US 3606884 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 21,1971 M A. PETER 3,605,884
, FOOT-BOOT APPARATUS Filed March 17, 1969 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 5 2
FIG. 3 --w I NVEN '1 ()R. Mary A, Peter ATTORNEY Sept. 21, 1971 M. A; PETER FOOT-BOOT Armnmus 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fil ed March 17 1969 FIG. 10
I N VliN TOR.
Mary A. Peter ATTORNEY United States Patent 01 fice 3,606,884 Patented Sept. 21, 1971 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A medical apparatus for immobilizing and protecting the feet of bed patients incorporates a pair of padded boots which are removably secured to a pair of L-shaped brackegts and the brackets are adjustably mounted on a spacer ar.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (1) Field of the invention The invention relates to medical apparatus designed to immobilize and protect the feet of bed patients to prevent bed sores, foot drop and the like.
(2) Description of the prior art Various kinds of padded boots are shown in the prior art as for example in Patent 3,011,494. Such padded boots do offer some protection and assist in preventing bed sores but in general have no particular value so far as preventing foot drop or maintaining ankle dorsifiexion are concerned. The combination of a pair of relatively stiff walking, traction shoes with means to immobilize and variably space the shoes is shown in Patent 2,959,169. The apparatus of this last patent however while providing lateral immobilization does not provide any means for maintaining ankle dorsifiexion. Furthermore, the inherent nature of the apparatus of this last patent is of a nature to encourage skin breakdown. None of the prior art makes provision for maintaining ankle dorsifiexion in both the side-lying as well as the prone position of the patient.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present invention each foot of the patient is placed in a boot made of a flexible material and having a soft hair-like interior to provide a padding effect for all surfaces of the foot enclosed by the boot. Means are provided on the back ankle area of the boot and on the bottom sole area of the boot for fastening to an L-shaped bracket. Each boot is thus detachably secured to one of such L-shaped brackets and when so secured the foot maintains an ankle dorsifiexion position and foot drop is prevented.
In normal use once the patients foot has been installed in the boot and the boot has been secured to one of the L-shaped brackets, the brackets are then detachably secured to a spacer bar such that the feet can be immobilized and laterally spaced some predetermined amount. On the other hand if it is desired that the patient lie on his side, the spacer bar can be easily removed, the patient turned on his side and the boots and brackets left installed so as to maintain the ankle dorsifiexion posions in both feet.
In a more special aspect of the invention, each of the L-shaped braces is hinged so that the apparatus can be folded and readily stored in a minimum of space. Another aspect of the invention resides in the selection of the material from which the boots are made that allows the boots to be readily washed and sterilized for reuse.
An object of the invention therefore is to provide an improved medical boot apparatus.
A more specific purpose is to provide an improved medical boot apparatus which can be used to maintain the feet in a laterally spaced immobilized position or can be used in such a way that the feet can maintain an ankle dorsifiexion position while the body assumes a side-lying position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment showing a pair of L-shaped brackets mounted on a spacer bar. FIG. 2 is an elevation view of one of the brackets. FIG. 3 is a front end view of one of the brackets.
FIG. 4 is a rear end view of one of the brackets.
FIG. 5 is a partial sectional view of a spring-loaded plunger used to lock the brackets on the spacer bar.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the spacer bar.
FIG. 7 is a rear perspective view of a foot installed in a boot which in turn is installed on one of the brackets.
FIG. 8 is a front perspective view similar to FIG. 7.
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing an embodiment in which the bracket leaves are hinged.
FIG. 10 is a partial end view showing the hinge construction.
FIG. 11 shows a modified boot mounted on the hinged type of bracket shown in FIGS. 9 and 10.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 1 through 8 generally refer to a first embodiment and while FIGS. 9 through 11 generally refer to a second embodiment. Considering the first embodiment it will be noted that a pair of L-shaped brackets 20, 21 are composed of a vertically disposed fiat leaf portion 22 and a bent flat leaf portion 23. Each bracket has integrally secured to the back of its respective leaf portion 22 a cylinder member 25 which mounts a plunger 26 loaded by a spring 27. The brackets 20, 21 mount on a spacer bar 30 and the respective plungers engage holes 31 in order to maintain the brackets in some predetermined lateral position.
Referring next to FIGS. 7 and 8 it will be seen that each foot of the patient mounts in a boot, generally designated 35 and which is preferably formed of a natural, e.g. sheepskin, or a synthetic material, e.g. the synthetic fabric marketed by the Tennessee Eastman Company under the trademark Kodel, such that the foot is completely encompassed by a soft, thick resilient and flexible material. Further, it will be noted that each boot 35 has a rear ankle loop 36 which loops over the bracket leaf portion 23. The sole of the boot is secured by a further strap 37 which loops around beneath leaf 22 and terminates in an end portion 38 having a Velcro fastening means, not shown, and which mates with another Velcro fastening means, not shown, secured to boot 35. By looping strap 37 in this manner it can be seen that the sole of the boot is secured to leaf 22 and the abutting edges of 39 are brought together. The edges 39 are further secured by a short strap 34 having mating Velcro means at the end thereof but not shown.
