US 3831467 A
An orthopedic appliance for bracing the human knee and restraining the same against normal knee bending movement or genuflection, or other knee movement, such as lateral movement. The appliance wraps around the leg and is provided with an opening through which the patella may extend, and opposite such opening is a resilient pad of tapered form engageable with the popliteal area of the knee. Rearwardly of the pad are rigid longitudinally extending bracing elements, and additional parallel elements are provided adjacent the patella opening to prevent lateral movement.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Moore [451 Aug. 27, 1974 KNEE BRACE  Inventor: Robert R. Moore, 5401 San Leandro St., Oakland, Calif. 94601  Filed: Mar. 16, 1973  Appl. No.: 342,163
 US. Cl. 128/80 C, 128/165  Int. Cl. A611 3/00  Field of Search... 128/80 C, 80 R, 80 A, 80 B,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,270,685 l/1942 Miller 128/165 2,641,761 6/1958 Schultz 128/80 2,858,540 11/1958 Morrison 2/24 3,092,110 6/1963 Duensing.... 128/165 3,375,821 4/1968 Meek 128/80 3,473,527 10/1969 Spiro 128/80 UI'HER PUBLICATIONS Richards Mfg. Catalogue, Richards Knee Support,
page 17, May 9, 1966.
Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko Attorney, Agent, or Firm- Harris Zimmerman 1 1 ABSTRACT An orthopedic appliance for bracing the human knee and restrainingthe same against normal knee bending movement or genuflection, or other knee movement,
such as lateral movement. The appliance wraps around the leg and is provided with an opening through which the patella may extend, and opposite such opening is a resilient pad of tapered form engageable with the popliteal area of the knee. Rearwardly of the pad are rigid longitudinally extending bracing elements, and additional parallel elements are provided adjacent the patella opening to prevent lateral movement.
10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures KNEE BRACE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I-Ieretofore, a number of orthopedic appliances have been developed for use as a brace for the human knee or elbow for restricting the normal bending movement of such a joint. These appliances are not premanently affixed to the leg or arm as is a plaster of Paris cast, but are normally intended to be placed on and removed from the leg or arm by the patient himself or by a nonprofessional .helper. Typical of one of such prior art devices is the knee support disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,473,527.
Appliances heretofore available possessed a'number of shortcomings or features of disadvantage. By way of example only, certain of such devices have to be specifically bent or altered for each patient, usually by the attending physician or other trained person-Also, even after the appliance is contoured for a particular patient, there remains a tendency for the device to slip or move out of the proper location. Further, such devices are frequently uncomfortable for the patient to wear for any extended period of time.
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide an orthopedic appliance which overcomes the objections of comparable prior art devices, and which may be easily placed on persons of different sizes without bending or altering the same, and which will reamin in proper position on such persons with little or no discomfort.
It should be pointed out that while the device about to be described is explained in connection with the general immobilization of the knee, the same general construction would be applicable for an elbow brace. In such a case, the pad would be placed adjacent the anticubical fossa area of the elbow, and the opening formed by the recesses in the base sheet would be placed adjacent the olecrannon area of the elbow.
THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the device of the present invention in closed or operative position.
FIG. 2 is a transverse cross-sectional view taken in the plane 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the inside of the appliance when in open or inoperative position.
FIG. 5 is an end view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a side view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the outside of the appliance when in open or inoperative position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The device of the present invention, as best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 7 of the accompanying drawings, consists of a generally planar base sheet of flexible resilient material, generally designated at 12, having an inner surface 14, an outer surface 16, an upper edge 18, a lower edge 20, and opposed side edges 22 and 24. The sheet 12 may be formed as a laminate of several layers, with the inner surface 14 (which will engage the skin of the warer) being of a soft non-irritating material such as flannel, and the outer surface being of a more durablefabric such as duck, canvas, 'felt or' the like. The side edges'are provided with inwardly directed recesses 26 intermediate the edges 18' and 20 which serve to define a kneecap receiving openingwhen the device is worn on the leg. A plurality of straps 28 extend laterally from both sides of the base sheet-and such straps are adapted to engage with buckle portions on straps 30 extending laterally from opposed portions of the other side of the sheet when the sides 22 and 24 are wrapped around the usersleg into the operative position shown in FIGS. 1 and '3 of the drawings. Thestraps may be further provided with loop and hook fabric fasteners to facilitate the securing of the device onto the 'wearers leg with the upper edge being disposed in the rality of rigid stays 36, formed of'flat metal elements which are embedded in pockets 38 extending longitudinally between and perpendicular to the edges '18 and 20. As here shown, three of such stiffening stays are provided and occupy a central portion of the base sheet. As best seen in FIG. 2,these rigid and generally planar flat stays are disposed opposite to the patella opening when the device is wrapped, rolled or folded into its operative leg embracing position.
