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Publication numberUS3857388 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 31, 1974
Filing dateOct 18, 1973
Priority dateOct 18, 1973
Publication numberUS 3857388 A, US 3857388A, US-A-3857388, US3857388 A, US3857388A
InventorsS Frankel
Original AssigneeRichards Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Universal clavicle splint
US 3857388 A
Abstract
A clavicle splint including a backplate member which is intended to fit over the back of the user. Attached to the backplate member is a T-configured velcro element. The splint includes a pair of straps which have the upper ends thereof provided with elongated velcro sensitive material for grippingly engaging the remote portions of the transverse bar portion of the T-configuration. The lower ends of the straps may be adjustably attached one to the other with suitable velcro elements and the joined ends thereof may be adjustably attached to the vertical portion of the T-configuration at a point considerably below the transverse bar, i.e., the straps do not curve upwardly along the backside of the user, which enables the user to have more maneuverability of his arms without flexing his shoulders or aggravating the fractured clavicle.
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United States Patent [i9] 7 Frankel [111 3,857,388 [451 Dec.31, 1974 UNIVERSAL CLAVICLE SPLINT [75] Inventor: Sylvan A. Frankel, Billings, Mont.

[73] Assignee: Richards Manufacturing Company,

Memphis, Tenn.

[22] Filedz' I Oct. 18, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 407,428

[52] U.S. Cl.. 128/87 R, l28/DIG. 19, l28/DIG. 15, 2/45 [51] Int. Cl. A6lf 5/04 [58] Field of Search 128/87, 78, 133, DIG. l9, l28/DIGL15; 2/44, 45, DIG. 6

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 531,372 12/1894 Gamble 2/45 556,424 3/1896 Lang 2/45 1,075,348 iO/l9l3 Fritsch.... l28/DlG. 19 3,548,818 12/1970 Kaplan.... 128/78 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-J. Yasko Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John R. Walker, Ill

[57] ABSTRACT A clavicle splint including a backplate member which is intended to fit over the back of the user. Attached to the backplate member is a T-configured velcro element. The splint includes a pair of straps which have the upper ends thereof provided with elongated velcro sensitive material for grippingly engaging the remote portions of the transverse bar portion of the T- configuration. The lower ends of the straps may be adjustably attached one to the other with suitable velcro elements and the joined ends thereof may be adjustably attached to the vertical portion of the T- configuration at a point considerably below the transverse bar, i.e., the straps do not curve upwardly along the backside of the user, which enables'the user to have more maneuverability of his arms without flexing his shoulders or aggravating the fractured clavicle.

8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEB [1EC31 I974 SHEET 2 OF 2 FIG. 2

vF1613 I UNIVERSAL CLAVICLE SPLINT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 3,718,137. None of the above patents disclose or suggest applicants device.

A fracture of the clavicle is usually a result of a fall on the outstretched hand or on the side of the shoulder.

' Additionally, fractures of the clavicle usually occur in the middle third of the clavicle. A cursory observation of the above patents will reveal that they have, almost without exception, two common characteristics, i.e.,

' the shoulder straps are joined at the midline posterior of the user from whence they come across the top of the shoulder obliquely, to enter the axilla. Also, the straps (when adjustable) are adjustable at the lower ends only. This characteristic is typical of the straps currently in use which admittedly hold the shoulders back quite firmly if pulled tightly enough. However, these types of straps are objectionable for several reasons, a few of which are: Since the straps come from the midline posterior across the top of the shoulder obliquely to enter the axilla, its course is such that it exerts most of its pressure on the lateral one half of the clavicle. Since the great majority of clavicle fractures occur in the middle one third, the objection has been made by medical practitioners that the deformity is increased quite often with the use of these straps. Unfortunately, this is not something about which the patient is usually aware. Accordingly, the clavicle is allowed to heal in this deformed position.

