US 3786805 A
Elongated, inflatable cushions are detachably secured along the length of a U-shaped frame adapted to support the limb of a vertebrae. A stretching device is provided for encircling the ankle of the user to apply tension to the supported limb.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
tlnited States atent n 1 Tourin 51 Jan. 22, 1974 SPLINT HAVING INFLATABLE DETACHABLE CUSHIONS Inventor: AndreMarcelTourin, Paris, France  Assignee: Institute Europeen de Recherces et dApplications Medicales I.E.R.A.M., Paris, France  Filed: Oct. 5, 1971  Appl.'No.: 186,664
 Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 6, 1970 France 70.36047  U.S. Cl. 128/87 R, 128/DIG. 20
 Int. Cl. A611 5/04  Field of Search..... 128/87, 85, 84, 86, DIG. 2O
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 653,179 7/1900 Hughes 128/85 1,196,887 9/1916 Saemann 128/85 2,387,192 10/1945 Straits r 128/84 R 3,016,958 10/1935 Clarke r. 128/87 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPL1CAT1ONS 822,224 12/1937 France 128/87 R 720,395 12/1954 Great Britain 128/87 R 1,535,491 4/1967 France 128/1316. 20
Primary ExaminerRichard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner.1. Yasko Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Bacon & Thomas 5 7 ABSTRACT Elongated, inflatable cushions are detachably secured along the length of a U-shaped frame adapted to support the limb of a vertebrae. A stretching device is provided for encircling the ankle of the user to apply tension to the supported limb.
5 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures PAIENTEBmz 19H 3. 788; 805
Sniii 2 Bf 2 INVENTOR IQTTORNEYS SPLINT HAVING INFLATABLE DETACIIABLE CUSI-IlONS The present invention relates to an appliance herein after called a splint which permits a limb to be contained, supported and, possibly, extended, particularly after a fracture; it is applied particularly to the limbs of vertebrates particularly of the anthropoidal type.
In the prior art a certain number of surgical splints have been proposed particularly by Thomas and Lardenois. The latter are formed essentially by a rigid piece of round steel which forms the two legs and is connected by two arched portions, also made of round steel, which are in turn connected by a system of hooks and eyes. This rigid piece is completed by two steel supports soldered to the legs thereby ensuring that the splint remains horizontal on the right or left leg, depending on the assembly resting on one face or the other, when the patient is in a stretched-out position. The connection between the arched portions makes it possible to reclose the circle formed thereby after the leg is positioned on the splint; the leg is supported on this splint by means of a cushion held between the two uprights. The leg can be extended and supported in the framework formed by the rigid piece with the aid of a system of belts and other conventional means. This type of splint cannot be dismantled and it is cumbersome and cannot be penetrated by X-rays. It is a lengthy operation to bring this splint into use and support of the leg is ensured by a compression means which is difficult to regulate properly.
Numerous improvements have been made, commencing with the frame of the actual splint. For example, French patent specification No. 822,224 (NIESSEN and ULBRICI-IT describes a cradle-like splint, of which the longitudinal bars connected to form a framework can be telescopically extended and the end for bearing against the trunk carries a pivoting ring surrounding the limb, a second ring being also provided to enclose the limb. The first and second rings can be divided into two halves which can be telescopically interlocked with one another, the large U-shaped arm being likewise telescopically extendable; this patent discloses that the assembly can be, if necessary, provided with supporting members. This patent constitutes a typical example showing the research carried out to improve the Thomas and Lardenois splints. This type of splint is difficult to dismantle and costly and the supporting members are very often improvised by the hospital attendant with the aid of bandages.
Improvements have also been made in the assembly of the splint frame and its supporting members. Amongst the numerous patents relating to this subject matter, it is possible to cite as a characteristic example French patent specification No. 1,566,782 (BRA- CHET) which describes a splint with a rigid frame which is also inspired by the Thomas and Lardenois splint and provided with inflatable cushions fixed to the legs of the frame. This patent refers to the problem of the transparency of the appliance to X-rays, but only to the transparency of the cushions.
