US 3734088 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Tucker, Jr. et al.
 TRACTION SYSTEM HAVING INTERFITTING TONGUE AND NOTCH TRACTION PANELS  Inventors: Atlee Dee Tucker, Jr., 1339 East Coolidge; Milton C. David, 1405 Ardmore Ave., both of Modesto, Calif. 95350  Filed: Mar. 15, 1971  Appl.No.: 124,269
 U.S. Cl ..l28/75, 128/71  Int. Cl. ..A6lh 1/02  Field of Search ..128/75, 74, 71, 70,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,936,363 11/1933 Murray 128/74 3,118,442 1/1964 Montgomery 128/71 1,658,737 2/1928 Ortmeier ..5/79 1,714,111 5/1929 Staut'enbiel... 5/77 X 3,216,026 11/1965 Mann ..5/66
[ 51 May 22, 1973 2,774,349 12/1956 Judovich ..l28/71 2,786,512 3/1957 M0yer........ ..l28/75 X 2,865,367 12/1958 Sorens0n.... ..l28/71 2,553,969 5/1951 Hien et al. ..128/75 1,453,970 5/1923 Bumgardner... ..5/77 3,503,082 3/1970 Kerwlt ..5/66 X Primary ExaminerWilliam E. Kamm Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko AttorneyClarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson  ABSTRACT An elongated base mounting an aligned elevator and traction panel. The elevator is hinged to the base and operating components are mounted on the base for selectively vertically pivoting the elevator. The traction panel is mounted for longitudinal movement on the base and the base incorporates operating com ponents for effecting the longitudinal movement of the traction panel. The elevator and traction panel mount patient engaging harnesses in a manner whereby longitudinal movement of the traction panel applies traction to the patient.
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Arlee Dee file/ten Jr. R Milton a. David INVENTORS WWW TRACTION SYSTEM HAVING INTERFITTING TONGUE AND NOTCII TRACTION PANELS The present invention is generally concerned with traction therapy wherein traction is applied to the spine, as an example, for the treatment of low back pain arising from lumbar disc disease. More particularly, the invention herein is directed to a unique traction apparatus capable of effectively applying the de sired traction while maintaining the basic comfort of the patient.
Traction systems commonly utilized have, for the most part, been relatively ineffective, functioning primarily to provide a patient bed rest, rather than actually applying the desired traction. In addition, the
. known devices have generally been large cumbersome units permanently installed on hospital beds and being both difficult to adjust for the attendant and uncomfortable for the patient.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the instant invention to provide traction apparatus which is capable of effectively applying the desired traction in a simple although highly unique manner. In addition, it is a significant object of the instant invention to provide traction apparatus which is essentially portable in nature and can be utilized as desired on any flat surface, whether this be a hospital bed, a home bed, or even a pair of spaced supports such as sawhorses.
In conjunction with the above objects, it is also a significant object of the instant invention to provide traction apparatus wherein the patient is comfortably positioned and held with the upper portion of the patients body being selectively elevatable, without detracting from the traction function, to further enhance the comfort of the patient.
