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Publication numberUS3790212 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 5, 1974
Filing dateMar 27, 1972
Priority dateMar 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3790212 A, US 3790212A, US-A-3790212, US3790212 A, US3790212A
InventorsS Suyetani
Original AssigneeS Suyetani
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foot support for wheelchairs
US 3790212 A
Abstract
A leg rest arrangement for wheelchairs of the type in which a foot rest is pivotally mounted on a supporting member and movable from a foot rest position to a closed position. There is provided a leg support spaced vertically from the foot rest for supporting the back of the leg of the user when the foot is resting on the foot rest. The leg support is operatively connected with the foot rest so that when the foot rest is pivoted to the closed position the leg support is also pivoted to the closed position and is compactly and closely adjacent to the foot rest in the closed position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Suyetani Feb. 5, 1974 FOOT SUPPORT FOR WHEELCHAIRS Shigemitsu Suyetani, 22461 Gravino, Lawndale, Calif. 92653 Filed: 1 Mar. 27, 1972 Appl. No.: 238,401

Inventor:

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary Examiner-Casmir A. N'unberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Finke1stein & Mueth [57] ABSTRACT A leg rest arrangement for wheelchairs of the type in which a foot rest is pivotally mounted on a supporting member and movable from a foot rest position to a closed position. There is provided a leg support spaced vertically from the foot rest for supporting the back of the leg of the user when the foot is resting on the foot rest. The leg support is operatively connected with the foot rest so that when the foot rest is pivoted to the closed position the leg support is also pivoted to the closed position and is compactly and closely adjacent to the foot rest in the closed position.

10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENIEUFEB 5 9M 3190.212

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1 FOOT SUPPORT FOR WHEELCHAIRS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Thisinvention relates to the wheelchair art and more particularly, to an improved folding leg rest for a wheelchair.

2. Description of the Prior Art Leg rests for wheelchairs have long been utilized for supporting the legs of the person utilizing the wheelchair. In some of the prior art leg rests, there have been incorporated a foot rest that is pivotally mounted on a supporting member. The foot rest, in many applications, is pivotally movable from a horizontal position wherein the foot rests upon the upper surface thereof to a vertical position where it is adjacent the supporting member. The folded position is also desired in such wheelchairs for convenience in folding the entire wheelchair, in those wheelchairs that are foldable, and also for cOnvenienee in storing and moving the chair when a patient is not utilizing the wheelchair.

For many persons utilizing a wheelchair, such as those whose lower extremities are paralyzed, including paraplegics, quadraplegics and the like, in addition to a rest for the foot there is often required a supporting member for the back of the leg when the foot is resting upon the foot rest so that the leg itself is not jarred from its position on the foot rest. Obviously, since muscular control of the lower extremities is lacking in such patients, the leg must be appropriately supported. This is particularly necessary where the wheelchair is utilized by such persons whose lower extremities are paralyzed, the wheelchair is utilized in ambulatory activities such as along sidewalks, over curbs and the like. Encountering depressions, ridges or the like on the surface upon which the wheelchair is moving can often jostle or jar the leg loose from the foot rest.

Certain prior art wheelchairs have incorporated a leg support adjacent to the foot rest but such prior art leg supports have not proven to be completely satisfactory. For example, either they were rigidly attached to the main supporting member or, if movably attached, required a separate operation for folding them to a closed position either before or after the foot support had been moved to a closed position. The additional activities for separately opening and closing the leg support and the foot support has often proven to be inconvenient for such paraplegics and thus, there has long been needed a leg support for a wheelchair that is articulated to move with the foot rest between a closed position and an open position.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved leg rest arrangement for a wheelchair.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved leg rest for a wheelchair in which both a foot rest and a leg support are incorporated.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an improved leg rest arrangement for a wheelchair in which the leg support is operatively connected to the foot rest so that movement of the foot rest between a closed and an open position automatically moves the leg support between an open and a closed position.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a leg rest arrangement for a wheelchair in which the leg support is closely adjacent to the foot rest when the leg support and foot rest are in the closed position.

The above and other objects of the present invention are'achieved, according to a preferred embodiment, by providing a leg rest arrangement for a wheelchair in which a main support is incorporated on the wheelchair. The main support may be either permanently or detachably coupled to the wheelchair as desired.

The main support has a first axis extending in a first preselected direction and is provided with a pivot arm adjacent a bottom end thereof extending outwardly therefrom. The pivot arm has a second axis extending in a second direction different from the first direction. A foot rest is pivotally mounted on the pivot arm and in an open position extends outwardly therefrom to provide a foot rest surface upon which the patient utilizing the wheelchair may rest the foot.