In effect, all the splints which exist at the present time and are derived from the Thomas and Lardenois splint have a metal frame which obviously cannot be penetrated by X-rays in working conditions suitable for the purposes of radiography. This is a serious disadvantage in most cases.
It was an important step to provide a type of splint which can be dismantled with the minimum of effort. easily handled without any inconvenience to the patient and adapted to fit limbs of greatly varying dimensions both on the left and right side of the body. In the following description reference will be made to a splint for a human leg, but it is obvious that embodiments which can be applied to the arms or even to other ver tebrae can be imagined without departing from the scope of the present invention.
The present invention relates to a frame which is preferably penetrated by X-rays and made of a material ensuring the mechanical rigidity of the entire appliance; inflatable cushions are secured on this frame and ensure that the leg is flexibly and effectively held. A device comprising, for example belts permits the leg to be held under tension, and fractures to be set. The assembly of all these elements can therefore be penetrated by X-rays.
In the following description reference will be made to applications to fractures of the femur; it is obvious that embodiments applying to fractures of the tibia and fibula can be imagined as a modification within the scope of the present invention. For this purpose it is sufflcient to use other types of upper cushions and gaiter-like cushions which will be defined below.
Regarding the materials in use, natural or synthetic polymers or polycondensates are preferably used for the rigid frame since their mechanical qualities can be particularly well adapted as required and their transparency in relation to X-rays permits a radioscopic or radiographic examination without necessitating the loosening of the splint on the patients limb. Polymers or polycondensates reinforced particularly with glassfibre can be used if necessary. As in the said Thomas and Lardenois splint, the two arched portions which surround the upper part of the thigh can be formed by a web made of plastics material similar to that of the other elements of the rigid frame of the splint which is covered in a relatively thick layer of natural, synthetic or artificial elastomer, foamed elastomers being particularly suitable. The belts of the stretching device can be made of natural or synthetic plaited or woven fibres or horsehair. The inflatable cushions are also made of a polymer film or polycondensates having one or more layers with or without continuous fibre reinforcement or plaited or woven fibres with or without sealing which is produced for example by adhesion or impregnation with elastomer layers.
In order to make the technique features and advantages of the present invention understood, a preferred embodiment will now be described, it being understood that this embodiment is non-limitative as regards its mode of operation and applications. Reference will be made to FIG. 1 which shows an exploded view ofa femoral splint according to the present invention, the elements of which are in relative positions suitable for a left leg, and to FIG. 2 which shows a modification of the splint of FIG. I for application to a right leg.
The frame comprises a U-shaped base portion 1, an inner leg 2 and an outer leg 3, two generally symmetrical arched sections 4 and 5 and a lower stirrup or caliper 6; a stretching or extending device 7 makes it possible for the leg of the patient to be held under tension, a lower cushion 8 supports the entire leg of the patient who is lying on his back, an upper cushion 9 together with the lower cushion 8 ensures that the thigh and knee are held and supported, and a cushion 10, which will be called a gaiter for the sake of convenience, ensures the support of the foot and lower part of the leg. The base portion 1 comprises two legs 11 and 12 and a cross piece 13 which is located below the foot of the patient at sufficient distance for the extending system 7, which surrounds this erosspiece 13 and is attached at 14 to the ankle of the patient, to have space for its adjustment between the sole of the foot and this crosspiece 13. The two legs 11 and 12 and the erosspiece 13 are connected by elbow-shaped joints 15 and 16 which can be either mounted on or made, for example, by