Basically, the objects of the instant invention are achieved through the provision of a foundation or base panel which incorporates the operating components of the apparatus. Overlying the base, and controlled by the operating components, are an aligned elevator and traction panel, the elevator being hingedly mounted for vertical pivotal adjustment, while the traction panel is roller mounted and controlled for longitudinal traction applying movement. A tongue and notch interengagement is provided between the adjoining edges of the elevator and traction panel whereby support is maintained throughout the range of longitudinal adjustment of the traction panel.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described arid claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the traction apparatus of the instant invention with a patient positioned thereon;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the base or foundation unit;
FIG; 3 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional detail through the elevator portion of the apparatus;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 44 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional detail taken substantially on aplane passing along line 5-5 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a sectional detail illustrating the rolling sup port of the traction panel on the base;
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view' of the elevator and traction panel; and
FIG. 8 is a longitudinal cross-sectional detail through the foot of the traction panel and the adjusting apparatus associated therewith.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral 10 is used to generally designate the apparatus comprising the instant invention. This apparatus includes a base or foundation unit 12, an elevator or elevator panel 14, and a traction panel 16. The base 12 comprises an elongated rigid panel 18 which mounts the various support and operating components of the apparatus. Extending longitudinally just inward of the opposed edges of the base panel 1 8 are a pair of angle iron rails 20 having the horizontal flanges 22 thereof inwardly directed and secured to the base panel 18, with the upwardly projecting vertical flanges 24 mounting, in each instance, a series of freely rotating rollers 26 extending along approximately two-thirds of the length of the base 12 from the foot or bottom end 28 thereof. A central relatively shorter roller supporting angle rail 30 is provided parallel to the side rails 20 with the rollers on the three rails constituting a support for the longitudinal movement of the traction panel 16 on the base unit 12. With reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, it will be appreciated that the traction panel 16 incorpo rates three downwardly directed rails 32 which seat over the rollers on the base rails 20 and 30 for a guided longitudinal movement of the traction panel 16. The downwardly directed side rails 32 provided on the traction panel 16 are specifically orientated so as to have the depending vertical flanges thereof positioned just inward of the corresponding side rail rollers 26, thus cooperating therewith in precluding lateral displacement of the traction panel 16.
Longitudinal movement of the traction panel 16 is effected by an operating mechanism including an elongated shaft 34 longitudinally aligned with the central rail 30 on the base and located toward the foot end 28 of the base panel 18. This shaft is rotatably mounted by means of a pair of spaced brackets 36 and projects therebeyond both toward the foot end 28 at which point a beveled gear 38 is mounted, and toward the aligned rail 30 for engagement with a depending bracket 40 fixed to the undersurface of the overlying traction panel 16. The shaft 34 is threaded along the length thereof from the inwardly projected end directed toward the rail 30 to a point outward of the adjoining or innermost bracket 36. A stop nut 42 is fixed to the shaft 34 between the brackets 36 so as to engage against the inner bracket. The threaded end portion of the shaft 34 projects through an aperture in the depending bracket 40 on the overlying traction panel 16 and is threadedly received through a nut 44 welded or otherwise fixed to the depending bracket 40. Thus, as the shaft 34 is rotated, the nut 44, bracket 40 and traction panel 16 will move longitudinally relative to the shaft mounting base. In order to provide for a more exact control over the longitudinal adjustment of the traction panel, and in fact assisting the adjustment thereof, an elongated coiled compression spring 46 is provided between the inner bracket 36 and the depending traction panel bracket 40, appropriate thrust bearings 48 surrounding the shaft 34 and seating the opposed ends of the spring 46. The rotational adjustment of the shaft 34 to effect thelongitudinal movement of the traction panel 16 is effected by an elongated drive shaft 50 projecting laterally from the gear end of the shaft 34 beyond one longitudinal edge of the base panel 18. This shaft 50 mounts a bevel gear 52 on the inner end thereof in driving engagement with the bevel gear 38 on the shaft 34. The outer end of the shaft 50, which incidentally is bracket mounted to the base panel 18, receives an adjustable crank handle 54 which is both easy to manipulate and conveniently accessible. The handle 54 is selectively extensible as required so as to clear obstructions or be more convenient to operate, depending upon the particular location of the apparatus 10. This adjustment is effected by forming the shaft engaging end of the handle 54 in the manner of an elongated sleeve which telescopes over the end of the shaft 50 and is slidably engaged therewith by means of a transversely projecting pin on the shaft 50 which is received through an elongated slot on the sleeved handle end. This structure will be readily apparent from the showing thereof in FIG. 2.
