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Publication numberUS3916538 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1975
Filing dateFeb 20, 1975
Priority dateFeb 20, 1975
Publication numberUS 3916538 A, US 3916538A, US-A-3916538, US3916538 A, US3916538A
InventorsLoseff Herbert S
Original AssigneeLoseff Herbert S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Walking heel
US 3916538 A
Abstract
The improved walking heel of the present invention is adapted for use with a plaster leg cast and is designed to facilitate the affixation of the heel to the cast. The walking heel includes a base and plurality of rolls of plaster of paris impregnated material which are attached to the base and which are utilized to affix the heel to the sole of the cast.
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Umted States Patent [191 Loseff Nov. 4, 1975 [5 WALKING HEEL 2,725,548 12/1955 Kirk et a1 36/7.5 Inventor: Herbert S. I 308 Wordley 3,613,674 10/1971 Volz 128/835 R d 0a wmnetka In 60093 Primary ExaminerPatr1ck D. Lawson [22] F1led: Feb. 20, 1975 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Molinare, Allegretti, Newitt 21 Appl. No.: 551,349 Wltcoff 57 ABSTRACT [52] US. Cl 36/115; 128/835 51 1m. (:1. A43B 3/12; A61F 5/04 The Improved Walkmg heel of the present mventlon IS 58 Field of Search 36/25 R, 11.5, 75, 1; adapted fOr use with a Plaster leg Cast and is designed 128/835 to facilitate the affixation of the heel to the cast. The walking heel includes a base and plurality of rolls of 56 References Cited plaster of paris impregnated material which are at- UNITED STATES PATENTS tached to the base and which are utilized to affix the heel to the sole of the cast. 2,423,354 7/1947 Hoesen 36/1 2,526,205 10 1950 Doerschler 128/835 10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures L' xezflxezzflez $mm mm .w

US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of 2 3,916,538

HG! y Lav-luw-unmtI-umn -1.- l I US" Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,916,538

FEGA

WALKING HEEL BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to walking heels, and more particularly, to an improved walking heel for use with a plaster cast on a patients leg or lower extremities so as to permit the patient to ambulate without damaging the plaster sole of the cast.

Walking heels have been utilized for years with plaster leg casts to permit patients to ambulate on their injured lower extremities without destroying or damaging the plaster sole of the cast. Currently various different models of walking heels are being marketed for use by physicians. These currently marketed heels are all basically similar in design and include a molded plastic or rubber base having a ground-engaging, lower surface and a cast-contacting, upper surface. In some heels, the cast-contacting surface of the base includes an integral portrusion which is adapted to fit within and fill the space defined by the arch of the foot and the body of the heel.

In order to affix the currently marketed heels to a plaster cast, the heel is placed adjacent to the sole of the plaster cast after the cast has initially set. The heel is then affixed to the main portion of the cast by rolling a wet roll of plaster of paris impregnated material about the foot portion of the cast and the heel. The wrapped roll of plaster of paris material is allowed to harden for between 48 to 72 hours, and thereafter the patient can walk on the heel.

While the currently marketed walking heels function satisfactorily, they do have several disadvantages. At least initially, two people are needed to affix a walking heel to the sole of a plaster cast. While one person holds and properly locates the heel, with respect to the sole of the cast, a second person must wet the rolls of plaster of paris impregnated material, by dunking them in a container of water, and then wrap the wetted rolls around the heel and cast.

Another disadvantage is that the heels must be relatively thick, i.e., the upper and lower surfaces are spaced vertically apart a relatively large distance. The heels must have grooves or the like in their lower surfaces to accomodate the material being wrapped about the heels. Otherwise, this material would come in contact with ground and would rapidly wear. In order to assure proper affixation of the heels, the material must be wrapped about the heel a number of times and these grooves must, therefore, be deep in order to accomodate all the material; hence the thickness of the heels. However, this thickness results in the patients injured leg being longer than his healthy leg, and this unevenness makes it difficult for the patient to ambulate properly and comfortably.

It is a primary object of my present invention to provide an improved walking heel which is adapted for use with a plaster cast on a patients leg or lower extremities and which overcomes the aforementioned disadvantages of the currently marketed heels. A related object of the present invention is to provide an improved walking heel of the type described wherein the improved heel has a plurality of rolls of plaster of paris impregnated material attached thereto so as to facilitate the afiixation of the improved heel to a plaster cast.