moulding, a direct integral part of the legs 11 and 12 and the erosspiece 13. The legs 11 and 12 and the erosspiece 13 which are either cylindrical or prismatic can be produced as a hollow rod or a solid bar depending on the required rigidity and lightness. It is desirable to lighten the appliance as far as possible while retaining sufficient mechanical property to prevent the applicance from bending or buckling under the pull of the stretching device or, obviously, from breaking particularly during transport of the patient. Two pieces 17 and 18, hereinafter called attachments, are attached to the legs 11 and 12 and, as with the connections 15 and 16, can be detachable part of or integral with the legs 11 and 12. These attachments have holes 19 and 20 which are substantially orthogonal to the axis of the legs 11 and 12 which can be penetrated by the pins 21 and 22 located at the ends of the uprights 23 and 24 of the stirrup 6. The latter also comprises a crosspiece 25 and elbow joints 26 and 27 which, like the uprights 23 and 24, can be produced in a similar manner to the crosspiece 13, elbow joints 15 and 16 and legs 11 and 12 of the base element 1. If the axes of the holes 19 and 20 of the attachments 17 and 18 are parallel, it may be seen that the stirrup 6 can be drawn into the holes 19 and 20 either from above or below, which makes it possible, when the frame 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 is mounted, to produce a frame for a right or left leg simply by reversing the position of the stirrup 6. The base portion 1 is provided at the free end of its legs 11 and 12 with two pins 28 and 29 which fit in the ends of the legs 2 and 3', in order to increase solidity these legs 2 and 3, which can be produced in the same manner as the legs 11 and 12, can end in two sleeves 30 and 31 which are driven onto the ends of these legs or are integral therewith. in this manner the pins 28 and 29 and the ends of the legs 11 and 12 in the vicinity thereof are accommodated in the holes with two diameters produced in the sleeves 30, 31 and the legs 2 and 3. When the sleeves 30 and 31 are detachably mounted, the portion 32 or 33 of larger diameter corresponds to the external diameter of the legs 2, 3, 11 and 12. The parts 34 and 35 of small diameter correspond to the dimensions of the pins 28 and 29, i.e. to the internal diameter of the legs 2, 3, 11 and 12 when the latter are hollow. The pins 28 and.29 can therefore be produced with the aid of small bars driven into the cylindrical legs 11 and 12, or can be integral with the legs 11 and 12 when the latter are solid. Likewise the sleeves can be placed on the side of the base portion 1 and the pins on the side of the legs 11 and 12. The other ends of the legs 2 and 3 are terminated by plugs 36 and 37 in which are accommodated the pins 28, 39 40 and 41 of the arched portions 4 and 5. It should be noted that the legs 2 and 3 are preferably of different lengths, the shorter one extending on the inside of the leg and the longer one on the outside extending up towards the hip. The connections between pins and sleeves 28, 30 and 29, 31 permit the legs to be possibly inverted, which makes it possible to change rapidly to pass from a position on the right to a position on the left; this possible changing movement is added to that already mentioned which consists of moving the stirrup 6 to allow it to pass from one face to the other on the base portion 1. The two plugs 36 and 37 are penetrated by holes 42, 43, 44, 45 into which the pins 38, 39, 40, 41 are inserted; as in the case of the connections 15, 16, 26, 27 the attachments 17, 18 or the sleeves 32 and 33, these plugs 36 and 37 can be detachably mounted on or can be an integral part of the legs 2 and 3. Their outer surfaces, 46 and 47 act as a stop for the ends 48, 49, 50, 51 of the rigid frames of the arched sections 4 and 5. The latter are preferably essentially formed by rigid arched sections, of which the ends 48, 49, 50, 51 provided with pins 38, 39, 40, 41 can be seen enclosed by one or more layers of a flexible and resilient material 52 and 53. These arched sections, and particularly the one located under the reclining patient, are therefore covered by a flexible and resilient material which prevents any bruising. The two arched sections are preferably symmetrical, which permits their reversal with the legs 2 and 3 when the splint is changed from a right leg to a left leg.