The elevator 14 overlies approximately the upper third of the foundation or base unit 12. The mounting of the elevator 14 is effected by means of a transverse angle beam or member 56 fixed to the base panel 18 at a point approximately one-third the length of the base panel 18 from the top or head end 58 thereof. This beam or member 56 mounts, on the vertical flange thereof, a plurality of hinges 60, each of which has one leaf thereof affixed to the undersurface of the elevator 14 as will be best appreciated from FIG. 3. In this manner, the elevator 14 can pivot vertically about approximately the inner end thereof which lies adjacent the inner end of the longitudinally adjustable traction panel 16. In order to support the elevator 14 in the lowered position thereof, two elongated side blocks 62 and one elongated central block 64 are provided on the base panel 18.
The selective pivotal raising and lowering of the elevator 14, which action is incidentally primarily to insure a substantial degree of comfort to the patient, is effected by an operating mechanism mounted on the base panel 18 in underlying relation to the elevator 14. This mechanism includes an elongated shaft 66 positioned transversely across the base panel 18 toward the head or top end 58 thereof. The shaft 66 is rotatably mounted within a pair of upstanding brackets 68. Just outward of each of the brackets 68, the shaft 66 has a laterally extending arm 70 rigidly secured thereto for rotation therewith, each arm in turn rotatably mounting a roller 72. Each of the rollers 72 rollingly engages against a flat rail 74 affixed to the undersurface of the elevator 14. Thus, as the shaft 66 is rotated so as to swing the arms 70 upward, the rollers 72 will ride on the rails 74 and pivotally swing the elevator 14 upward about the hinge mounted inner end thereof.
Rotation of the shaft 66 is effected by means of a longitudinally extending threaded shaft 76 engaged with the central portion of the transverse shaft 66 by means of a gimbal type unit 78 mounted on the shaft 66 between a pair of shaft stabilizing inner brackets 80. The shaft 76 includes an appropriate universal joint 82 therein and is rotatably supported by a bracket 84 just outward of the universal joint. A spacer 86 is positioned on the shaft 76 outward of the bracket 84 with the extreme end of the shaft 76 mounting a bevel gear 88. The driving of the shaft 76 is effected through a crank handle actuated shaft 90 bracket mounted transversely of the shaft 76 and extending therefrom to the corresponding longitudinal edge of the base panel 18 to which the traction panel actuating shaft 50 extends. The shaft 90 has a bevel gear 92 affixed to the inner end thereof and in meshing engagement with the gear 88 on the shaft 76. The crank handle 94 used to effect a rotational driving of the shaft 90 and hence a varying of the vertical elevation of the elevator 14 is adjustably mounted and constructed in the same manner as the crank handle 54. It will be appreciated that the universal joint 82 in the shaft 76, in conjunction with the gimbal-like unit 78 which engages the shaft 76 with the transverse or cross shaft 66 enables an effective translation of the rotary driving of the shaft 76 to a rotational movement of the shaft 66 for effecting the desired the inner edges of the elevator 14 and traction panel.
16, any outward or traction inducing movement of the traction panel 16 would result in a complete separation of the inner edges and a removal of any support for the overlying portion of the patients body.
With reference to FIGS. 1 and 3, it is contemplated that the elevator 14 and traction panel 16 be provided with correspondingly configured overlying mattresses 96 and 98 respectively. The inner edges of the mattresses 96 and 98 are to include, similar to the elevator 14 and traction panel 16, a notched slidably interfitted configuration, the mattress inner edges selectively compressing as required to accommodate the upward pivoting of the elevator 14. i
The patient is prepared for traction utilizing appropriate upper and lower harnesses 100 and 102 respectively. The lower harness 102 is primarily a hip harness, while the upper harness can be a neck harness or a chest harness. Each harness is secured, by an elongated adjustable strap 104, to a harness post 106. One such post 106 is affixed to the head end of the elevator 14 and projects upwardly therefrom to a point above the corresponding mattress 96, while the other harness post 106 is affixed to the foot end of the traction panel 16 and likewise rises to a point above the corresponding mattress 98. In each case, the harness posts 106 are centrally located and of course of highly rigid construction. If so desired, as generally illustrated in FIG. 2, secondary harness strap securing post portions 108 can be provided should the use of multiple upper or lower harnesses be desired or required. In use, the traction apparatus is positioned on any appropriate horizontal surface whether this be a bed, an elevated platform, a pair of sawhorses or the like, and the patient positioned generally in the manner illustrated in FIG. I with the harnesses appropriately secured. The elevator 14 is then adjusted so as to most comfortably position the head and upper portion of the patients body, and the traction panel 16 longitudinally adjusted so as to apply the required traction to the patients body. It will be appreciated that the flat base panel 18, and the fact that this base panel 18 mounts the operating components and the overlying elevator and traction panel make the apparatus highly portable in nature and capable of use under substantially any conditions, whether in a hospital, in the home, or in fact while traveling as may be required by special circumstances.
