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Publication numberUS3916885 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1975
Filing dateNov 14, 1974
Priority dateNov 14, 1974
Publication numberUS 3916885 A, US 3916885A, US-A-3916885, US3916885 A, US3916885A
InventorsJr John F Gaylord
Original AssigneeMedical Specialties Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable cervical collar
US 3916885 A
Abstract
An adjustable cervical collar for encircling the neck of a wearer and characterized by the ability to be readily adjusted in height by the wearer while the collar is positioned about the neck. The collar includes a pair of elongate, semi-rigid, flexible bands held in overlapping relationship, and means for permitting the wearer to adjust the height thereof including a pair of apertures in the outer band, and a pair of elongate flexible fasteners carried by the inner band, with each fastener extending outwardly through one of the apertures. The apertures and fasteners are relatively positioned with respect to each other such that a pull exerted on the fastener results in the overlap of the bands being reduced to thereby increase the height of the collar. A pair of cooperating securing members are carried by the outer face of the outer band for securing each of the fasteners thereto in a predetermined position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

v United States Patent [191 Gaylord, Jr.

[ NOV. 4, 1975 ADJUSTABLE CERVICAL COLLAR John F. Gaylord, Jr., Matthews, NC.

[73] Assignee: Medical Specialties, Inc., Charlotte,

[75] Inventor:

[22] Filed: Nov. 14, 1974 [21] Appl. N0.: 523,890

Primary ExaminerRichard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerJ. Yasko Attorney, Agent, or FirmParr0tt, Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson 57 ABSTRACT An adjustable cervical collar for encircling the neck of a wearer and characterized by the ability to be readily adjusted in height by the wearer while the collar is positioned about the neck. The collar includes a pair of elongate, semi-rigid, flexible bands held in overlapping relationship, and means for permitting the wearer to adjust the height thereof including a pair of apertures in the outer band, and a pair of elongate flexible fasteners carried by the inner band, with each fastener extending outwardly through one of the apertures. The apertures and fasteners are relatively positioned with respect to each other such that a pull exerted on the fastener results in the overlap of the bands being reduced to thereby increase the height of the collar. A pair of cooperating securing members are carried by the outer face of the outer band for securing each of the fasteners thereto in a predetermined position.

12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US, Patent .Nov. 4, 1975 1 ADJUSTABLE CERVICAL COLLAR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an adjustable cervical collar for encircling the neck and immobilizing the wearers head while supporting the neck and head. The cervical collar is characterized by having means for allowing the wearer to adjust the height of the collar while the collar encircles the neck of the wearer.

The use of cervical collars is widely prescribed by physicians in treating trauma of the muscles and ligaments of the neck, and of the cervical and upper thoracic vertabrae and associated spinal nerves. The collar, by shifting support of the head from the neck and vertabrae to the lower chin and upper sternum, allows the affected body parts to maintain a substantially neutral and relaxed position and thus heal faster and more completely.

It is often necessary to vary the height of cervical collars repeatedly during a course of treatment on a single patient, in order, for example, to increase or decrease the degree of permissible head and neck movement. To eliminate the necessity of repeatedly exchanging one collar for another having a different height, several different designs for cervical collars having means for adjusting the height thereof have been proposed. However, several persistent disadvantages exist in known adjustable cervical collars of this type.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,027,894, issued Apr. 3, 1962, discloses a cervical collar formed of upper and lower overlapping bands. The bands are slidable relative to each other by means of four separate, pivotally mounted sliding metal clamps which are each individually held in a desired position by tightening a screw. A major disadvantage of this approach is the necessity of using a screwdriver to individually tighten each of four separate screws. This procedure renders it difficult for the wearer alone to adjust the height since it is difficult to maintain the proper separation while tightening the screws. Thus normally the collar must be put on and then taken off several times to insure the correct adjustment of each of the four clamps. Other disadvantages are that the cervical collar described above is structurally complicated and therefore relatively expensive, and it is quite heavy due to the large number of metal parts on the collar.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,135,256, issued June 2, I964, discloses a cervical collar formed of upper and lower overlapping bands adjustable by means of cooperating Velcro elements secured to the outside of the lower band and the inside of the upper, overlapping band. Thus the lower band is trapped beneath the upper band when the collar is in place around the neck, and the collar must be removed in order to peel the lower band away from engagement with the upper band and make the necessary adjustment.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION Accordingly, it is the object of this invention to provide an adjustable cervical collar with means for allowing the wearer of the cervical collar to adjust the height thereof while the collar encircles the neck of the wearer.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a cervical collar which is adapted to permit the wearer to selectively increase or decrease the effective height of the collar while the same is positioned about the wearers neck.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a cervical collar which is simple in construction, and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