On the other hand, the great majority of patients are quite aware of another problem, that is, the fact that the standard strap is quite uncomfortable under the arm, in the axilla, frequently causing paresthesias (numbness, tingling) in the hand. This constriction of the axillary contents is made worse by the fact that the strap curves upwardly after leaving the axillary area to return to its point of origin, like that taught by the 236 patent.

Further, certain of these prior clavicle splints tend to shift from an optimum position or ride up which requires constant readjustment. More specifically, when the upper ends of the straps taper downwardly to the midline posterior, e.g., like that taught by the Meek 456 patent, and the lower ends of the straps are joined at a point below the junction of the upper ends, the natural tendency is for the junction of the straps to move upwardly along the midline posterior toward the head or neck of the user. Obviously, this shifting of the splint aggravates the healing process of the clavicle, thus deformity is increased quite often with the use of these prior straps.

Summary of the Invention The present invention is directed towards overcoming the disadvantages and problems relative to previous clavicle splints; particularly the problem of the splint shifting, the problem associated with the splint exerting most of its pressure on the lateral one half of the clavicle, and the problem which frequently causes paresthesias in the hand. The concept of thepresent invention is to provide a clavicle splint which is not intended to hold any more firmly than those presently available in the state of the art. However, the instant splint holds in a different manner, and is considerably more comfortable when properly adjusted.

In other words, the clavicle splint of the present invention provides lateral hold, i.e., more on the shoulder than the clavicle, but does not directly immobilize the fracture. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that coming across the clavicle like certain prior straps serves no purpose. However, I have discovered that placing the holding straps laterally of the clavicle tends to effectively restrict the movement of the fracture. Previous attempts to restrict the movement of the fracture have resulted in the clavicle healing in a deformed disposition. An important feature of the present invention is thatthe upper ends of the straps may be properly adjusted to the user, not only along the length of the straps butlaterally as well or along a line that extends substantially parallel with the clavicle. Another feature of the present invention is that the splint does not enter the area under the arm, i.e., in the axilla, thus the probability of paresthesias developing in the hand is obviated.

The splint is characterized by a backplate member which is intended to fit over the back of the user. Attached to the backplate member is a T-configured velcroelement. The splint includes a pair of padded straps which have the upper ends thereof provided with elongated velcro sensitive material for grippingly engaging the remote portion of the transverse bar portion of the T-configuration. The lower ends of the straps may be adjustably attached one to the other with suitable velcro elements and the joined ends thereof may be adjustably attached to the vertical portion of the T- configuration at a point considerably below the transverse bar, i.e., the straps do not curve upwardly along the backside of the user like the well-known figure 8 splint or that disclosed by the McLeod 236 patent. This very important feature enables the user to have more maneuverability of his arms without flexing his shoulders or aggravating the fractured clavicle and more importantly, the splint does not shift or ride up to allow deformity of the clavicle during the healing process.

In donning or applying the device, the transverse bar of the velcro element should be placed across the top of the shoulders, the shoulder straps are then applied by adjusting the velcro at the top so the bulk of the pad lies in front of the shoulder, but does not enter the area under the arm. The strap is then tightened inferiorly and fastened firmly to the lower part of the vertical bar of the velcro element. The final adjustment, and the one which produces effective correction, is to release the top of each strap, pull it tight, and fasten it again as far laterally as possible. Either strap can be tightened or loosened above or below to produce a final tight fit. One of the straps has velcro on both sides inferiorly to allow one strap to be applied directly over the other at the bottom of the vertical bar of the velcro element. A certain portion of the straps is padded to promote comfort to the user.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the three-piece universal clavicle splint of the present invention with the view taken from the rear portion thereof.

FIG. 2 depicts the splint of the present invention being worn by a patient, the clavicle bone structure of the patient being shown to illustrate the optimum position of the splint.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken as on the line III-III of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken as on the line lV-IV of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken as on the line VV of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The clavicle splint 11 of the present invention generally includes a backplate member 13 and a pair of shoulder straps 15, 17 which have the remote ends thereof removably and adjustably attached to the backplate member 13 in such a manner as to provide a totally new concept in supporting the shoulders of a patient having a broken clavicle.