The improved walking heel of the present invention includes a generally elongated, rectangular base and is designed so that its longitudinal axis is aligned with the longitudinal axis of a patients foot when the heel is attached to a cast. The base includes a first, upper surface adapted to be positioned adjacent to the sole of the cast and a second, lower surface adapted to engage the ground when the heel is secured to a cast. The second, ground-contacting surface of the heel is corrugated so as to minimize skidding and includes a plurality of transverse grooves therein. A first piece of plaster of paris impregnated material is attached to the base and overlies a portion of the upper surface of the base. This piece of material may include a relatively thick protrusion which is adapted to fill the space defined be tween the upper surface of the heel and the arch of the patients foot.

A plurality of rolls of plaster of paris impregnated material are attached, at their ends, to the sides of the base. In one embodiment, a second piece of fabric is integrally molded, in sandwich fashion, as a part of the base. The edge portions of this fabric project beyond the side edges of the body of the heel and the ends of the rolls of plaster of paris material are attached to the projecting edges of this fabric. In another embodiment, generally U-shaped, radiolucent metallic staples are attached to the base and the ends of the rolls of plaster of paris impregnated material are, in turn, attached to these staples.

These and other objects and advantages of my present invention will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a vertical, cross-sectional view of an improved walking heel, taken along the longitudinal central axis of the heel, embodying the principles of my present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the improved walking heel shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the improved walking heel as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along the line 44 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line of 5-5 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of another embodiment of an improved walking heel embodying the principles of my present invention.

FIG. 7 is a side plan view of the improved walking heel shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a partial, cross-sectional view taken along the line 8-8 in FIG. 6.

Throughout the various figures of the drawings, the same reference numerals will be used to designate the same or similar parts in the various walking heels shown in the drawings. Moreover, when the terms right, left, right end, left end, upper and lower are used herein, it is to be understood that these terms have reference to structure shown in the drawings, as it would appear to a person viewing the drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. l5, an improved walking heel, embodying my present invention, is indicated generally at 12. In FIG. 1, the heel 12 is shown as it would be positioned when affixed to the lower, sole 3 portion of a leg cast 14.

The improved walking heel 12 includes a generally rectangular base 16 which may be made from a molded plastic material. The base includes a first, upper surface 18, a second, lower surface 20, a front edge 22, a rear edge 24 and side edges 26. The base 16 is adapted to be affixed to the lower portion or sole of the cast 14 so that the longitudinal axis 27 of the base 16 is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the lower portion or sole of the cast 14.

A generally rectangular piece of fabric or material 28 is integrally molded with and as a part of the base 16, sandwiched between its upper and lower surfaces 18 and 20. The rear edge 30 of the fabric 28 is aligned with the rear edge 24 of the base 16, and the front edge 32 of the fabric is disposed to the rear of the front edge 22 of the base. The lateral or side edges 34 of the fabric 28 extend beyond the side edges 26 of the base and can be moved relative to the remaining portion of the fabric and to the base.

As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, a piece of plaster of paris-impregnated material or fabric 36 overlies the central, rear portion of the upper surface 18 of the base 16. The material 36 is attached, at its side edges, to the lateral edges 34 of the fabric 28, preferably by sewing. The material 36 includes a smoothly curved protuberance 38 which has an increased thickness, relative to the rest of the material, and which contains plaster of paris. The protuberance 38 is utilized to fill the space or volume defined between the upper surface 18 of the base 16 and the arch of the patients foot when the heel 12 is properly affixed to the cast 14. The material 36 including the protuberance 38, will adhere, when wetted by water, to the plaster of paris which is used to form the cast 14 and thereby assist in affixing the heel 12 to the cast 14.

As best shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, a plurality of rolls 40 of plaster of paris-impregnated material, usually a crinoline material, are also utilized to assist in affixing the heel to the cast 14. One end 42 of the rolls 40 are secured, at staggered points, to the lateral edges 34 of the fabric 28 preferably by sewing. When these rolls 40 are wetted, by the application of water thereto they are adapted to be wrapped around the cast 14 and the base 16 so as to assist the affixation of the heel 12 to the sole of the cast.

A portion 44 of the lower surface of the base 16 has a generally curved arc-like shape, with its center of curvature being located above the upper surface of 18 of the base. The lower facing or ground engaging surface of the curved portion 44 is corrugated, as shown in 46, so as to minimize the possibility of skidding or slippage by a person who has a heel 12 affixed to his cast 14. The curved configuration of the portion 44 permits the patient to walk in a heel-roll-over-toe gait and is preferable to a flat surface because of the lack of ankle motion due to the rigidity of the cast 14.