These and other objects and advantages of the pres ent invention are achieved in the embodiment illustrated herein by the provision ofa cervical collar which comprises a pair of substantially parallel, elongate, semi-rigid, flexible bands which are held in overlapping relationship, and means for releasably securing the collar in encircling relation about the wearers neck. Means are provided for permitting the wearer to adjust the height of the collar comprising an edge surface positioned on the inner band, and an elongate flexible fastener carried by the outer band. The fastener has one end secured to the inner band, and it extends vertically and is looped about the edge surface such that the other end of the fastener overlies the outer face of the outer band. The edge surface thereby serves as a bearing surface whereby a pull exerted upon the fastener results in the overlap of the bands being reduced to thereby increase the height of the collar. A securing member is carried by the outer face of the outer band for releasably securing the fastener thereto in a predetermined position to thereby maintain the desired height of the collar.

In the illustrated embodiment, the elongate fastener has Velcro elements secured to one side thereof, and the securing member comprises a patch of Velcro ele ments releasably cooperating with the Velcro elements on the elongate fastener.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Some of the objects of this invention have been set forth above, other objects and advantages will appear as the description of the invention proceeds, when taken in conjunction with the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the outwardly facing, front side of a cervical collar according to this invention with the fastenerelements disengaged;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the collar in FIG. 1, showing the manner in which the collar bands are slidably connected;

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the cervical collar according to this invention in place around the neck of the wearer and showing the manner in which the height of the collar is increased;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the cervical collar according to this invention in place around the neck of the wearer and showin'gthe increased height of the collar obtained by manipulating the collar in the manner shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectioned perspective view of the collar taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3 and showing the means for adjusting the collar in its secured position, and with the detached position.

of the elongate fastener shown in dotted lines; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectioned perspective view of the collar taken substantially along the line 6-6 of FIG. 3 and through the means slidably interconnecting the bands.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, an adjustable cervical ing edges 11a, llb, respectively, and a lowerelongate band 12 overlapping the upper band 11 substantially parallel therewith and having upper and lower longitudinally extending edges 12a, 12b, respectively. The upper band 11 and lower band 12 are each formed of a thin, lightweight, semi-rigid plastic material, such as polyethylene, and are substantially sinusoidal in shape to conform to the configuration of the chin, neck, shoulders and upper chest of the wearer. It will be understood that, while the preferred embodiment of this invention comprehends the lower elongate band 12 overlapping the upper band 11, the objects of the invention can be likewise accomplished with a structure wherein the upper band 11 overlaps the lower band 12.

The upper and lower bands 11, 12, respectively, are slidably interconnected for vertical movement relative to each other by means comprising three spaced-apart, transverse elongate slots 11c, 11d, lle through the medial and opposing end portions, of upper band 11, in communicating alignment with three spaced-apart, transverse, elongate slots 12c, 12d, l2e through medial and opposing end portions of the overlapping, lower band 12. The interconnecting means further includes three studs having an enlarged head on one end thereof, collectively referred to by reference numeral 13, each of the studs 13 being extended through one of the communicatively aligned pairs of slots 11c, 12c; lld, 12d; and lle, l2e, respectively. Two washers 14 and 15 are carried in spaced-apart relation by each of the studs 13 with the upper band 11 and lower band 12 I interposed therebetween. The end of the stud 13 remote'from the enlarged end is then crimped or otherwise flattened to maintain the assembled relationship.

In order to releasably secure the cervical collar 10 in encircling relation around the neck of the wearer, means are provided which include an elongate, integrally formed tongue 18 on one end of the lower band 12. A patch of conventional fibrous Velcro fastener material 19, formed of a loose non-woven felt-like substance, is secured, as for example by stitching, to the tongue 18. Secured to the opposing end of the lower band 12 is a patch of conventional hook-type Velcro material 20, comprising numerous rows of small plastic hooks, which cooperates with the fibrous material 19 on the tongue 18 to releasably secure the collar around the neck of the wearer in the desired position, as is shown in FIG. 4.The cooperating Velcro patches 19, 20, respectively, cover a substantial area on opposing ends of the lower band 12, thus permitting the tightness of the collar around the neck to be varied as desired.