A sleeve means is mounted on the main support member and is adapted to move in axial directions in the first preselected direction thereon as well as in rotary directions around the main suppport member. Thus, the sleeve moves reciprocatingly in the first preselected direction and also rotationally about the first axis of the main support member.

A leg support means is coupled to the sleeve means and extends outwardly therefrom. For the foot rest in the open position, the leg support means outwardly substantially parallel to the foot rest means and aligned with the rear edge thereof and spaced a preselected distance therefrom. The preselected distance is on the order of, for example, six inches so that the leg support engages the leg of the patient approximately six inches from the bottom of the heel of the patient.

A control arm having a preselected configuration has I a first end coupled to the sleeve means and a second end extending downwardly and outwardly over the foot rest means. An engagement means which, for example, may be a pivotally mounted eye means, is coupled to the foot rest surface of the foot rest means and the second end of the control arm passes through the eye means. The shape of the control arm is, in a preferred embodiment, arcuate and is selected so that movement of the foot rest means between the open and closed positions thereof moves the sleeve means. Thus, during the movement of the foot rest means from the open to the closed position the control arm is moved by the engagement means and thus the sleeve means is moved upwardly in axial directions along the first support member and rotatably about the first axis of the first support member so that the leg support is rotated into an aligned position in a plane substantaially parallel to the plane of the foot rest means. Similarly, upon opening the foot reset from the closed position to the open position the control arm is pulled downwardly and rotates inwardly so that the leg support assumes the open position as above described.

If required, in certain applications of the present invention, tabs are provided on the sleeve means to engage the pivot arm in the open position of the leg support so that inadvertent rotation of the leg support does not occur.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The above and other embodiments of the present invention may be more fully understood from the follow ing detailed description taken together with the accompanying drawings wherein similar reference characters refer to similar elements throughout and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention in the open position; FIG. 2 is a view along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is a view along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2; FIG. 4 is a sectional view along the line 4-4 of FIG.

FIG. 5 illustrates an engagement means useful in the practice of the present invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates the preferred embodiment of the present invention in the closed position; and

FIG. 7 is a view along the line 66 of FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a perspective view of the structure associated with an improved leg rest arrangement and generally designated 10. The structure of the improved leg rest arrangement 10 is generally mounted on a main support member 12 having an upper end 14 and a lower end 16. The upper end 14 as shown in FIG. 1 is of the type that allows the leg rest arrangement 10 to be detachably coupled to a wheelchair. This type of structure for detachably coupling the leg rest arrangement 10 to the wheelchair is the type of coupling often utilized in the wheelchairs manufactured by Everest and Jennings, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif. However, it will be appreciated that any type of attachment to the wheelchair may be utilized as desired and the particular type of coupling, whether permanent or detachable, does not form a part of the present invention.

The main support member 12 has a first axis 18 extending in a first preselected direction as indicated by the arrow 20.

Adjacent the lower end 16 of the main support 12 there is provided a pivot arm 22 having a pivot axis 24 and the pivot arm 22 extends outwardly from the main support 12. The pivot axis 24 extends in a second direction different than the'first direction.

A foot rest means 26 is pivotally mounted on the pivot arm 22 for rotation about the pivot axis 24 in directions indicated by the arrow 28 between the open position shown in FIG. 1 and a closed position described below. i

A foot rest means 26 generally is provided with a foot rest surface 30 upon which the person utilizing the wheelchair rests the foot. The foot rest means 26 also has a bottom surface 32, a pivot edge 34 and an outer edge 36 that is spaced a preselected distance from the pivot edge 34. The preselected spacing, of course, is that deemed necessary to provide an adequate supporting surface for the foot of the patient utilizing the wheelchair. A forward edge 38 and a back edge 40 extend between the pivot edge 34 and outer edge 36.

FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the drawing show the leg rest arrangement 10 in the open position and FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawing show the leg rest 10 in the closed position.

The structure so far described above, is of the type often utilized in wheelchairs manufactured by the above-mentioned Everest and Jennings, Inc. of Los Angeles, Calif. According to the present invention, an improvement is made for cooperative action with this structure to provide the improved leg support means when utilized in conjunction with the type of foot rest described above. That is, the present invention cooperatively acts with the above-described type of pivoting foot rest means 26 to provide a unitary leg rest arrangement.

A sleeve means 42 is mounted on the main support 12 and is adapted to move reciprocatingly in the first direction of the first axis 18, as indicated by the arrow 20, as well as having rotational movement about the first axis 18 in the direction indicated by the arrow 44. The sleeve means 42 has a lower end 46 that is adjacent the pivot arm 22 and an upper end 48 that is spaced therefrom.