The arched sections 4 and 5 and the legs 2 and 3 of the base portion 1 are dimensioned so as to suit the varying morphologies of patients, tall or short, thin or fat; dimensions such as those proposed by Thomas and Lardenois can also be adopted. In addition it is possible to provide at least one adult model and one child or adolescent model. Since the frames constitute the most cumbersome element and can be dismantled with the minimum of effort in the embodiment according to the present invention, it is not impossible to transport several types of splint either in an ambulance or in an emergency kit, which is particularly suitable when it is necessary to attend an injured person at a point of difficult access, particularly in military terrain in the event of war, in mountains or Speleological exploration. The stretching device 7 comprises essentially a first belt or strap 54 having an adjustable buckle 55 which is passed, on the one hand, around the erosspiece 13 of the base portion 1 and, on the other hand, around a small portion 56 in the form of a spool which can be produced also like the buckles and the remainder of the plastics frame. A second strap 57 passes through the axial hole of the spool 56 and ends in two loops 58 and 59 through which is passed a third strap 60 provided with a buckle 61. The strap 60 encloses the ankle of the patient and is secured thereon with the aid of the buckle 61. The belt 57 therefore passes from each side of the foot and below the foot into the spool 56, and the belt 54 is held under tension with the aid of the buckle 55. The spool 56 is therefore drawn towards the crosspiece 13 and the pull exerted thereon is transmitted by the belt 57, the loops 58 and 59 and the belt 60 to the ankle and, from there, to the leg of the patient; the other end of the leg is held under tension by the inside of the leg bearing against the ends of the arched sections 4 and 5 which are located on the inner side, i.e. at the end of the shortest leg 2. If the patient is particularly corpulent, the bearing pressure can be exerted on almost all of the arched sections 4 and 5. The belts which may be in contact with the patient can be provided at least on their inner faces with a soft flexible material to prevent any bruising.
Fastening means 62 which can comprise small rigid or flexible collars surrounding the legs 2, 3, I1 and 12 or the sleeves 30 or 31 and provided with buttons are arranged along the legs 2, 3, 11 and 12, preferably on the outer side, i.e. on the side opposite the leg of the patient. Such devices can be easily made of plastics material.
The lower cushion 8 is formed by substantially parallel passages or inner tubes 63, 64, 65, the number of which can be varied as a function of the dimensions and work conditions. These passages are inflated separately, in groups or jointly with the aid of valves such as 66 and 67. It is convenient to provide one valve on each face so that a valve is always easily accessible when the lower cushion 8 is reversed, depending on whether the splint is for use on the right or left leg. These valves can be made ofa flexible plastics material, for example, elastomer, and there are numerous types of valves in prior art which can be used for inflating balloons, cushions, air mattresses or dinghies, and inflatable buoys. The two edges of this cushion 68 and 69 are provided with button holes 70 which can be secured on the buttons 62. It is preferable to provide two notches or grooves 71, 72 in which the attachments 17 and 18 can be inserted.
The upper cushion 9 is provided in a similar manner to the lower cushion 8, and it comprises two inflatable sections 73, 74 in the example shown in the drawing and two inflating valves 75 and 76 on either side of said cushion, two edges 77 and 78 provided with button holes which can be secured on the buttons above the strips 68 and 69 forming the edges of the lower cushion 8 which are already fixed thereon. If the buttons 62 and therefore the button holes 70 and 79 are regularly spaced, it is possible to vary the position of the cushions and particularly that of the upper cushion 9 as a function of the morphological dimensions of the patient and the location of the fracture. The gaiter which is also inflatable can be provided by two symmetrical inflatable sections 80 and 81 which are attached to one another at 82 under the sole of the foot and, at 83, to the upper section of the leg of the patient lying in a stretched-out position. Between these two lines of attachment 82 and 83 there is provided a hole 84 through which the end of the foot can be passed. This hole is preferably wide enough for the patient still wearing shoes to pass a foot through so as to avoid the sometimes painful operation of removing the shoe. By controlling the inflation with the aid of the valve 85 it is possible therefore to embrace the difference in dimensions between different types of feet, and particularly between a bare foot and a ski shoe.