The appropriate posterior portions of a patient are depicted in phantom in FIG. 2 of the drawings and character referenced therein by the capital letter P. Further, the left clavicle of the patient P is shown by the numeral 19 and his right clavicle is shown by the numeral 21. The right clavicle 21 is depicted as having a fracture. as at 23, in order to better describe the splint 11 and the advantages thereof. Further, the left axilla and the right axilla or armpits are characterized by the respective numerals 25, 27 in FIG. 2 of the drawings.

The backplate member 13 preferably is constructed from a flexible nonstretchable material, e.g., soft felt padding or the like, and is intended to contiguously engage the back of the user or patient P. The backplate member 13 includes an uppermost transverse edge portion, as at 29, which extends at least from the lateral end, as at 31, of the left clavicle 19 of the patient P to the lateral end, as at 33 of his right clavicle 21. The backplate member 13 also includes a lower portion, as at 35, which is disposed a considerable distance below the transverse edge portion 29 with the lower portion 35 being lower than is the axilla 25 or 27 of the user or patient P, as clearly shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings.

From FIG. 2 of the drawings it may also be seen that the shoulder straps 15, 17 engage the shoulders of the patient P laterally of his left and right clavicles 19, 21 to restrict his movement during the healing process of the fracture 23. The splint 11 includes means, e.g., coacting velcro elements 37, 39 (FIG. 4) and cooperating velcro elements 41, 43 (FIG. 5), for removably and adjustably attaching the upper ends, 45, 47 respectively, of the pair of straps 15, 17 to the backplate member 13 at selected ones of a plurality of laterally displaced locations, each of which being adjacent the lateral ends, 49, 51, ofthe transverse edge portion 29. In this regard, it should be understood that the velcro elements 39, 43 extend laterally a predetermined distance along the transverse edge portion 29. In fact, the velcro elements 39, 43 may optionally be one horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric, as at 52, which is fixedly attached to the backplate member as with stitching (not shown) or the like.

The splint 11 also includes means, e.g., velcro elements 53, 55 (FIG. 3), for removably and adjustably attaching the lower ends, 57, 59 respectively, of the pair of straps 15, 17 one to the other.

The splint 11 also includes means, e.g., cooperating velcro elements 61, 63 (FIG. 3) for removably and adjustably attaching the joined lower ends 57, 59 to the backplate member 13 adjacent the lower portion 35 with the pair of straps 15, 17 extending across the top of the shoulders of the patient P, thence downwardly as they pass over the forward lateral portions of his shoulders, thence turning rearwardly and extending under his arms but well below his armpits 25, 27 whereby the pair of shoulder straps 15, 17 may have tension applied thereto for restricting the movement of the users shoulders to hold the lateral end of the fractured clavicle 21 in an optimum position during the healing process of the fracture 23 thereof.

It should be understood that the velcro element 63 may be in the form of a vertical bar of velcro hook fabric which is fixedly attached to the backplate member 13 in any suitable well-known manner, such as stitching (not shown) or the like, so as to extend substantially along the midline posterior of the user or the patient P. Further, the velcro elements 37, 41 alluded to above preferably are well-known velcro hook sensitive fabric means for grippingly engaging the horizontal bar of'velcro hook fabric 52 at infinite locations along the length thereof. The velcro elements 37, 41 are fixedly attached as by stitching (not shown) or the like to the respective upper ends 45, 47 of the straps 15, 17. Further, the velcro element 55 being formed from velcro hook fabric is fixedly attached as by stitching (not shown) or the like to the lower end 59 of the strap 17 and the element 53 being formed from velcro sensitive material is fixedly attached as by stitching (not shown) or the like to the lower end 57 of the strap 15. Further yet, the velcro element 61 being formed from velcro sensitive material is fixedly attached as by stitching (not shown) or the like to the lower end 59 of the strap 17, i.e., the element 61 being attached to one side of the strap 17 while the element 55 is attached to the opposite side thereof. The straps 15, 17 preferably are made of a type of nonstretchable fabric well known to those skilled in the art.

