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Publication numberUS3612046 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1971
Filing dateSep 8, 1969
Priority dateSep 8, 1969
Publication numberUS 3612046 A, US 3612046A, US-A-3612046, US3612046 A, US3612046A
InventorsJohn F Gaylord Jr
Original AssigneeMedical Specialties Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Traction device
US 3612046 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 937,354 10/1909 Amos John F. Gaylord, Jr.

lnventor Matthews, N.C. Appl. No. 856,080 Filed Sept. 8, 1969 Patented Oct. 12, 1971 Assignee Medical Specialties, Inc.

Charlotte, N.C.

TRACTION DEVICE 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.

11.8. C1 128/75, 128/84 lnt. Cl A6lh 1/02 Field of Search 128/84, 166, 296, 75, DIG. 15

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1952 Richardson 128/166 X 2,969,790 l/196l Reddig 128/84 3,156,242 11/1964 Crowe, .lr. 128/296 3,383,708 5/1968 Pappas 128/166 X Primary ExaminerRichard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner.l. Yasko Attorney-Parrott, Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson TRACTION DEVICE The present invention relates to a foot engaging traction device, and more particularly, to a traction device adapted to surround and closely conform to the anatomy of the ankle and foot of a patient, without exerting excessive compressive forces, and which is capable of applying an evenly distributed traction force over a relatively large skin surface area.

It is conventional practice to apply traction to the leg of a patient for the treatment and correction of fractures, dislocations, and the like. While numerous devices of various design are presently utilized for applying the tractive force, a major problem has persisted in that known traction devices tend to circumferentially compress the ankle and thereby restrict or stop the circulation of the blood. Also, a further difficulty results from the fact that there is an upper limit to the shear force which may be applied to a specific area of the skin without causing injury. Since known devices typically contact a relatively small area of the skin, this upper limit is easily exceeded when the full traction force is applied.

Still another disadvantage in present traction devices is the fact that they employ straps or laces to retain the device in proper position on the patients foot. Thus, a rather cumbersome manipulation is required to effect closure, such manipu-. lation often painful and possibly even harmful to the patient. Also, such straps or laces may inadvertently be tightened to a point restricting the flow of blood.

Further, such prior traction devices usually are I not air permeable and therefore prevent air circulation to the skin. Also, perspiration or other moisture is usually maintained in contact with the skin by such traction devices which contributes markedly to.skin problems.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a foot traction device which may be easily wrapped about the foot and ankle in closely conforming relationship without danger of excessive compressive forces restricting blood circulation. The conforming nature of the device also permits contact with a relatively large area of skin surface to reduce the shear force applied per unit area when traction is induced.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a traction device of simple and light weight construction which may be applied and removed with minimum disturbance to the patient. Also, it is an object to provide a traction device which is readily adjustable to different foot sizes.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a traction device formed of air permeable, cushioning material having a hydrophobic layer adapted to contact the skin to wick moisture away from the skin, and a hydrophilic layer for .absorbing the moisture in spaced relation to the skin.

The above objects and advantages of the present invention are achieved in the embodiment illustrated herein by the provision of a flexible elongated body member which is fabricated from a single length of material and which is adapted to be wrapped about and to surround and closely conform to the ankle and heel and instep portions of a wearer-s foot. The body member includes a medial portion and op-. posite end portions, with the width of the end portions being somewhat greater than that of the medial portion, and with the side edges of the end portions curving outwardly and upwardly from the corresponding side edges of the medial portion. By this arrangement, a somewhat oblique frustoconical configuration results when the end portions are placed in overlapping relationship. This configuration permits the body member to closely conform to the wearers anatomy, with the arcuately extending portions overlying the front and sides of the ankle and instep, and the medial portion overlying the back and sides of the ankle and heel. The opposite ends of a strap are attached at spaced locations adjacent opposite ends of the medial portion of the body member, with the strap ends being positioned on opposite sides of the heel when the body member is in proper position. Thus a tractive force applied to. the strap ends will be aligned with the central axis of the leg. The illustrated embodiment of the invention further includes a fastening means comprising two spaced units of the VELCRO type which are adapted to be releasably joined together by pressing one unit against the other. This structure permits the device to be easily applied to and removed from the ankle, and also facilitates its adjustment to different foot sizes.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a side perspective view illustrating the traction device in use.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the side opposite that shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the device in its unwrapped configuration.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the device taken substantially along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