Buttons 86 and tongues '87 provided with button holes 88 make it possible, by passing said tongues around the legs 11 and 12 and by fixing the button holes 88 on the buttons 86, to secure the gaiter 10 at any desired point on the legs ll, 12 and even possibly the legs 2. 3 in the case of a child.
The appliance according to the present invention can be used under the following conditions. By taking up a position as shown in the only drawing, i.e. that of a leg of a patient lying on his back, the base portion 1, the legs 2 and 3, the lower arched section 5 and the stirrup 6 are mounted in the position as shown in the exploded view in FIG. 1. The lower cushion 8 is mounted between the uprights 23 and 24 of the stirrup 6 and the button holes 70 are secured on the buttons 62 by passing under the legs 2, 3, I1 and 12; the lower cushion 8 is therefore slightly inflated, for example, until it reaches a mean pressure between the atmospheric pressure and the normal inflating pressure and the assembled appliance is introduced under the leg of the patient. It is only possible to envisage the mounting of the arched section 5 and the stirrup 6 in a second stage, i.e. after introducing the base element 1, the legs 2 and the lower cushion 8 below the leg of the patient; this latter method particularly permits the leg of the patient to be raised more easily in certain cases or in certain positions. The upper arched section 4 and the device 7 comprising the belts 54, 57 and 60 are then placed in position. The control of this stretching operation can be modified by radiography when the fracture is set. The gaiter 10 is therefore positioned on the foot and the lower part of the leg of the patient by securing the buttons 86 in the button holes 88 of the tongues 87 which are previously passed around the legs 11, 12 (for a leg of normal length) and inflation commences. The fact that the gaiter is secured with the aid of the tongues 87 and buttons 86 makes it possible to control its length and particularly to move it along the legs 11 and 12, which can be useful not only for patients of different height, but also when it is desired to vary the control of the extending system 7 which may involve displacement of the foot, this system still being advantageous if the buttons 62 are secured on collars which are displaceable along the legs 11, 12, 2 and 3. When half inflated, the upper cushion is also placed on the upper part of the patients leg by securing the buttons 62 in the button holes 79 above the button holes of the lower cushion. The gaiter 10 can be positioned before positioning of the cushion 9 or vice versa, as the case may be. It is also possible to commence by inflating the gaiter and cushion 9 before or after they are positioned on the foot and the leg. When the appliance is in position, the inflation of the lower cushion 8, the upper cushion 9 and the gaiter 10 is modified to ensure better control of the appliance. The appliance is therefore supported on the arched section 5 and the lower part of the stirrup 6, the leg of the patient is therefore only supported on the lower cushion 8 and cannot come into contact with the rigid parts of the appliance until the cushions 8 and 9 and the gaiter 10 are sufficiently inflated. The appliance is also sufflciently rigid and light to facilitate the positioning of a patient provided with one or even two splints of this type on any kind of stretcher or emergency litter in general use.
As was emphasized, the cushions 8 and 9 provided with two valves 66, 67, and 76 can be reversed for use either on the right orleft since the splint is preferably bysymmetrical, i.e. longer on the outer side than on the inner side of the leg. On the other hand, the gaiter 10 can be used on both the right and left legs and a single valve may suffice.