The splint 11 also includes a pair of tubular shaped pad means, e.g., foam padding members 67, 69 or the like, for promoting comfort to the patient P. The tubular foam pads 67, 69 have predetermined lengths thereto so as to cushion the appropriate portions of the shoulder straps 15, 17 against biting into the patient P. The tubular foam pads 67, 69 are disposed circumferentially about the shoulder straps 15, 17 along the respective midportions thereof as clearly shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings.

Although the invention has been described and illustrated with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications may be made therein which are within the full intended scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. A clavicle splint comprising a flexible nonstretchable backplate member for contiguously engaging the back of the user, said backplate member having an uppermost transverse edge portion which extends at least from the lateral end of the left clavicle of the user to the lateral end of his right clavicle, said backplate member also having a lower portion which is disposed a considerable distance below said uppermost transverse edge portion with said lower portion being lower than is the axilla of the user, a pair of shoulder straps for engaging the shoulders of theuser laterally of his left and right clavicles to restrict his movement thereof, means for removably and adjustably attaching the upper ends of said pair of straps to said transverse edge portion of said backplate member at a plurality of laterally displaced locations each of which being substantially adjacent the lateral ends of said transverse side of said backplate member to allow the upper ends of said pair of straps to be properly adjusted to the user both along the length thereof and along the transverse edge portion of said backplate member that extends substantially parallel with the users clavicles, means for removably and adjustably attaching the lower ends of said pair of straps one to the other, and means for removably and adjustably attaching the joined lower ends ofsaid pair of straps to said backplate member adjacent said lower portion thereof with said pair of straps extending across the top of the shoulders of the user, thence downwardly as they pass over the forward lateral portions of his shoulders, thence turning rearwardly and extending under his arms but well below his axilla whereby said pair of shoulder straps may have tension applied thereto for restricting the movement of the users shoulders.

2. A-clavicle splint comprising a backplate member for contiguously engaging the back of the user, a horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric fixedly attached to said backplate member'so as to extend substantially parallel with and along the lengths of the clavicle bones of the user, a vertical barof velcro hook fabric fixedly attached to said backplate member so as to extend substantially along the midline posterior of the user, first and second flexible shoulder strap means for engaging the shoulders of the user to restrict his movement thereof, the upper ends of said first and second strap means respectively including upper predetermined lengths of velcro hook sensitive fabric means for grippingly engaging said horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric selectively along the lengths of said upper velcro sensitive fabric means and selectively along the length of said horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric means,v

means for adjustably attaching the lower ends of said first and second strap means one to the other, and lower velcro hook sensitive fabric means attached to the lower ends of one of said strap means for grippingly engaging said vertical bar of velcro hook fabric selectively along the length thereof whereby tension may be applied to said first and second strap means.

3. The splint of claim 2 in which is included first and second tubular shaped pad means for promoting comfort to the user, said first and second pad means having predetermined lengths thereto and being disposed circumferentially about said first and second strap means along the respective mid portions thereof.

4. The splint of claim 2 in which said backplate member is constructed from a flexible nonstretchable material.

5. The splint of claim 2 in which said backplate member is constructed from soft felt padding.

6. A clavicle splint comprising a flexible nonstretchable backplate member for contiguously engaging the back of the user, a horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric fixedly attached to said backplate member so as to extend substantially parallel with the clavicle bones of the user, a vertical bar of velcro hook fabric depending from the mid portion of said horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric and being fixedly attached to said backplate member so as to extend substantially along the midline posterior of the user, a pair of flexible elongated nonstretchable straps for engaging the shoulders of the user and extending downwardly and rearwardly.

