US 3683897 A
Apparatus including a member for attachment to a part of the body which member is capable of activating the part of the body cyclically. The member may comprise one or more double flexible sleeves alternatively or additionally it may comprise a mechanical linkage connected to a part of the body which includes linkage deforming means to cyclically deform the linkage and move the part of the body.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1151 3,683,897 51 Aug. 15, 1972 United States Patent Shield et al.
 APPARATUS FOR MOVING 0R Swanson .................l28/25 R ACTIVATING PARTS OF THE BODY 3,020,908. Daniels et a1. ...............l28/26 00 66 WW SUB N mm m mm T mm A mm m mm W L mm m P mm T y" m w d e mm m mGS m um m Mww a NHM m m m u x 63 E mm w m .m o n m ma n n mm a J .m mm M mm .m :d L M m mm m S d m flJw r il umm o WEE Ed. 0 e w m m m H N W. U
Attorney-Cushman, Darby & Cushman Appl. No.: 67,758
7] 7 ABSTRACT Apparatus including a member for attachment to a v part of the body which member is capable of activat- 64 44 24 ing the part of the body cyclically. The member may comprise one or more double flexible sleeves alterna- References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS  Int.  FieldoiSearch.................
tively or additionally it may comprise a mechanical linkage connected to a part of the body -which includes linkage deforming means to cyclically deform V the linkageand move the part of the body.
2,694,395 Brown ...........128/64 2,531,074 Miller....................128/640X 7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUE 15 I912 sum 2 BF 2 APPARATUS FOR MOVING OR ACTIVATING PARTS OF THE BODY This invention relates to apparatus for moving or activating parts of the human body.
It is well known in the medical profession that problems arise when people are immobilized in a bed. For example, it is known that the liability increases of a thrombosis occurring if a patient is immobilized in bed, particularly if there is no movement at all of the leg, especially the calf muscles. Another problem that arises is the wastage of muscles when a person is immobilized. Various techniques have been developed over the years for dealing with these problems, principally by the use of drugs to reduce the liability to thrombosis v flating and deflating said cell or cells whereby said linkand by trying to get the patient to use his limbs or at member to activate or move the part of the body cycli cally.
The apparatus may comprise a flexible member I adapted to fit on or around part of the body, said flexible member comprising one or more cells, and means for cyclically inflating and deflating said cells whereby a pressure is periodically applied to said part of the body.
Said flexible member may comprise a double sleeve, the inner sleeve being adapted to fit on or around a part of the body and the outer sleeve forming an air-tight cell or cells between the two sleeves, the cell or cells being in communication with said means whereby the or each cell may be inflated or deflated cyclically.
There may be provided a plurality of cells connected to said means in parallel so that they are cyclically inflated and deflated together.
Alternatively there may be provided a plurality of cells connected to said means in series so that they are cyclically inflated and deflated in succession.
Preferably said double sleeve is adapted to substantially completely encircle a part of the body.
age is periodically deformed.
The linkage deforming means may include spring means which are extended by, inflation of said cell or cells and which assist the deformation of the linkage during deflation of said cell or cells.
Preferably said means are capable of cyclically inflating and deflating both said flexible member or members and said cells to deform said linkage.
The means may comprise a pump adapted to provide alternately gas under pressure and an exhaust.
Preferably said gas is air.
The means may also comprise pressure control means by which the pressure of the air in a pressure stroke may be controlled.
The following is a more detailed description of a number of embodiments of the present invention, by
way of example, reference being made to the accom- I panying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows an inflatable sock;
FIG. 2 shows a pair of inflatable sleeves for use on a FIG. 3 shows a pair of inflatable sleeves for use on an arm together with a mechanical linkage for flexing the arm;
FIG. 4 shows a number of annular tubes connected together and placed around a leg;
FIG. 5 shows an inflatable sleeve for use on a leg and a movable linkage for flexing a foot; and
FIG. 6 shows an air-pump and means for controlling the air-pump.
Withreference to FIG. 1, a first form of apparatus comprises an inflatable boot- 10 which is formed with an inner flexible skin 11 which is shaped to fit around i g the calf and foot. Around the inner skin 11 is an outer There may be provided a plurality of flexible members each comprising a single cell which cells are adapted to fit on or around part of the body adjacent one another and which cells are connected in series with said means whereby they may be inflated and deflated in succession.