FIG. 2 shows an exploded view of a modification of the splint according to the present invention, comprising essentially a frame formed by a U-shaped lower section 101, the tubular legs of which receive two also tubular legs 102 and 103, each provided with a male connection 104 and 105 which are driven into the legs of the section 101. The base of the latter is formed by a stirrup 106 which can be obtained by moulding and to which the two legs of the U-shaped section 101 are attached. This stirrup 106 is provided with two hollow sleeves 107 and 108, the axes of which are substantially orthogonal to the plane of the section 101 and into which the two ends of a supporting stirrup 109 are forced. As in the case of FIG. 1, this supporting stirrup 109 can be drive into the sleeves 107 and 108 either from above or below, which makes it possible for a splint for a right leg to be rapidly transformed into a splint for a left leg, for example. A limb stretching device such as that described with reference to FIG. 1 can be secured on the stirrup 106. On each end of the legs 102 and 103 opposite the connections 104 and 105 with the section 101 there are provided two connections 110 and 111 in which the male elements 112, 113, 114 and 115 of two arched sections are fitted, which arched sections can be made in a similar manner to those in FIG. I and bear against the trunk in such a manner that the limb positioned in the splint can be held in an extended position. In order to secure the male elements 112 to 115 in the connections 110 and 111 it is possible to use any known system, and particularly those described in French patent application No. 71-35615 filed on 4th October 1971 by the applicants and entitled Wedging Device The frame just described can be provided with inflatable cushions like those described with reference to FIG. 1. It is also possible to envisage the use of cushions based on the same general principle, but provided for the lower cushions with tubular lateral strips into which the legs of the section 101 and the legs 102 and 103 are passed; moreover these strips are provided with rows of buttons opposite rows of button holes produced in the edges of the upper cushions, which ensures simple fixation and easy assembly. To facilitate this buttoning operation it is advantageous to provide double rows of buttons. This arrangement makes it possible particularly to switch from an assembly for a right limb to an assembly for a left limb by simple reversal, and vice versa.
FIG. 2 shows an exploded view of a lower cushion provided with two edges which are provided with a row of buttons and a row of button holes, and an upper cushion provided with two lateral strips, the button holes of which are secured on the buttons of the lower cushion.
Moreover it may be established that in a great number of cases the number of longitudinal passages best adapted to the fixation of a limb, arms as well as legs, was four, either two longitudinal passages for the lower cushion or cushions or two longitudinal passages for the upper cushion or cushions. In this way, when the passages are inflated, the limb is held in a square or a curvilinear rhombus which ensures both adequate fixation of the limb and good ventilation with regard to the connections between the cushions or between longitudinal passages. As in FIG. 1, the splint shown in FIG. 2 can be entirely formed of elements which can be penetrated by X-rays in the normal working conditions of X-ray apparatus.
The appliance according to the invention is therefore simple and robust in construction and can be efficiently and rapidly assembled, put into position and dismantled. The stretching and clamping of the leg are completely ensured without exerting abnormal pressure and without affecting the blood circulation. These appliances can be penetrated by X-rays and therefore permit X-ray examination without even partial dismantling. If suitable materials are chosen, which is the case for most of the polyners or polycondensates suitable for putting the present invention into practice, these appliances are resistant to most of the corrosive agents and to the most significant variations in temperature. The appliance is light in weight and less cumbersome, its maintenance, storage and transport are facilitated and its cost price particularly reduced.
It is possible to incorporate in the appliance a certain number of accessories which facilitate conditions of use.
First it is possible to provide a tube which is easy to secure on the valves and to dismantle, which serves as an inflating means either by mouth, or by means of a small pump of the type used to inflate bicycle tyres or inflatable mattresses. It is also possible to provide a small pressure control device which can be connected up during assembly or permanently if the pressure can vary in time. A pressure regulator can even be used in certain cases to permit a constant pressure to be main tained if the external pressure varies, as is the case when the patient has to change altitude (during aerial transport, transport through mountains, mines or caves). With cushions made of polyvinyl chloride, experience has shown that an over-pressure of 15 to 30 millibars between the cushions and the outer atmosphere can be simply maintained.
