|Publication number||US3730198 A|
|Publication date||May 1, 1973|
|Filing date||Mar 1, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 1, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3730198 A, US 3730198A, US-A-3730198, US3730198 A, US3730198A|
|Inventors||Johnston T, Pippin J|
|Original Assignee||Unlimited Devel Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (36), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191s Johnston et 21.
May 1, i973 COLLAPSIBLE CRUTCH  Inventors: Thomas W. Johnston, Winter Park;
m m h m Jack M. Pippin, Sanford, both of Fla.
 Assignee: Unlimited Development, Inc., Orlan- Primary Examiner-Peter M. Caun do, Fla.
Attorney-Duckworth and Hobby  Filed: Mar. 1, 1972  Appl. No.: 230,730
psed position for storage in a container. The frame and the leg can be telescoped from a collapsed position to a desired length and locked in position with a quick connecting lock. The dual c01- lapsing system allows the crutch to be transported and er and then  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS stored in a relatively small storage contain to be quickly expanded for use.
1,035,760 8/1912 Walton....'...............,...............135/51 2,172,047 9/1939 .lacobucci.................... ....l35/50 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Patented Ma '1, 1973 3,730,198
' 3 Sheets-Sheet 1.
Patented May 1, 1973 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 COLLAPSIBLE CRUTCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to crutches and especially to collapsible crutches of a telescoping type for reducing the size of the crutch for storage or transportation. Crutches are used as an aid to walking and customarily comprise a lightweight frame having an upper armpit rest adapted to support the users weight chiefly at that point and a handle at arms length on thearmpit rest. A lower section of the crutch becomes a single vertical shaft terminating as a small area of ground contact which may typically be a rubber tip placed over the single vertical shaft to cover the small area of ground contact. Such conventional crutches because of their overall length are awkward to store when not in use. Accordingly, various proposals have been made for collapsing crutches to a smaller size for storage and transportation, and a great number of a prior patents have been directed towards a folding type crutch which may be easily stored. Various proposals have been made to construct crutches in a telescopic form or for temporary storage. Such proposals have not been commercially acceptable to potential users for one or more of several reasons. In some cases it was plainly evident that the designs offered did not function properly after they had been exposed to hard usage. In
\ other cases, the relative safety of locking mechanisms was achieved only at the expense of objectionable awk wardness or complexity. Typical prior patents directed to collapsible telescoping crutches may be seen in U.S. Pat. No. 2,544,957 for a Telescoping Crutch where a leg member can be adjusted longitudinally of a frame section and then provides means for locking the leg section to the remainder of the frame: US. Pat. No. 3,301,268 provides a telescoping crutch in which the locking system is incorporated in the hand grip of the crutch and also which provides a larger surface for the foot of the crutch. U.S. Pat. No. 2,426,074 provides a collapsible crutch in which the vertically extending leg collapses or extends in between a pair of tubular frames and has a locking member for locking the leg in place. US. Pat. No. 2,264,015 teaches a similar collapsing telescoping of the vertically extending leg along with a special locking system for'lockin g the leg in place. US. Pat. No. 2,172,047 teaches a collapsible or telescoping vertically extending leg which is connected to the hand gripping member which is slidably connected to the pair of tubular frame members and has the locking for the vertical leg in the hand gripping member for locking the handmember at a desired position.