A leg support means 50 is coupled to the sleeve means 42 in regions adjacent the upper end 48 thereof and moves in both reciprocating and rotational movements therewith. The leg support means 50 has an outer end 52 and an inner end 54 spaced therefrom. The inner end 54 is coupled to the sleeve means 42. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the leg support means 50, for the open position shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, is spaced approximately 6 inches from the foot rest surface 30 of the foot rest surface 26. Further, in order to provide more comfortable support for the leg of the patient utilizing the improved leg rest arrangement 10, it is preferred that the leg support means 50 be slightly concave towards the forward edge 38 of the foot rest means 26, as shown most clearly in FIG. 4. Thus, for the position shown in-FIGS. l, 2, 3 and 4, the heel of the patient utilizing the wheelchair to which the improved leg rest arrangement 10 is coupled is adjacent the rear edge 40 of the foot rest means 26 and the leg support 50 is spaced approximately 6 inches above that. Thus, for those patients who are paralyzed in the lower extremities, the leg support 50 provides a spaced apart support arrangement in combination with the foot rest means 26 so that the foot is not inadvertently displaced from the foot rest 26 when the wheelchair travels over bumps, curbs, ridges or the like.

The top edge 54 of the leg support 50, in the preferred embodiment of the leg rest arrangement 10, is substantially aligned with the top edge 48 of the sleeve means 42. The bottom edge 56 of the leg support means 50 is substantially parallel to the top edge 54 thereof and is spaced approximately one inch therefrom so that the width of the leg support means 50 is approximately one inch. The length between the outer end 52 and inner end 54 of the leg support means, in preferred embodiments of the present invention, is approximately 6 inches which is approximately the same length as the length between the pivot edge 34 and outer edge 36 ofthe leg support means 26. It will be appreciated, however, that variations in these dimensions may be made to achieve any desired geometrical relationship between the portions of the structure.

The sleeve means 42 is also provided with an antirotation means, designated 58, to prevent inadvertent rotation about the axis 18 of the main support 12 when the leg support 50 is in the open position. In the preferred embodiment of the leg rest arrangement 10, the anti-rotation means may generally comprise a pair of tab means 60 and 62 extending outwardly from the sleeve means 20 adjacent the lower end 46 thereof and engaging the pivot arm 22.

As noted above, the foot rest means 26 is pivotally mounted for rotation about the pivot arm 22, in the the directions indicated by the arrow 28, between the open position, shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the closed position, shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. In order to provide a more convenient and unitary structure, the present invention incorporates operative means connecting the sleeve means 42 with the foot rest means 26 so that a single movement of the foot rest means 26 between the open position and the closed position simultaneously moves the leg support 50 between the open position and closed position thereof.

As shown, in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, in the open position, the leg support 50 is substantially aligned with the rear edge 40 of the foot rest means 26 and extends outwardly from the sleeve means 42 a distance approximately equal to the width of the foot rest means 26.

In order to achieve the cooperative interaction between the foot rest means 26 and the sleeve means 42 there is provided a control arm 64 having preselected configuration which, for the preferred embodiment 10, is arcuate and the control arm 64 has a first end 66 coupled to the sleeve means 20. In the embodiment of the invention shownin the drawing, the control arm is cylindrical and to achieve a firm coupling of the control arm 66 to the sleeve means 42 it is preferred to incorporate a fillet 68 between the control arm 64 and the sleeve means 42 in regions adjacent the first end 66. Thus, the control arm 64 is coupled to the sleeve means 42 in regions adjacent the lower end 46 thereof and, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, is coupled to the sleeve means 42 in an axially aligned position with the inner edge 54 of the leg support 50.

The control arm 64 has a second end 70 that is adjacent the foot rest surface 30 of the foot rest means 26 and intermediate the pivot edge 34 and outer edge 36 thereof and intermediate the forward edge 38 and rear edge 40 thereof, in the open position shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The engagement means 72 is coupled to the foot rest means 26 and extends upwardly from the foot rest surface 30 thereof and operatively engages the control arm 64.

FIG. 5 illustrates a preferred form of the engagement means 72. As shown on FIG. 5, the engagement means 72 generally comprises an eyelet 74 pivotally mounted on the foot rest means 26 and defining a control arm accepting aperture 76 therethrough. The control arm 70 extends through the control arm accepting aperture 76 and the pivotal motion of the eyelet 74 about its axis 78 is preferred to minimize the force required to move the structure between the open and closed positions. However, it will be appreciated, the eyelet means 76 may be permanently mounted on the foot rest means 26 in a properly aligned direction with respect to the arcuate configuration of the control arm 64 in order to achieve the same result.