Without departing from the scope of the invention the expert skilled in the art can devise numerous modifications, as defined by the following claims:
What we claim is:
1. A splint for limbs of vertebrae, comprising: a U- shaped frame having a pair of legs, a cross-piece connecting the legs together at one end and two arched sections connecting the other free end of the legs together and forming a substantially rigid, continuous frame for receiving a limb to be supported, a stirrup connected with the legs adjacent said one end of the U- shaped frame; a first, elongated, inflatable, limb supporting cushion extending for substantially the entire length of the U-shaped frame and arched outwardly to one side of the frame; first means detachably securing the side edges of said first cushion to the legs along the length of the frame; a second elongated, inflatable limb enclosing cushion extending for substantially the entire length of the U-shaped frame and arched outwardly of the frame to the side thereof opposite said first cushion; second means detachably securing the side edges of said second cushion along the length of the legs of the frame, and a stretching device, said stretching device comprising a first adjustable strap for encircling an alkle; a spool having a passage therethrough; a belt extending through the passage in the spool and having its ends secured to said first strap, and a second adjustable strap passing around the periphery of said spool and around said cross-piece, the entire splint being formed of materials permitting the passage therethrough of X- rays.
2. A splint as claimed in claim 1 in which at least one of said cushions is reversible and is provided with a valve on each face.
3. A splint as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the position of at least one of the cushions along the legs can be varied.
4. In a splint for limbs of vertebrae which comprises a U-shaped frame having a pair of legs. a cross-piece connecting the legs together at one end and two arched sections connecting the other free end of the legs together and forming a substantially rigid, continuous frame for receiving a limb to be supported, and a stirrup connected with the legs adjacent said one end of the U-shaped frame, the improvement comprising: a first elongated, inflatable, limb supporting cushion extending for substantially the entire length of the U- shaped frame and arched outwardly to one side of the frame, said first cushion having a first support surface and a second support surface and being reversible whereby a limb may be supported on either said first or said second surface by reversing said first cushion; means on said first cushion whereby it may be inflated; first fastening means extending along the entire side edges of said first cushion detachably securing the side edges of said first cushion to said legs along the length of the frame with either said first surface or said second surface directed inwardly for supporting a limb; said first fastening means comprising a plurality of buttons fixed on the pair of legs and spaced-apart along the length thereof, and a plurality of button holes formed in the side edges of said first cushion along the entire length thereof; a second elongated, inflatable, limb enclosing cushion extending for substantially the entire length of the U-shaped frame and arched outwardly of the frame to the side thereof opposite said first cushion; means on said second cushion whereby it may be inflated; and second fastening means extending along the entire side edges of said second cushion detachable securing the side edges of said second cushion along the length of the legs of the frame, said second fastening means comprising a plurality of button holes formed in the side edges at said second cushion along the entire length thereof securing it to said buttons, the entire splint being formed of materials permitting the passage therethrough of x-rays.
5. In a splint for limbs of vertebrae which comprises a U-shaped frame having a pair of legs, a cross-piece lit) connecting the legs together at one end and two arched sections connecting the other free end of the legs together and forming a substantially rigid, continuous frame for receiving a limb to be supported, and a stirrup connected with the legs adjacent said one end of the U-shaped frame, the improvement comprising: a first elongated, inflatable, limb supporting cushion extending for substantially the entire length of the U- shaped frame and arched outwardly to one side of the frame, said first cushion having a first support surface and a second support surface and being reversible whereby a limb may be supported on either said first or said second surface by reversing said first cushion; means on said first cushion whereby it may be inflated; first fastening means extending along the entire side edges of said first cushion detachably securing the side edges of said first cushion to said legs along the length of the frame with either said first surface or said second surface directed inwardly for supporting a limb; said first fastening means comprising a tubular, lateral edge extending along either side of said first cushion, the legs of the frame extending through the respective tubular edge, a second elongated, inflatable, limb enclosing cushion extending for substantially the entire length of the U-shaped frame and arched outwardly of the frame to the side thereof opposite said first cushion; means on said second cushion whereby it may be inflated; and second fastening means extending along the entire side edges of said second cushion detachable securing the side edges of said second cushion along the length of the legs of the frame, said second fastening means comprising a plurality of buttons fixed on said tubular edges and spaced-apart along the length thereof, and a plurality of button holes formed in the side edges of said second cushion connected to said buttons, the entire splint being formed of materials permitting the passage therethrough of x-rays.