The traction device of the present invention is indicated generally at 10 and comprises a flexible elongated body member having a medial portion 11, and opposite end portions 12 and 13 disposed at opposite ends of the medial portion 11. As will be apparent from the drawings, the top and bottom side edges of the end portions 12 and 13 curve outwardly and upwardly at slightly diverging angles from the corresponding side edges of the medial portion ll. Thus the end portions 12 and I3 become gradually wider as the distance from the medial portion increases. Also, the side edges of the end portion 13 will be seen to gradually converge adjacent the terminal end to form a narrowing terminal end portion 13'.

When the device is wrapped about the foot and ankle as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a somewhat oblique frustoconical configuration results which is adapted to closely conform to the anatomy of the foot and ankle. In particular, the end portions 12 and 13 are positioned in overlapped relationship around the front and sides of the ankle and instep, and the medial portion 11 is positioned around the back and sides of the ankle and heel.

The entire body member is preferably fabricated from a single length of material consisting of a suitable nonresilient hydrophilic fabric backing 14 with a relatively thick layer of porous cushioning foam 15, or other similar spongelike material, bonded to one surface thereof. The foam not only contributes to the comfort of the patient, but it also serves to increase the area of frictional contact forthe purposes herein set forth. Also, the foam is air permeable and hydrophobic so that air may pass therethrough to the skin and any moisture forming on the skin will be wicked therethrough to the fabric 14 where it will be absorbed. Thus the skin will be maintained substantially dry.

The conforming configuration of the traction device itself, as well as the conforming nature of the cushioning material 15, will be seen to insure a relatively large area of frictional contact between the device and the foot and ankle. This factor is important since it is well known that there is an upper limit of approximately 19 pounds per square inch for a shear force applied to the skin before injury results. Thus in the device of the present invention, the shear forces resulting from the applied tractive force will be distributed over a sufficiently large area of the skin such that the upper limit will not be reached.

A strap 16 is attached, preferablyby stitching, to one side of the body member adjacent opposite ends of the medial portion 11. The straphas a ring 17 thereon which facilitates attachment to a conventional traction applying apparatus (not shown). As will be apparent from the drawings, the two ends of the strap 16 are positioned on opposite sides of the patients heel when the body member is properly wrapped about the ankle and foot. Thus the applied tractive force will be in substantial alignment with the axis of the patients leg.

The body member further includes a pair of fastening members or units 18 and 18' which are afiixed, preferably by stitching, on opposite surfaces of the body member. Fastening units of the type illustrated are known commercially as VEL- CRO fasteners and are further described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,009,235 issued Nov. 21, 1961. Suffice it to say for present purposes that the two units are adapted to form a secure connection when they are placed in face-to-face relationship and pressed together and to be released by peeling the two units apart. Also, since the two units have a substantial longitudinal length along corresponding axes when the body member is placed in overlapping relationship, the device may be easily adjusted to various foot sizes. As shown in H6. 3, the unit 18 is positioned on the terminal end portion 13' of the end portion l3 of the device while the unit 18' extends between the end portion 12 and the medial portion 11. Obviously, the fastening units could be placed at other suitable positions on the device.

Referring to FIGS. l and 2, it will be appreciated that the body member 10 may be wrapped about the foot and ankle of a patient with the two overlapping end portions 12 and 13 overlying the front and sides of the ankle and instep, and the medial portion 11 overlying the back and sides of the ankle and heel. The device is easily and securely retained in place by pressing the VELCRO fastening units 18 and 18 together. By reason of the unique structural configuration of the device, it is able to tightly surround and closely conform to the anatomy of the foot and ankle without exerting undue compressive forces. Also, a tractive force applied to the straps will be distributed over the relatively large area of surface contact and thus the opportunity for injury resulting from shear forces will be minimized.