To enable the collar 10 to conform more closely to the anatomy of the wearer, and to provide additional comfort, elongate cushion pads 22 and 23 are stitched to the upper edge of the upper band 1] and lower edge of lower band 12, respectively. The cushion pads 22 and 23 comprise a tubular core'of dense foam rubber, enclosed in an outer covering of soft, pliable covering material such as vinyl as is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. A plurality of perforations 24 are provided in theu'pper band 11 and lower band 12 topermit the flow of ventilating air through the collar, thus making the collar more comfortable for the wearer.

Means for allowing the height of the collar to be adjusted by the wearer while encircling the wearers neck by varying the amount of overlap of the lower band 12 relative to the upper band 11 are provided and comprise a pair of elongate flexible fasteners 28 and 29. In the illustrated embodiment, each fastener comprises a strip of relatively narrow fabric, and has a conventional, fibrous Velcro material, as described above, secured to one side thereofFastener 28 is secured at one end thereof to the upper band 11 intermediate transverse slots 11c and 11d therein, and extends vertically therefrom in the manner more fully described below. Fastener 29 is secured at one end thereof to the upper band 11 intermediate transverse slots 11d and 11e, and likewise extends vertically therefrom as described below.

Extending through the lower band 12 in transverse alignment with the fasteners 28, 29 are longitudinally extending apertures, in the form of slots 34 and 35, respectively. Each of the slots 34 and 35 receive therethrough one of the elongate fasteners 28, 29, respectively, as is shown in FIG. 1, and define lower edge surfaces 34a, 35a for the purposes described below. As will be observed in FIG. 2, slots 34, 35 are positioned adjacent the 'upper edge 12a of the lower band 12, whereas the fasteners 28, 29 are secured to the upper band 11 adjacent the lower edge 11b thereof. Secured to the lower band 12 directly beneath the slots 34, 35 are hook-like Velcro securing patches 38 and 39, respectively, as described above, for securing the elongate fasteners 28, 29 in a desired position.

As best seen in FIGS. 3-5, the fasteners 28, 29 extend upwardly from the point of attachment to the band 11, and through the associated slots 34, 35 such that the remote free end of each fastener overlies the outer face of the band 12. Thus in order to increase the height of the collar, the wearer grasps the fastener 28 between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, and the fastener 29 between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, and pulls the same outwardly through the slots 34, 35. Thus the surfaces 34a and35a serve 'as a bearing surface whereby the outward pull results in the overlap of the bands being reduced to thereby increase the height of the collar. When the fasteners 28, 29 have been pulled outward sufficiently to increase the height of the collar 10 to its desired level, the fasteners 28, 29, having the fibrous Velcro material thereon, are pulled downward and pressed firmly into engagement with the hook-like Velcro patches 38, 39, respectively. This engagement' maintains the collar at its desired height against downward pressure against the upper band 11 by the chin.

As best seen in FIG. 3, the slot 34 and associated fastener 28 are longitudinally spaced a predetermined distance from the medial portion of the collar represented by-the line 66, and the other slot 35 and associated fastener 29 are longitudinally spaced a corresponding distance in the opposite direction from the medial portion. This arrangement facilitates the gripping of the fasteners by the wearer as described above.

Todecrease the height of the collar, the elongate faspush downwardly upon the upper edge of the upper band-ll,,thus lowering the upper band 11 relative to the lowerband l2, or the bands 11 and 12 may be moved together in any manner by the hands of the wearer or otherwise to increase the extent of overlap therebetween.

By using the chin to adjust the height of the collar 10, the proper adjustment of the collar may be determined directly by observing the effect of lowering or raising the height thereof upon the position of the head and neck, rather than by making continuous, incremental adjustments while the collar is removed from encircling relation around the neck and then replacing the collar around the neck to determine the effect of the adjustment on the position of the head and neck.

Thus, it may be seen that an adjustable cervical collar is described above for encircling the neck and immobilizing the wearers head while supporting the neck and head, which is characterized by the ability to be readily adjusted in height by the wearer while the collar encircles the neck of the wearer.