Due to the natural body cavity in the back of the knee, the stiffeners will be spaced from the leg in the popliteal region, and merely engage the back of the leg above and below the joint region. Also, even with the straps 28, 30 tightened, there is a tendency of appliances of this nature to shift longitudinally. Accordingly, as an important feature of this invention, mounted on the inner surface 14 of the base sheet is a resilient pad 42 of foam or similar material, preferably of generally rectangular configuration in plan (See FIG. 4). In longitudinal section, however, the pad 42 has a planar undersurface 44 adhesively or otherwise secured-to surface l4, flat end walls 46 parallel to edges 18 and 20 of the base sheet, and an inner surface 48 which inclines upwardly from each wall 46 reaching an apex 50 medially of the pad. With such a pad placed in the popliteal region, a degree of comfortable support will be given, notwithstanding the stiffeners 36, and the device will be effectively restrained against movement or shifting on the leg.
To add further rigidity to the device, an additional planar stiffener or stay 52 is provided intermediate the opposed side edges 54 of the pad and the edges 22, 24 of the base sheet. Overlying each such stay is a pad 56 of foam or other material similar to the material of pad 42. When the device is positioned on the leg, the stays 52 will extend longitudinally along the leg on opposite sides of the kneecap opening, and prevent lateral knee movement.
1. An orthopedic appliance for immobilizing a limb joint comprising: a generally pliant base sheet deformable from a flat inoperable position to a generally tubular configuration having opposed axial ends to embrace the limb; means releasably securing said sheet in said tubular configuration about the joint of the limb; a rigid planar stifferner extending longitudinally of and secured to said sheet medially of the opposed side edges thereof to be positioned at the rear of the joint; resilient pad means overlying at least a medial portion of and interiorly of said stiffener, and being secured to said sheet; said pad means increasing in thickness from its opposed axial ends to its longitudinal central portion for conforming to and filling the natural body cavity be tween said stiffener and the rearward portion of the limb joint; and said stiffener and pad means preventing bending of the limb joint.
2. An appliance as set forth in claim 1 in which said pad has a flat triangular configuration in longitudinal cross-section.
'3. An appliance as set forth in claim 2 in which said pad has opposed side walls spaced inwardly from said base sheet side edges, and said end portions of said pad are spaced inwardly of the longitudinally spaced end portions of said base sheet.
4. An appliance as set forth in claim 1 in which a plurality of said stiffeners are provided each extending between the opposite end edges of said sheet and all having their central portions subjacent said pad.
5. An appliance as set forth in claim 1 in which a second rigid planar stiffener is secured to said sheet intermediate said pad and each of said side edges of said sheet.
6. An appliance as set forth in claim 5 in which a strip of resilient pad material overlies each of said second stiffeners.
7. An appliance as set forth in claim 1 in which said pad is of generally rectangular plan configuration.
8. An appliance as set forth in claim 1 in which said side edges are provided with inwardly directed recesses intermediate the longitudinally spaced opposed axial ends of said base sheet, said recesses cooperating to define an opening receiving the front projection of the limb joing when said base sheet is deformed into said tubular configuration.
9. An orthopedic appliance comprising a generally pliant base sheet deformable from a flat inoperable position to a generally tubular configuration to embrace a limb, means releasably securing said sheet in said tubular configuration, a rigid planar stiffener extending longitudinally of and secured to said sheet medially of the opposed side edges thereof, a resilient pad of material overlying at least a medial portion of said stiffener and secured to said sheet, said pad having end portions of a lesser thickness than the longitudinal central portion thereof and said pad having a flat triangular configuration in longitudinal cross section.
10. An appliance as set forth in claim 9, in which said pad has opposed side walls spaced inwardly from said base sheet side edges, and said end portions of said pad are spaced inwardly of the longitudinally spaced end portions of said base sheet.