The lower surface 20 of the base 16 also includes a plurality of transverse grooves 48 and 50 which extend from one side of the base 16 to the other. These grooves 48 and 50 are adapted to receive those portions of the rolls 40 that are wrapped around the base 16 when the base is being affixed to the cast 14. By disposing these portions of the rolls 40 in these grooves, the material does not come in contact with the ground, and thus is not as subject to wear or tearing. Because the ends 42 of the rolls 40 are secured to the base 16, as described above, the heel 12 may be affixed to the cast without having to wrap as much material about the cast and base as was heretofore necessary with the previously used walking heels. This, in turn, permits the grooves 48 and 50 to be shallower than grooves that are utilized in the currently marketed walking heels. Consequently, the over-all thickness of the heel 12 itself can be minimized. As noted above, the minimization of the thickness of the heel 12 is highly desirable because this results in less leg length discrepancy between the patients injured and healty legs which, in turn, permits easier, more comfortable walking for the patient.

As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 5, a toe protector 52 may be removably attached to the front edge 22 of the base 16. The protector 52 includes a thin, molded canopy 54, preferably made of a plastic or rubber-like material. The canopy 54 has two depending strips 56 and 58 which are adapted to be brought around the sides of the base 16 and secured, one to the other, as

.by, for example, a VELCRO fastener that is carried by the strips, adjacent to their distal ends. The canopy 54 is designed to overlie the front portion of the base and to afford protection to a patients toes against weather and dirt when the patients toes are not encased within the cast 14.

Referring now to FIGS. 68, another walking heel embodying the principles of my present invention is shown generally at 60. The walking heel 60 is structurally and functionally identical to the walking heel 12 except for the means utilized to attach the rolls 40 and the fabric piece 36 to the base 16 of the heel.

A pair of generally U-shaped, radiolucent metallic staples 62 and 64 have their ends 65 embedded in the sides of the base 16 so that the staples lie in a plane essentially parallel to, but slightly below the upper sur face 18 of the base. Each of the staples 62 and 64 have a generally circular cross section and project from the side edges 26 of the base so that the closed end portions 66 of the staples are spaced slightly from the adjacent side edge 26 of the base. The lateral edges of the piece of fabric 36 are wrapped about the portions 66 and are then secured to the adjacent fabric 36, preferably by sewing. Similarly, the ends of 42 of each of the rolls 40 are' wrapped about the portions 66 and are likewise secur ed to the adjacent portions of the roll, or in some instances to the fabric 36, preferably by sewing. One advantage of using the staples 62 and 64'is that the positions of the rolls 40, with respect to the base 16, can be varied by sliding the secured ends 42 along the portions 66.

In order to use the walking heels 12 and 16, the heels, including fabric 36 and the rolls 40, must have water applied thereto. The application of water can be accomplished by dunking the entire bee] in a container of water. Immediately thereafter, the heel is applied to the sole of the cast 14 so that the longitudinal axis 27 of the heel is generally aligned with the longitudinal axis of the cast-14, and thus the patients foot, and so that the protuberance 38 is generally aligned with the arch of the patients foot. Thereafter, the rolls 40 are wrapped about the cast 14 and the base 16, with care being taken so that the portions of the rolls which are wrapped about the base are disposed in the grooves 48 and 50.

7 As noted above, one of the primary advantages of the improved walking heels of my invention is that the heels can be applied to a patients foot by one person. This advantage is derived from the fact that the material rolls 40 are directly attached to the base of the heel, and thus the heel can be positioned and held in position by one hand while the persons other hand can be utilized to wrap the rolls 40 about the cast and base of the heel. Also, as noted above because of the direct attachment of the material rolls 40 to the base, the thickness or height of the heel can be significantly reduced. This reduction in height lets the patient walk much more comfortably and with a much less unnatural walk.

lt should be apparent to those skilled in this art that further and other modifications may be made in the walking heels of my present invention. For example, rather than using two staples, 60 and 62, these staples could be made in one piece. Similarly the toe protector 52 could be made an integral part of the base or could be omitted entirely. While the staples are preferably made from radiolucent material, they obviously could be made from other materials, although the use of nonradiolucent material would cause a problem with x-raying the patients injured foot. Moreover, to assure that a heel could be utilized with either the right or left foot, the material 36 could be initially made so that protrusion 38 is centrally located between the lateral edges 34. At the time that the heel is wetted, prior to affixation, the protrustion can then be moved to one side or the other depending on whether the heel is to be used with a left or right foot.