with respective portions thereof being adjacent the lateral ends of his clavicle bones and other respective portions thereof passing adjacent to but not contacting his axilla, a pair of upper elongated velcro sensitive fabric means respectively attached to the upper ends of said pair of straps for grippingly engaging said horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric selectively along the lengths of said pair of upper velcro sensitive fabric means and selectively along the length of said horizontal bar of velcro hook fabric means with the upper ends of each of said straps being laterally displaced from the midline posterior of the user, means for adjustably attaching the lower ends of said pair of straps one to the other, and lower velcro hook sensitive fabric means attached to the lower end of one of said straps for grippingly engaging said vertical bar of velcro hook fabric selectively along the length thereof with the lower ends of said pair of straps being a considerable spaced distance below the upper ends thereof and with tension being applied to said shoulder straps to restrict the movement of the users shoulders. I

7. The clavicle splint of claim 6 in which said means for adjustably attaching the lower ends of said pair of straps one to the other includes velcro hook fabric and velcro hook sensitive material.

8. A clavicle splint comprising a backplate member for contiguously engaging the back of the user, horizontal means fixedly attached to said backplate member and extending in a direction along the width thereof so as to extend substantially parallel with and along the lengths of the clavicle bones of the user, vertical means fixedly-attached to said backplate member and extending in a direction along the length thereof so, as to extend substantially along the midline posterior of the user, first and second flexible shoulder strap means for engaging the shoulders of the user to restrict his movement thereof, the upper ends of said first and second strap means respectively including means for grippingly engaging said horizontal means selectively along the length thereof, means for adjustably attaching the lower ends of said first and second strap means one to the other and means attached to the lower ends of one of said strap means for grippingly engaging said vertical means selectively along the length thereof whereby tension may be applied to said first and second strap

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US531372 *Dec 3, 1891Dec 25, 1894 Shoulder-brace
US556424 *Nov 25, 1895Mar 17, 1896 Kael relnhard lang
US1075348 *Dec 7, 1912Oct 14, 1913Lewis A FritschSelf-locking body-brace.
US3548818 *Mar 14, 1968Dec 22, 1970David KaplanShoulder brace
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4526164 *Jul 11, 1983Jul 2, 1985Theodore A. KirbyUniversal size arm sling
US4570619 *Oct 27, 1982Feb 18, 1986Jung CorporationClavicle brace
US4589406 *Aug 11, 1983May 20, 1986Florek Florian FOrthopaedic appliance for use in treating acromioclavicular joint injuries
US4785803 *Jun 19, 1986Nov 22, 1988Temova EstablishmentShoulder truss
US4966136 *Apr 6, 1989Oct 30, 1990Bates Norman ROrthopedic support device
US5133340 *Jan 15, 1991Jul 28, 1992Beiersdorf AktiengesellschaftClavicle bandage
US5738640 *Aug 25, 1997Apr 14, 1998Carlson-Orsi; DianeUpper spine and neck support cushion
US6315747 *Jul 24, 2000Nov 13, 2001James Patrick ToolePosture aid apparatus
US7980625 *Jun 13, 2008Jul 19, 2011Christian Shane WorthingtonBack jack
US20090309001 *Jun 13, 2008Dec 17, 2009Christian Shane WorthingtonBack Jack
US20120022417 *Aug 19, 2009Jan 26, 2012Barbara ThompsonHarness
US20130253399 *May 13, 2013Sep 26, 2013Barbara ThompsonHarness
US20140039370 *Aug 2, 2012Feb 6, 2014Jack T. SearsOrthopedic clavicle brace
DE19607233A1 *Feb 27, 1996Aug 28, 1997Angelika SemschVorrichtung zur gezielten Beeinflussung der Haltung des menschlichen Oberkörpers
Classifications
U.S. Classification602/19, 2/908, 128/DIG.150, 128/DIG.190, 2/45
International ClassificationA61F5/058
Cooperative ClassificationA61F5/05808, Y10S2/908, Y10S128/15, Y10S128/19
European ClassificationA61F5/058B