The pivotal motion may be achieved by the utilization of, for example, a nut 80 threadingly engaging the lower end 82 of the eyelet 74, and a pair of washers 84 and 86 to allow rotation about the axis 78. Thus, the

control arm 70 is slideably movable in the control arm accepting aperture 76 of the eyelet 74 and the second end 70 of the control arm 64 may incorporate a stop means, such as the enlarged ball 88, in order to prevent an inadvertent displacement of the control arm 64 from the control arm accepting aperture 76.

When it is desired to move the structure from the first or open position shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, to the ally mounted foot rest means. The engagement means 72 slides along the control arm 64 simultaneously mov ing the sleeve means 42 upwardly along the main support 12 toward the upper end thereof and rotationally about the first axis 18 during at least a portion of the movement until the second or closed position is reached. The combined rotational and axial motion of the sleeve means 42 continues until the position shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 is reached wherein the leg support 50 extends outwardly from the sleeve means 42 substantially parallel to the place of the foot rest 26.

When it is desired to open the leg rest arrangement 10 from the closed position to the open position, the reverse procedure is followed and! the outer end 36 of the foot rest means 26 is moved downwardly rotating the foot rest means 26 about the pivot arm 22. The engagement of the engagement means 72 withthe control arm 64 moves the sleeve means 42. in an axial direction downwardly toward the second end 16 of the control arm 12 and rotationally about the first axis 18 to swing the leg support 50 outwardly to the first or open position.

This concludes a description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. From the above, it can be seen hat there has been provided a combined foot rest and leg support structure for utilization on wheelchairs and which may be operatively connected together for movement between open and closed posi tions thereof. The leg support provides adequate sup port for the leg of those patients utilizing a wheelchair whose lower extremities are paralyzed so that the foot is not inadvertently jarred loose from the foot rest support. The structure of the present invention may be readily and conveniently adapted] to existing wheelchairs incorporating a pivotally mounted foot rest means.

It will be appreciated that while a. single, arcuate control arm has been provided to achieve the desired interaction between the pivotal motion of the foot rest means and the combined rotational and axial movement of the sleeve means to which the leg support is coupled, other types of linkages or structures providing such cooperation between the two elements may also be provided as desired for particular applications. Thus, the particular dimensions such as the placement of the engagement means 72 of the foot rest means 76 will be selected from considerations of the particular type of control arm or linkage utilized to provide the interconnection as well as minimizing interference with the placement of the foot of the patient upon the foot rest means 26. For the embodiment 10 shown in the drawing, the engagement means 72 is approximately two inches from the rear edge 40 of the foot rest means 26 and approximately two inches from the pivot edge 34 of the foot rest means 26. Different arcuate shapes of the control arm 64 or other interacting structure to provide the necessary cooperation will require selection of other positions for the engagement means.

The following claims are intended to cover all varia' tions of the present invention falling within the true scope and spirit thereof.

I claim:

1. An improved leg rest arrangement for a wheelchair comprising, in combination:

a main support member having a first axis extending in a first preselected direction, and said main support member mountable on a wheelchair;

a pivot arm having a pivot axis and coupled to said main support member, and said pivot arm extending outwardly therefrom;

a foot rest means having a foot rest surface, a bottom surface, a pivot edge, an outer edge spaced from said pivot edge, and a forward edge and a back edge extending between said pivot edge and said outer edge, and said pivot edge of said foot rest means pivotally mounted on said pivot arm for pivotal movement about said pivot axis between a first open position wherein said foot rest extends from said pivot arm to provide a foot rest on said foot rest surface thereof, to a second closed position wherein said foot rest is substantially adjacent said main support member;

a sleeve means mounted on said support member for rotational movement about said first axis thereof and reciprocating movement thereon in said first preselected direction of said first axis, and having a lower end adjacent said pivot arm, and an upper end spaced therefrom; I

a leg support means having an inner end coupled to said sleeve means in regions adjacent said upper end thereof for pivotal and reciprocating motion with said sleeve means, and having an outer end spaced froom said inner end, and having a first open position extending from said sleeve means substantially parallel to said foot rest means and substantially aligned with said rear edge of said foot rest means for the condition of said foot rest means in said first open position thereof, and a second closed position in a plane substantially parallel to said foot rest surface of said foot rest means for said foot rest means in said second position thereof;

a control arm having a preselected configuration and having a first end coupled to said sleeve means at a preselected location thereon intermediate said upper end and said lower end thereof, and a second end adjacent said foot rest surface of said foot rest means at a preselected position thereon intermediate said pivot edge and said outer edge for the condition of said foot rest means in said open position;

engagement means coupled to said foot rest means and extending from said foot rest surface thereof and operatively engaging said control arm for reciprocatingly moving said sleeve means on said support member in said preselected direction of said first axis thereof, and rotating said sleeve means about said first axis, for the condition of movement of said foot rest means between said first position and said second position thereof; and

anti-rotation means for preventing rotation of said sleeve means about said first axis for said leg support means in said first position.

2. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein:

said engagement means comprises an eyelet means pivotally mounted on said foot rest means and defining a control arm accepting aperture therethrough;

said control arm positioned in said control arm accepting aperture and slideably movable therein;

said preselected configuration of said control arm is arcuate and said first end thereof is coupled to said sleeve means in an axially aligned position with respect to said inner end of said leg support means and said control arm extending outwardly and downwardly from said sleeve means towards said front edge of said foot rest means; and

said main support is adjacent said rear edge of said foot rest means.

3. The arrangement defined in claim 2 wherein:

said anti-rotation means comprises a pair of tab means coupled to said lower end of said sleeve means and engaging said pivot arm for said leg support means in said first position thereof.

4. The arrangement defined in claim 2 and further comprising:

stop means coupled to said second end of said control arm for retaining said control arm in said aperture in said eyelet means.

5. The arrangement defined in claim 2 wherein:

said leg support means is adjacent said foot rest surface of said foot rest means for said leg support means and said foot rest means in said second positions thereof; and

said upper end of said sleeve means is positioned approximately 6 inches from said foot rest surface for said leg support means and said foot rest means in said first position thereof.

6. The arrangement defined in claim 5 wherein:

said leg support means is arcuate and concave towards said forward edge of said foot rest means.

7. The arrangement defined in claim 6 wherein:

said engagement means is spaced approximately 2 inches from said rear edge of said foot rest means and approximately 2 inches from said pivot axis of said pivot arm.

8. The arrangement defined in claim 7 wherein:

said reciprocating movement and said pivotal movement of said sleeve means occur substantially simultaneously for at least a part of said movement between said first position and said second position of said leg support means.

9. The arrangement defined in claim 6 wherein:

said leg support means has a top edge substantially aligned with said upper edge of said sleeve means, a bottom edge substantially parallel to said top edge and spaced approximately 1 inch therefrom, and a length between said inner edge and said outer edge thereof of approximately 6 inches.

10. The arrangement defined in claim 9 wherein:

said anti-rotation means comprises a pair of tab means coupled to said lower end of said sleeve means and engaging said pivot arm for said leg support means in said first position thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3134623 *Dec 20, 1960May 26, 1964Cicogna Franco & CReclining chair
US3212817 *Feb 4, 1964Oct 19, 1965Everest & JenningsLegrest support for wheel chairs
US3453027 *Oct 31, 1966Jul 1, 1969Mobilaid IncLatch for swinging footrest
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4463985 *Jan 3, 1983Aug 7, 1984Kynast Lutz THeel strap retractor for wheel chair foot rests
US4634183 *Mar 7, 1986Jan 6, 1987James Industries LimitedToilet chairs
US4722572 *May 9, 1986Feb 2, 1988Theradyne CorporationLatch and release mechanism for wheelchair footrest
US5358266 *Jul 12, 1993Oct 25, 1994Salem Home Inc.Wheel chair electric brake and pedal safety kit
US6422653 *Apr 27, 2001Jul 23, 2002Pawel SzczepanskiFoot rest lifting and lowering device for a wheelchair
US6880845Oct 20, 2003Apr 19, 2005William H. BroylesWheelchair footrest retractor
US7425010Oct 17, 2005Sep 16, 2008Pride Mobility Products CorporationMount for a wheelchair footrest
US8622409Mar 3, 2010Jan 7, 2014Melvin G. Hector, JR.Structure, components and method for constructing and operating an automatically self locking manually propelled vehicle such as a wheel chair
US20130093228 *Oct 11, 2012Apr 18, 2013American Track Roadsters, Inc.Dynamic seating components for wheelchairs
US20130140788 *Nov 27, 2012Jun 6, 2013Stryker CorporationWheeled patient support with foot rests
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/423.19, 297/423.26
International ClassificationA47C7/00, A61G5/12, A47C7/50, A61G5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61G2005/128, A61G5/12
European ClassificationA61G5/12