The present invention, on the other hand, is directed towards collapsing the crutch to a greater extent for a more compact storage for transportation and provides a means for collapsing the frame in a telescoping manner and also collapsing the vertically extending leg simultaneously with the vertically extending leg and being adapted to be locked to the bottom of the armpit rest for locking in its collapsed position. Both the frame and the leg can then be telescoped to the desired length and locked with a quick attaching look into the desired length. The present invention provides separate means for adjusting the hand gripping member and utilizes a combination of plastic and aluminum to produce a lightweight but strong crutch.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to crutches and especially to a collapsible crutch having a telescoping tubular frame with a pair of elongated telescoping tubes connected together at one end by an armpit rest, and at the other end by a leg supporting member. A hand gripping member is connected between the telescoping tubular frames and is adjustable for a user of the crutch. A single extending vertical leg member passes through the leg support portion of the frame and may be locked at a desired position and the extended position may be collapsed to pass through the hand gripping member and when the frame is also collapsed, to be locked to the armpit rest for holding the crutch in its collapsed position for storage in a container. Releasing the single quick detach lock of the armpit rest will allow the crutch to be extended to the desired length by extending the releassd leg, and locking it onto the leg support which includes a supporting sleeve with holes therein for catching the leg at different points as desired. Next the telescoping tubular frame members are extended to a predetermined length and locking with quick attaching locks. A sleeve is connected to the bottom of thearmpitrest for locking the leg in its collapsed position toand has holes therein for a spring snap to engage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be apparent from a study of the written description and the drawings in which 1 FIG. 1 is a perspective view'of one preferred embodiment of the crutch in an extended position;
1 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the crutch of FIG. 1 in a collapsedposition;
F IG. 3 is a perspective view of the crutch in accordance with FIGS. 1 and 2 in a collapsed position and placed in a storage container;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of a crutch 10 can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 in an expanded and collapsed position respectively. The crutch has an armpit rest 11 which may be made of a molded plastic of similar material as desired, and is connected to a frame having two tubular members 12 and 13 with second tubular members 14 and 15 adapted to telescope within members 12 and 13 respectively. Tubular members 12 and 13 have holes or apertures 16 therein adapted to receive a spring, latch or catch 17 which is connected to members 14 and 15 so that when the frame is telescoped as shown in FIG. 1, the telescoping members 14 and 15 may be locked in any of the three holds 16 provided by letting a spring biased member 17 slip into the holes 16. In the collapsed position, the members 16 will be held down by the tubular members 12 and 13, allowing the frame to telescope though without having a means for locking it in a collapsed position. The tubular members 12 and 13 have a hand gripping member 18 which is held with wing or butterfly nuts 20 bolting it to the desired position which may be bolted to a special gripping surface 21 on the frame members 12 and 13, if desired. Hand gripping member has an aperture or opening 22 passing therethrough and the armpit 11 has a sleeve 23 connected to the bottom thereof which sleeve has a plurality of openings 24 therein. The end of the frame members 14 and 12 are fixedly attached together by frame or leg holding member 25 which may be made of plastic or similar molding material, as desired, and has an opening 26 therethrough for sliding a leg 27 through the leg support member 25. The leg support member 25 also has a leg supporting sleeve 28 attached thereto and extending between the frame members 14 and 15. Leg support sleeve 28 has a plurality of holes 30 therein for locking the leg 27 to, with a spring biased latching member 31 located in the leg 27 for engaging or fitting into any of the plurality of holes 30 to lock the leg 27 at a predetermined length. Leg 27 also has a rubber cap or tip 32 thereon which engages the surface when the crutch is being used and will normally be of a material such as rubber which gives a good frictional engagement as well as some resilience to the tip. The frame members and leg 27 may all be made of aluminum tubing to reduce the weight of the crutch, and which is commercially available. In the collapsed position, as shown in FIG. 2, the frame members 14 and 15 are released from their locks 17 by pushing the member 17 in and allowing it to slide into the frame tubes 12 and 13, while the leg 27 is released from the leg support sleeve 28 by pushing in the latch member 31. The collapsing of the tubular frames members 14 and 15 allow the sleeve 28 to slide through the opening 22 of the hand gripping member 18 and collapsing of the leg 27 allows it to slide until the rubber cap 32 engages the bottom of the leg supporting frame 25 and also allows the leg 27 end to slide into the sleeve 23 and the locking member 31 to engage one of the plurality of holes 24 in the sleeve 23. This holds the crutch 10 in its collapsed position by locking not only the leg but the telescoping frame members 14 and 15 in a collapsed position. The gripping handle 18 once adjusted for a patient remains in its fixed position.