The flexible member may comprise annular tubes.
Preferably the flexible members are formed from a flexible plastics material.
The apparatus may comprise a mechanical linkage adapted to be attached to a part of the body and linkage deforming means which are capable of deforming the linkage to cyclically oscillate the part of the body about a body joint.
The mechanical linkage may be connected between two parts of the body and said linkage deforming means may be capable of deforming the linkage to cyclically oscillate one part of the body relatively to the other.
Preferably the linkage deforming means comprise one or more cells connected to means for cyclically inskin 12, of similar shape to the inner skin 11 but of larger diameter, which is connected to the inner skin around the opening 13 at the top of the boot 10. Thus a hollow cell is formed between the two skins l l, 12.
The skins ll, 12 may be formed from a soft flexible plastics material, and to enable the boot to be fitted on the foot and leg a fastener 1 is provided extending from the foot of in; baa 10to the opening 13. It will be appreciated that many forms of fastening may be used, for example the boot may be fastened in position by lacing or by self adhering elements such as those sold under the trade name Velcro.
Leading into the cell formed between the two skins ll, 12 at the heel of the boot 10 is a flexible tube 15 which is connected to a pump, preferably of the type described below, which is capable of alternately inflating and deflating the boot 10 to apply pressure cyclically to the calf and foot muscles. It has been found that the periodic application and release of pressure on the calf muscles helps to reduce the possibility of thrombo- $18.
It will be appreciated that the cell formed between the two skins ll, 12 may be divided up into a number of smaller cells, extending, for example, longitudinally along the length of the boot.'With the provision of a number of cells, the pump may be arranged to inflate and deflate the cells either simultaneously or successively.
- There is shown in FIG. 2 a pair of flexible inflatable members 16, 17 for fitting over the thigh and calf muscles of the leg respectively. Each member comprises an inner flexible sleeve 18 which is encircled by an outer sleeve 19 of greater diameter which is attached to the inner sleeve 18 at the top and bottom thereof to form an enclosed cell.
The two cells are connected to a pump, for example of the type described below, by means of a pair of tubes 20, 21. The pump is arranged to cyclically inflate and deflate the cells either successively or simultaneously.
In FIG. 3 two embodiments 'of the invention are shown, firstly a pair of members 22, 23, of the kind described above with reference to FIG. 2, which are arranged to encircle the upper arm and forearm respectively.
Connected between the upper arm and forearm is a mechanical linkage 24 comprising a pair of links, one link 25 being slidable into and out of the upper link 26. The two links 25, 26 are pivotally connected to straps 27, 28 respectively by which they may be attached to the wrist and forearm.
Connected to the links 25, 26 are two plates 29 and 30 respectively, the plates moving towards and away from each other as the first link 25 moves out of and into the second link 26. Extending between the plates 29, 30 are a pair of flexible bags 31 which are connected to a pump unit, preferably of the type described below.
The pump is capable of inflating and deflating the bags 31 to move the first link 25 into and out of the second link 26 and thus move the forearm about the elbow relatively to the upper arm. A spring 34 is connected between the two links 25, 26 and assists in the deflation of the bags 31. The two members 22, 23 are also inflated and deflated by the pump, by way of a tube 32 leading from a valve 33. The valve 33 may be arranged either to inflate and deflate the members 22 alternately with the flexing of the forearm or simultaneouslyv with the flexing of the forearm.
With reference to FIG. 4, there is shown an arrangement for use with a foot, calf and thigh comprising a series of annular tubes 35. The annular tubes 35 are of -varying diameter and are joined together in a series such that they fit over the thigh in the manner of a sleeve and over the calf and foot in the manners of a boot.
The annular tubes 35 are linked in series by tubes 36 which allow air to pass from one annular tube 35 to the adjacent annular tube 35.
The lowermost tube 37 is connected to an air feed pipe 38 which leads from a pump, preferably of the kind described below, which inflates and deflates the annular tubes in series. Thus, firstly the annular tubes 35 inflate one after the other starting from the foot and then moving up the calf to the thigh, and then deflate in the same order.