In conclusion, while not deemed essential, an auxiliary traction inducing weight 110 can also be utilized. This weight will be engaged with an appropriate body encircling harness, or affixed to auxiliary post 108, through a flexible cable 112 which extends over a pulley 114 mounted on the upper end of a harness post 116 affixed to the foot end of the base panel 19. Thus, regardless of the adjustment of the traction panel 16, a predetermined constant traction will be applied to the patient.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. Traction apparatus comprising an elongated planar base panel, said base panel having a foot end and a head end, a one-piece traction panel overlying said base panel in closely spaced generally parallel relation thereto for a major portion of the length thereof from the foot end, a one-piece elevator panel overlying the base panel in closely spaced generally parallel relation thereto from the head end to approximately the traction panel, traction means mounted on the base panel and engaged between the base panel and the traction panel for effecting a longitudinal movement of the traction panel relative to the elevator panel, and elevating means mounted on the base panel and engaged between said base panel and said elevator panel for effecting a vertical adjustment of said elevator panel, said elevator panel being pivotally mounted to said base panel approximately at the edge thereof adjoining said traction panel and being vertically pivotable about the point of pivotal mounting, the adjoining edges of the elevator panel and traction panel comprising a series of internesting tongues and notches transversely across these panels on the respective edge portions whereby an area of continuous overlap is provided between the traction panel and elevator panel throughout the range of longitudinal adjustment of the traction panel for a continued support of a patient.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said traction means comprises an elongated shaft, said shaft being bracket mounted longitudinally on said base panel, said shaft being rotatable within the bracket mounts and orientated above said base panel and below said traction panel, said shaft including a threaded portion, bracket means depending from said traction panel, said shaft being threaded within said bracket means whereby rotation of said shaft causes a longitudinal movement of the bracket means and traction panel secured thereto, and means for rotating said shaft, said means for rotating the shaft comprising a second shaft extending laterally from said first shaft, said second shaft being rotatably mounted on said base panel, bevel gears on adjoining portions of the first and second mentioned shafts whereby a rotation of the second shaft will effect a corresponding rotation of the traction panel moving shaft and a handle on the remote end of the second shaft laterally of one side of the traction panel for effecting a rotation of the second shaft.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 including a one-piece mattress overlying and configured to conform to said traction panel, and a second one-piece mattress overlying and configured to conform to said elevator panel, said mattresses having adjoining edges incorporating internesting tongues and notches therealong.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 including a one-piece mattress overlying and configured to conform to said traction panel, and a second one-piece mattress overlying and configured to conform to said elevator panel, said mattresses having adjoining edges incorporating internesting tongues and notches therealong.
5. Traction apparatus comprising an elongated base, said base having a foot end and a head end, a traction panel overlying said base for a major portion of the length from the foot end, an elevator overlying the base from the head end to approximately the traction panel, said elevator being pivotally secured to said base panel approximately at the edge thereof adjoining said traction panel, traction means engaged between the base and the traction panel for effecting a longitudinal movement of the traction panel relative to the elevator, and elevating means engaged between said base and said elevator for effecting a vertical pivoting of said elevator, the adjoining edges of said elevator and traction panel comprising a series of internesting tongues and notches longitudinally therealong on the respective edge portions whereby an area of continuous overlap is provided between the traction panel and the elevator throughout the range of adjustment of the traction panel relative to the elevator for a continued support ofapatient.