FIG. 3 illustrates a crutch in its collapsed position as in FIG. 2 but placed in a container which container is adapted to carry a pair of crutches, one on each side, and has a single snap connection 41 for holding each crutch in a side. Container has handles 42 for carrying one or two crutches in their collapsed position. Advantageously, the present crutch collapses to a very small length so that it is carried in a very small container 40 as is illustrated from FIG. 3. Thus, two crutches can be carried in a container that would not normally be recognized as a container for crutches. Then, the crutches can be rapidly extended into their extended position by simply a release of one quick disconnect lock having latch member 31 connected to one of the openings 24 in the sleeve 23, and then reconnecting the quick-connect lock to the sleeve 28. This frees the telescoping members 14 and 15 to slide out until they engage opening 16 of tubes 12 and 13 and the crutch is extended and ready for use. The armpit rest 11 and leg support member 35, along with the sleeves 28 and 23 can be held to each other'and to the frame members in any manner desired, but are illustrated as having pins and may also be molded together or glued and locked in any manner desired.
Turning now to FIGS. 4 and 5, sectional view can be seen having a latch member 16 spring biased by spring member 43 and in a collapsed position as it passes through an opening 44 in the frame member 14 which has been extended into the frame member 12. Frame member 12 blocks the latching member 16 allowing the leg 14 to slide within the leg 12. The tip 32 along with the bottom frame member 25 and the hand gripping member 18 having the wing nut 20 can also be seen in this view along with the armpit rest or support 11. In FIG. 5, the leg 27 can be seen collapsed within the locking sleeve 23 which is connected to the armpit rest 11 with a pin 45 and in which locking member 31 can be seen to be spring biased by spring 46 and passing through an opening 47 in the leg 27 and also through one of the openings 24 of the sleeve 23 for locking the leg 27 in a collapsed position. This view similarly shows the tip 32, leg support 25 and leg support sleeve 28 along with the handgrip member 18 and wing nut 20.
It should be clear at this point that a collapsible crutch has been provided which collapses into ,an unusually short length in a very rapid manner and may be locked in a collapsed position and rapidly extended and locked into an extended position adjusted to any length desired and which may be easily stored and transported. However, this invention is not to be construed as limited to the particular forms disclosed herein, since these are to be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive.
1. A collapsible crutch apparatus comprising in combination:
a. telescoping frame having a pair of elongated telescoping tubes connected together at one end by an armpit rest member and at the other end thereof by a leg supporting member;
b. a handgripping member connected between said elongated telescoping tubes between the ends thereof and having an opening therein;
c. a leg member passing through said leg supporting member and being supported by said leg supporting member;
. leg locking means for locking said leg to said leg supporting means in said crutch apparatus expanded position and for locking said crutch apparatus to said armpit rest in its collapsed position; and
e. frame locking means for locking said pair of elongated telescoping tubes in their expanded position and for releasing said elongated telescoping tubes for collapsing said crutch apparatus.
2. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said leg supporting member includes a sleeve attached thereto for attaching said leg member to for supporting said leg when said leg passes therethrough.
3. The apparatus in accordance with claim 2 in which said armpit rest has a sleeve attached thereto for receiving said leg member for locking said leg in its collapsed position.
4. The apparatus in accordance with claim 3, in which said armpit rest has an opening for said leg member to pass therethrough for locking said leg member in said armpit rest sleeve when said crutch is in its collapsed position.
5. The apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said handgripping member is locked to said elongated telescoping tubes by tightening said handgripping member into frictional contact with a'frictional engaging surface on said elongated telescoping tubes.
6. The apparatus in accordance with claim 5 in which said leg locking means includes apertures in said leg support sleeve for engaging a spring biased latch member located at said leg member for holding said leg member at any one of saidplurality of apertures.
7. The apparatus in accordance with claim 6 in which
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|U.S. Classification||135/69, 135/73, 135/72|
|International Classification||A61H3/00, A61H3/02|