A second form of mechanical linkage for moving a limb about a joint is shown in FIG. 5. A base 39 shaped in the form of a sole of a shoe, has a vertical rod 40 extending from the heel. Attached to the rod 40 is an inflatable member 41 of the kind described with reference to FIG. 2, which is adapted to fit around the calf.
Pivotally connected towards the heel of the base 39 is a flat plate 42 which is provided with a strap 43 by which it may be attached to the foot. Between the plate 42 and the base 39 are a set of flexible bellows 44 which may, for example, be formed of rubber. The bellows 44 are connected via a firstvalve 46 and a pipe 45 to a second valve 47.
A cord 48 is connected to the outer end of the plate 42, passes around a pulley 49 on the end of the base 39 and is attached to one end of a spiral spring 50. The spring 50 is in tension in the position shown in FIG. 5 and the tension produced in the cord assists in the deflation of the bellows 44. The cord 48 operates the first valve 46 to regulate the flow of air into and out of the bellows 44.
The second valve supplies air alternately to the pipe 45 and to a second pipe 51 which leads to the member 41. Air is supplied to the second valve from a pump (not shown) which is preferably of the kind described below and which inflates and deflates the bellows 44 and the member 41 to apply pressure to the calf muscles and pivot the foot about the ankle joint.
With reference to FIG. 6 there is shown apparatus for supplying air to the embodiments described above. The apparatus comprises a pump 52 which is formed with a solid base 53 to which is attached a plate 54 connected to the base through a strip of flexible metal 55, mounted on the base 53 is a flexible diaphragm 56 which covers a chamber 57 from which leads a pair of 4 ports 58, 59.
Connected to the flexible diaphragm 56'is a piston arrangement 60 which is attached to the plate 54 for movement therewith. Mounted at the upper end of the base 53 is an electromagnet 61 which is adjacent a portion of the plate 54.
Within the ports 58 and 59 there are provided one way valves 62, 63 acting in opposite senses.
In operation, an alternating current is supplied to the electromagnet 61 which periodically attracts the end of the plate 54 towards itself thus pushing the piston 60 downwardly into the chamber 57 and forcing air under pressure through the one way valve 62 and the port 68. At the end of a period of attraction the plate 54 springs back and the piston 60 is withdrawn from the chamber 57 thus drawing air into the chamber 57 through the port 59 and one way valve 63.
The outlet to the port 58 is connected by a pipe 64 to a rotary valve arrangement 65. The pressure of the air leaving the outlets 72, 73 is limited by means of a port 69 which is adjacent the end of a pivoted plate 67 which bears against a flexible cell 66 which is supplied with air from the pipe 64 when the air pressure reaches a predetermined value the air leaving the port 69 forces the plate 67 away from the cell 66 to allow air to escape. Movement of the plate towards or away from the flexible cell by means of a knob 68 varies the limiting pressure which is allowed to leave the outlets 72, 73.
The rotary valve 66 comprises a number of connected ports mounted on a rotating spindle which rotates at a pre-set speed to alternately connect the outlet 70 and the outlet 71 to the source of air under pressure. The outlet which is not connected to the source of pressure is allowed to exhaust. The two external outlets 72, 73 may each be connected to a single inflatable member or a number of inflatable members, or may be connected to a mechanical linkage or a number of mechanical linkages or a combination of either.
member adapted to fit on part of the body, said flexible member comprising at least one cell, the apparatus further comprising a mechanical linkage adapted to be attached to a part of the body and linkage deforming means which are capable of deforming the linkage to oscillate said part of the body about a body joint, the linkage deforming means comprising at least one further inflatable cell with said one cell of the flexible member and said further cell of the deforming means being connected to means for cyclically inflating and deflating both said one cell and said further cell.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein there are provided a plurality of flexible members, each comprising a single cell which cells are adapted to fit on or around a part of the body adjacent one another and which are connected together in series each connection providing a restricted passage such that the cells may be inflated and deflated in succession to impart a cyclic force to said part of the body.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said flexible member comprises an annular tube.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said flexible member is formed from a flexible plastics material.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for cyclically inflating and deflating the cells comprise a pump adapted to provide alternately gas under pressure and an exhaust.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said gas is air.
7. Apparatus according to claim 5, wherein said means for cyclically inflating and deflating the cells also comprise pressure control means by which the pressure of the gas in a pressure stroke may be controlled.