A valuable feature of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 in which itwill be noted that the depression indicated at 40 and which is formed in the leaf portion 23 prevents any direct contact between the heel of the patients foot and the bracket. Further it will be noted as illustrated by FIGS. 7 and 8 that the boots can be installed along with their respective brackets and mounted on the patients feet without utilizing the spacer bar which means that the patients feet can be immobilized, foot drop prevented and ankle dorsifiexion maintained when the patient is in a side-lying position. On the other hand when the patient is in a prone position it will be noted that the brackets can be mounted on the spacer bar 20 and in such prone position there is no tendency for foot drop and ankle dorsifiexion is maintained.
A second embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 9 through 11. In this second embodiment the hinge 50 connects the leaf portions 22' and 23 of the respective brackets 20, 21'. The fact that the leaf portions are hinged gives the advantage of reducing the amount of space required for storage and provides for more positive securing of the boot heel and sole. As best illustrated in FIG. 11 the leaf portion 23' can be secured to the heel of the boot 35' by means of a short loop 51 and leaf portion 22 can be secured to the sole of the boot 35 by means of a short loop 52. The edges 39 are then abutted by a pair of short straps 32, 33 represented in FIG. 11. Boot 35 is installed by folding the leaf portions 22' and 23 inwardly together and then the loops 51 and 52 are worked over the respective leaf portions 23' and 22 after which the leaf portions are folded outwardly to receive the foot in the boot. As shown in FIG. 9, since traction is sometimes required in addition to foot immobilization, the holes 45 in leaf 22' provide means for looping traction ropes or cables, not shown, for purposes of such traction.
In summary it will be seen that the present apparatus provides means for preventing foot drop and for maintaining ankle dorsifiexion both when the patient is in prone position as well as in a side-lying position. It will also be noted that the honey prominences of the foot are protected at the same time that the foot is being positioned which is of extreme importance in handling sore and delicate skin of long term patients. All parts of the apparatus of the present invention can be sterilized for reuse, easily and inexpensively. It will also be noted that there is no pressure on the feet from sheets contacting the toes of the patient. Many patients with particular nerve injuries are inherently prone to experience foot rubbing and are thus prone to experience foot sores. Such reactions are essentially avoided by the present invention. For the paraplegic, quadraplegic or hemiplegic, the invention is of exceptional value since in these types of cases there is normally extensive loss of nerve reaction and loss of motor control. With the spacer bar in place the feet are prevented from experiencing external rotation and at the same time are prevented from experiencing foot drop and are maintained with ankle dorsiflexion.
Having described the invention, what is claimed is:
1. In a medical patient foot apparatus for immobilizing a human foot:
(a) a pair of foot boots, each foot boot having an open toe and an ankle opening and a pair of closure edges adapted to be abutted centrally and frontally of the foot and adapted to provide a covering beneath, over and contacting substantially the whole of the foot, said foot covering being formed of a soft, thick, resilient, flexible material as a unitary piece;
(b) first strap means on each boot for securing said closure edges in abutted central and frontal relations whereby substantially the whole of each foot is enveloped in said soft, thick, resilient, flexible and washable covering and said strap means are kept out of contact with said foot;
(c) a pair of L-shaped brackets, each bracket being substantially L-shaped and having a first substantially rigid fiat rectangular shaped leaf portion adapted to extend the length of and to reside adjacent the bottom outer sole surface of said boot and a second substantially rigid fiat rectangular shaped leaf portion adapted to extend the length of and to reside adjacent the rear outer ankle surface of said boot, said first and second leaf portions being hinged at the respective apex portions of said brackets and foldable inwardly on each other during storage and the like;
(d) second strap means mounted externally on each boot for detachably securing said first leaf portion to the said sole surface of said boot and for detachably securing said second leaf portion to said ankle surface of said boot; and
(e) a rigid tubular spacer bar slidably and adjustably mounted on the outer apex portion of each of said pair of brackets to provide for a patient prone position a predetermined adjustable lateral spacing therebetween with said first leaf portions being maintained substantially vertical and said second leaf portions being maintained substantially horizontal, each said bracket being completely removable from said spacer bar for allowing the patients foot enclosed in the respective boot secured thereto to adopt a patient sidelying position.
2. In a foot apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said second strap means comprise short loops mounted externally on each boot and adapted to be slipped over said first and second leaf portions when folded inwardly and to snugly secure said boot to said leaf portions when OTHER REFERENCES Orthopedic Appliances Atlas, vol. 1, copyright 1952.
RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner J. YASKO, Assistant Examiner US. CL XR, 128===149, E