In the drawings and specification there have been set forth preferred embodiments of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims:

lclaim:

l. A traction device for applying a tractive force to a wearers leg comprising an elongated flexible body member adapted to be wrapped about and to surround and closely conform to the ankle and heel and instep portions of a wearers foot, said body member including a medial portion adapted to extend around the back and sides of the ankle and heel and p posite end portions disposed at opposite ends of said medial portion and adapted be placed in overlapped relationship around the front and sides of the ankle and instep, said end portions being wider than said medial portion and each having its side edges curving outwardly and upwardly from the corresponding side edges of said medial portion so that said body member assumes an oblique frustoconical configuration when wrapped about a wearer's ankle and foot, said body member comprising a plurality of layers including a hydrophobic layer defining the inner surface thereof when said body member is wrapped about the wearers ankle and foot and a hydrophilic layer defining the outer surface of said body member when said body member is wrapped about the wearers ankle and foot,

releasable fastener means carried by said body member for retaining said body member in said oblique frustoconical configuration, and

connecting means connected to said body member adjacent opposite ends of said medial portion so as to be positioned on opposite sides of the heel when the body member is wrapped around the wearers ankle and foot and adapted to be connected to a tractive force applying means.

2. The traction device as defined in claim I wherein said fastener means comprises first and second spaced fastener members, one of which is carried by said body member ad jacent one end thereof and the other of which is carried by said body member in spaced relation to the opposite end of said body member to thereby accommodate overlapping of said end portionsv 3. The traction device as defined in claim 2 wherein said fastener members are of the VELCRO type which are adapted to be releasably joined together by pressing one member against the other. I v

4. The traction device as defined in claim 1 wherein said plurality of layers are laminated together, said hydrophobic layer comprises a resilient foam cushioning material, and said hydrophilic layer comprises a fabric material.

5. A traction device for applying a tractive force to a wearers leg comprising,

an elongated flexible body member adapted to be wrapped about and to surround and closely conform to the ankle and heel and instep portion of a wearers foot, said body member including a medial portion adapted to extend around the back and sides of the ankle and heel and opposite end portions disposed at opposite ends of said medial portion and adapted to be placed in overlapped relationship around the front and sides of the ankle and instep, the top and bottom side edges of said end portions curving outwardly and upwardly at slightly diverging angles from the corresponding top and bottom side edges of said medial portion whereby said end portions become gradually wider as the distance from said medial portion increases such that said body member assumes an oblique frustoconical configuration when wrapped about a wearers ankle and foot, the top and bottom side edges of one of said end portions gradually converging toward each other at the terminal end thereof to produce a narrowing terminal end portion, said body member compris ing a plurality of layers including a layer of hydrophobic material defining the inner surface thereof when said body member is wrapped about the wearer's ankle and foot for wicking moisture away from the wearer's skin and a layer of hydrophilic material defining the outer surface thereof for absorbing moisture wicked away from the skin by said hydrophobic layer in spaced relation to the skin, releasable VELCRO fastener units carried by said body member for retaining said body member in said oblique frustoconical configuration, one of said VELCRO units being positioned on said terminal end portion and the other of said VELCRO units extending between the opposite end portion and said medial portion, and connecting means connected to said body member adjacent opposite sides of said medial portion so as to be positioned on opposite sides of the heel when the body member is wrapped about the wearer's ankle and foot, said connecting means being adapted to be connected to a tractive force applying means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US937354 *Nov 11, 1907Oct 19, 1909William AmosApparatus for setting the fractured bones of the leg.
US2592739 *Nov 14, 1949Apr 15, 1952Richardson James AAnklet
US2969790 *Feb 12, 1960Jan 31, 1961Phyllis ReddigSurgical traction boot
US3156242 *Mar 29, 1962Nov 10, 1964Johnson & JohnsonFlexible absorbent sheet
US3383708 *Jan 21, 1965May 21, 1968Donna M. PappasAnkle guard
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4146021 *Aug 24, 1977Mar 27, 1979Brosseau Janet VOrthopedic traction harness
US4205667 *Apr 4, 1978Jun 3, 1980Medical Specialties, Inc.Cervical collar
US4565370 *Oct 12, 1982Jan 21, 1986Tony ChristiansonFoot holding device for hanging upside-down
US7052479Aug 20, 2004May 30, 2006Denis Burke DrennanTraction device
Classifications
U.S. Classification602/36, 128/DIG.150
International ClassificationA61H1/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H2201/1642, A61H1/0218, Y10S128/15
European ClassificationA61H1/02D