inwardly in a direction toward said other pin member.
4. A therapeutic device in accordance with claim 1, wherein said first pin assembly being normally moveable with respect to said frame, and
said second pin assembly being normally adjustably fixed with respect to said frame.
5. Therapeutic device in accordance with claim 2, wherein the pin member of said normally adjustably fixed pin assembly is selectively adjustable with respect to the pin member of said normally movable pin assembly to regulate the transverse distance between said pin assemblies to control pressure applied by said pin members to said body.
6. A therapeutic device in accordance with claim 1, including calibration means operably associated with one of said pin assemblies and said frame for automatically regulating the pressure exerted by said pin assemblies upon actuation of the other of said pin assemblies.
7. A therapeutic device for applying an axial traction force to the lengthwise dimension of the body of a patient to straighten strained muscles and/or maintain injured vertebrae in generally immobile, aligned relation comprising,
a unitary, generally open yokelike frame adapted to be fitted about and supported on the cranial portion of a pa tient's head,
abutment means disposed adjacent the opposed sides of said frame adapted for engagement with the opposed sides of the head of the patient,
traction means connected to said frame to apply a generally axial traction force to said muscles and/or said vertebrae through said abutment means upon application of pres sure to said traction means,
said abutment means including a first pin assembly adapted for engagement with one side of the patients head and a second pin assembly adapted for engagement with the opposite side of the patients head,
said first pin assembly including an elongated pin member having a sharp end point for biting securement with the patients skull disposed through an aperture in said frame and having an integral flange disposed inwardly of said end point being normallymoveable in an axial direction with respect to said frame,
said second pin assembly including an elongated pin member being normally threadably fixed with respect to said frame,
said pin members both projecting inwardly from said frame in a general direction toward one another for engagement with the cranial portion of the head of the patient,
a resilient spring member operably disposed around the pin member of said first pin assembly and in biasing relation between said frame and said flange for urging its respective pin member in a direction toward said other pin member to maintain pressured engagement with the head of the patient, and
the pin member of said second pin assembly being selectively adjustable for movement in a direction toward said other pin member for regulating the transverse distance therebetween both of said pin members to apply a predetermined pressure on the patients head when applying a traction force to said device.