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Publication numberUS3680551 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1972
Filing dateNov 27, 1970
Priority dateNov 27, 1970
Publication numberUS 3680551 A, US 3680551A, US-A-3680551, US3680551 A, US3680551A
InventorsBell Oran M, Walker Joseph J
Original AssigneeBell Oran M, Walker Joseph J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ankle hitch
US 3680551 A
Abstract
An ankle hitch for use by ambulance operators, doctors and others whenever it is required to place a leg under traction, the hitch providing for quick and easy attachment of the tensioning means to the ankle and foot of the injured leg. The hitch also avoids twisting or pulling the forward part of the foot into an unnatural position.
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United States Patent Bell et al.

[151 3,680,551 [4 1 Aug. 1,1972

[54] ANKLE HITCH [72] Inventors: Oran M. Bell, 5623 Dorothy Way, San Diego, Calif. 92115; Joseph J. Walker, 2517 Montgomery St., Cardifi, Calif. 92007 22] Filed: Nov.27, 1970 211 Appl. No.: 93,031

52 U.S.Cl. .;.l28/84R,128/l66 51 Int. Cl. ..A61f5/04 [58] FieldofSearch ..l28/84, 85, 75,l66,l66.5

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,319,609 5/1943 La Crosse ..128/84R 3,407,811 10/1968 Stubbs ..l28/166 3,073,305 1/1963 Biggs, Jr. et a1 128/1 66 1,773,127 9/1930 Auster 128/1665 Pn'mary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-.1. Yasko Att0rneyl(nox & Knox [57] ABSTRACT An ankle hitch for use by ambulance operators, doctors and others whenever it is required to place a leg under traction, the hitch providing for quick and easy attachment of the tensioning means to the ankle and foot of the injured leg. The hitch also avoids twisting or pulling the forward part of the foot into an unnatural position.

2 Clains, 4 Drawing Figures ANKLE HITCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Emergency splinting of broken legs, as well as traction splinting in hospital treatment, is recognized as helpful in preventing further injury to surrounding tissue, nerves and bloodvessels by the rough ends of the fractured bones when the patient moves or is moved, the tensioning of the injured leg being an important feature in this regard. Splinting, especially traction splinting, also alleviates pain and reduces shock and ordinarily improves blood circulation. In nearly all such leg fracture cases splinting makes patient handling much more efficient. However, such splinting, in cases where multiple injuries have been sustained must be very quickly achieved so there is a need for an ankle hitch capable of attachment in seconds and almost foolproof against twisting or bending the leg in such a manner as to cause pain.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The claimed ankle hitch fills the aforesaid need with its provision for a proper straight-line pull localized at the heel and avoiding prior art, pain-producing, bending of the foot and/or ankle, and the hitch is extremely easy and quick to apply efficiently. This is accomplished by provision of a hitch in H-configuration with a heel web as the cross bar of the H carrying the tension cable attachment element near the rear extremity of the patients heel. Quick fastening means such as Velcro makes an ankle-encircling band and an instepencircling band, the remaining portions of the H, very easy to apply by simple wrap-around manipulation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the ankle hitch;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 2- 2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 3- 3 ofFlG. l; and

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the hitch applied to an ankle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT An economical yet completely efficient embodiment of our invention, as illustrated, comprises a fabric structure which, when laid flat prior to use, is H- shaped. The cross member or heel web is a strap of sturdy, stretch-resistant, flexible material of a length corresponding to the size of the foot whereon it is to be placed and in all cases of a length equal to the distance from the ankle, around the heel and forward on the foot to the arch. Otherwise stated, the heel web must have a length sufficient to span the foot from a point just above the heel area to a point below the foot and just forward of the heel area.

The heel web 10 may be of single layer construction but at least the central portion thereof has a second layer 12 stitched or otherwise secured thereto to hold a cross bar 14 disposed transversely of the central portion of the web 10. The second layer 12 is cut away at 16 to accommodate a loop 18 for quick connection to tension applying apparatus which may be a cable or the like in a traction splint or similar equipment, diagrammatically indicated at 20 in FIG. 4.

At one end of the web 10 there is stretched or otherwise secured an ankle band 22 which extends transversely of the web 10 and is dimensioned to wrap around an ankle and overlap as necessary for fastening. A preferred construction is that indicated diagrammatically at 24 and 26 and merchandised under the name Velcro, the multiple hook structure 24 complementing the multiple loop structure 26 for quick positive interlocking action when the ends of the ankle band are overlapped as indicated at 28.

At the other end of the web 10 an instep band 30 is stitched or similarly secured. This instep band is also transverse to the web 10 and is dimensioned to wrap around the instep and overlap in the same manner as at 32 and with the same provision for fastening as the ankle band.

The operation of this invention will be clear from a consideration of the foregoing description and the relationship to the foot will be obvious from an inspection of FIG. 4 which indicates the hitch applied to a foot. The web 10 extends from the ankle 34 down around the rear of the heel 36 and forward on the underside of the foot to the beginning of the arch 38. The band 22 encircles the arch-instep portion 38 of the foot. Such structure and arrangement assures a non-twisting, straight-line pull on the leg from a point adjacent to the rear of the heel 36 which minimizes pain and simplifies the entire splinting procedure, even obviating the necessity for heel stands in the splint apparatus because the foot is retained above the general plane of the splint and the splinted limb may be layed flat on a stretcher or other generally flat surface.

It is understood that minor variation from the form of the invention disclosed herein may be made without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that the specification and drawings are to be considered as merely illustrative rather than limiting.

We claim: 1. An ankle hitch for use in applying traction to a fractured leg, said hitch comprising:

a strap-shaped heel web dimensioned to extend from the rear of the ankle, around the heel to the arch of a human foot;

an ankle band disposed transversely of said web and having an intermediate portion thereof secured to one end of said web and being dimensioned to extend around the ankle;

an instep band disposed transversely of said web and having an intermediate portion thereof secured to the other end of said web and being dimensioned to extend around the instep;

said heel web and bands defining a substantially H- form when the ankle bitch is layed flat prior to use, and said web being flexible to bend into a position around the heel;

complementary fastening means on said bands for releasably securing the same in place on the ankle and instep, respectively;

said heel web having attaching means for attachment of the hitch to tensioning apparatus.

2. An ankle hitch according to claim 1 wherein said attachment means is a cross bar extending transversely across and secured to said heel web, said bar having a centrally disposed loop to facilitate the attachment of tensioning apparatus.

* II! l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1773127 *Mar 28, 1929Aug 19, 1930Louis AusterBathing sandal
US2319609 *Jul 28, 1941May 18, 1943La Crosse Arthur HTraction splint
US3073305 *Mar 6, 1958Jan 15, 1963Surgical Appliance IndAnkle brace
US3407811 *Apr 22, 1966Oct 29, 1968Frank F. StubbsAnkle support
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3978853 *Jun 4, 1975Sep 7, 1976Morrison Medical Products CompanyAnkle hitch
US5020525 *Sep 19, 1989Jun 4, 1991Zimmer, Inc.Arthroscopy
US5048446 *May 26, 1989Sep 17, 1991Powell James SHarness for securing a fender to a boat
US7052479Aug 20, 2004May 30, 2006Denis Burke DrennanTraction device
US7341567 *Sep 10, 2003Mar 11, 2008D Amico Anthony TTraction device for physical therapy
Classifications
U.S. Classification602/36
International ClassificationA61F5/37, A61F5/058, A61F5/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/3761, A61F5/04, A61F5/0585
European ClassificationA61F5/37E, A61F5/058H2, A61F5/04