Therefore, since the invention disclosed herein may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or general characteristics thereof, the embodiments described herein are therefore to be considered in all respects illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the ap pended claims, rather than by the foregoing descriptions; and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

I claim:

1. An improved walking heel for use with a plaster cast on a patients lower extremities so as to permit the patient to ambulate without damaging the plaster sole of the cast, the improved walking heel comrpising:

a generally elongated rectangular base having a longitudinal axis which is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the patients cast when the heel is mounted on the cast, the base including a first surface adapted to be position ed adjacent to the sole of the cast and a second surface adapted to engage the ground when the heel is secured to the sole of a cast, with the second surface having a plurality of transverse grooves being formed therein;

6 a first piece of plaster of paris impregnated material attached to the base and positioned so as to overlie at least a portion of the first surface of the base, the first piece of material, when wetted, being adapted 5 to assist in affixing the heel to the sole of the cast;

and

at least one roll of plaster of paris impregnated material which is attached to the base and which when wetted, is adapted to be wrapped around the cast and the base so as to assist in affixing the heel to the sole of the cast.

2. The improved heel as described in claim 1 wherein the second surface of the base is curved so as to define an arc whose axis is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the base.

3. The improved heel as described in claim 2, wherein a radiolucent metallic member is attached to the base; and wherein the roll and first piece of material are attached to the member.

4. The improved heel as described in claim 3 wherein the member is generally U shaped and has its ends embedded in the side of the base; and wherein the portion of the roll of material wrapped around the base is disposed in the grooves.

5. The improved heel as described in claim 3 wherein the first piece of material includes a relatively thick portion adapted to fill the arch space between the first surface of the base and the sole of the cast.

6. The improved heel described in claim 5 wherein the second surface of the base is curved so as to define an arc whose axis is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the base.

7. The improved heel as described in claim 1 wherein a second piece of material is embedded in the base and has a portion which projects from and beyond a side of the base; and wherein the first piece and the roll of material are attached to the projecting portion of the second piece of material.

8. The improved heel as described in claim 7 wherein portions of the second piece of material project from both sides of the base; and wherein a roll of plaster impregnated material is attached to each projecting portion.

9. The improved heel described in claim 7 wherein the first piece of material includes a relatively thick portion adapted to fill the arch space between the first surface of the base and the sole of the cast.

10. The improved heel described in claim 9 wherein the second surface of the base is curved so as to define an arc whose axis is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the base.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2423354 *Jun 3, 1946Jul 1, 1947Hoesen Florence B VanSurgical boot
US2526205 *Aug 2, 1949Oct 17, 1950Doerschler Edgar EWalker
US2725548 *Jul 24, 1951Nov 29, 1955Harris Transducer CorpVariable-capacitor transducer
US3613674 *Nov 29, 1968Oct 19, 1971Volz Robert GFoot-and-leg walking cast support
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3345794 *Apr 26, 1965Oct 10, 1967Paul Segaert Pty LtdConstruction and erection of framing members
US4061138 *Aug 12, 1976Dec 6, 1977Jacob BernsteinToe protector and foot support for an orthopedic cast
US4454872 *Feb 4, 1983Jun 19, 1984Brouhard Ronald RToe protector for an orthopedic food cast
US4461289 *Apr 19, 1982Jul 24, 1984Philippe DidierSole incorporable into plaster cast bandages for the foot
US4566208 *May 24, 1984Jan 28, 1986Shaffner Richard LToe protector
US4747219 *Mar 20, 1987May 31, 1988Antonino AmmendoleaShoe sole which affords a resilient, shock-absorbing impact
US4821432 *Mar 25, 1988Apr 18, 1989Reiber M AndrewWalking adapter for postsurgical shoes
US5185945 *Jul 10, 1992Feb 16, 1993The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyUniversal protective shield for the foot
US8758207Jun 29, 2010Jun 24, 2014APOS—Medical and Sports Technologies Ltd.Proprioceptive/kinesthetic apparatus and method
US20120017470 *Jul 22, 2010Jan 26, 2012Kung-Sheng PanPaddle slipper that offers wearing comfort
EP0044459A2 *Jul 6, 1981Jan 27, 1982Bayer AgOrthopaedic walking heel for foot supporting bandages
EP0049019A1 *Sep 25, 1981Apr 7, 1982Spronken Orthopedie Prothesecentrum PvbaWalking sole to be used under an immobilizing bandage of the lower leg whereby all foot joints are rigid
EP0064451A1 *Apr 23, 1982Nov 10, 1982Philippe DidierSole for incorporation in plaster casts of the foot
EP0783876A1 *Jan 9, 1996Jul 16, 1997Bernard RousseauSole for walking cast
Classifications
U.S. Classification36/11.5
International ClassificationA61F13/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61F13/045
European ClassificationA61F13/04C4