In the drawings and specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of this invention, and al though specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the invention being defined by the claims.

That which is claimed is: 1. An adjustable cervical collar for encircling the neck of a wearer and substantially immobilizing the wearers head while supporting the head and neck, and characterized by the ability to be readily adjusted in height by the wearer while the collar is positioned about the neck, said cervical collar comprising:

a pair of substantially parallel, elongate, semi-rigid, flexible bands held in overlapping relationship with one of said bands overlapping the other of said bands when placed in position about a wearers neck; means for releasably securing the cervical collar in encircling relation about the wearers neck; means for readily permitting the wearerof the cervical collar to adjust the height thereof while the collar is positioned about the neck, and comprising: a. an edge surface positioned on said one band, b. an elongate flexible fastener having one end thereof secured to said other band and extending vertically from said other band and looped about said edge surface such that the other end of said fastener overlies the outer face of said one band, said edge surface serving as a bearing surface whereby a pull exerted upon the fastener results in the overlap of the bands being reduced to thereby increase the height of the collar, and

c. means carried by the outer face of said one band adjacent said edge surface for releasably securing said fastener thereto to permit the fastener to be maintained in a desired position.

2. An adjustable cervical collar for encircling the neck of a wearer and substantially immobilizing the wearer's head while supporting the head and neck, and characterized by the ability to be readily adjusted in height by the wearer while the collar is positioned about the neck, said cervical collar comprising:

a pair of substantially parallel, elongate, semi-rigid, flexible bands, one of said bands overlapping the other of said bands when placed in position about a wearers neck;

means slidably interconnecting said bands for vertical movement of said bands relative to each other;

means for releasably securing the cervical collar in encircling relation about the wearers neck;

means for readily permitting the wearer of the cervical collar to adjust the height thereof while the collar is positioned about the neck, and comprising:

a. an edge surface positioned on said one band,

b. an elongate flexible fastener having one end thereof secured to said other band and extending vertically from said other band and looped about said edge surface such that the other end of said fastener overlies the outer face of said one band, said edge surface serving as a bearing surface whereby a pull exerted upon the fastener results in the overlap of the bands being reduced to thereby increase the height of the collar, and

c. means carried by the outer face of said one band adjacent said edge surface for releasably securing said fastener thereto to permit the fastener to be maintained in a desired position.

3. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 2, wherein said means slidably interconnecting said bands comprises a plurality of spaced-apart transverse elongate slots in each of said bands, the slots in one of said bands being in mated communicating alignment with the slots in the other of said bands, and a stud having enlarged opposing end portions extending through each of said mated communicating slots for intercon necting each of said bands while allowing relative vertical movement therebetween.

4. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 2, wherein said elongate flexible fastener includes a patch of loose, fibrous, felt-like material, and said means for releasably securing said fastener includes numerous rows. of hook-like fastener elements, and wherein said fastener elements are adapted to releasably engage said patch of material upon being pressed together.

5. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 2, wherein said one band has a longitudinally extending aperture for receiving said elongate fastener therethrough, and wherein said edge surface comprises one of the longitudinal edges defining said aperture.

6. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 2, wherein said means for releasably securing the cervical collar in encircling relation around the wearers neck includes cooperating fastener units secured to opposing end portions of at least one of said pair of bands.

7. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 6', wherein said cooperating fastener units includes a longitudinally extending tongue integrally formed on one end of at least one of said pair of bands and having numerous rows of hook-like fastener elements secured to one side thereof, and a patch of loose, fibrous, felt-like material secured to the opposing end of at least one of said pairs of bands and releasably cooperating with the hook-like fastener elements on said tongue.

8. An adjustable cervical collar for encircling the neck of a wearer and substantially immobilizing the wearers head while supporting the head and neck and characterized by the ability to be readily adjusted in height by the wearer while the collar is positioned means for slidably interconnecting said bands for vertical movement of said bands relative to each other;

means for securing the cervical collar in encircling relation about the wearers neck;

means for readily permitting the wearer of the cervical collar to adjust the height thereof while the collar is positioned about the neck, and comprising:

a. a pair of longitudinally spaced apart apertures extending through said one band and adjacent said upper side edge thereof;

b. a pair of longitudinally spaced apart, elongate flexible fasteners secured to said other band adjacent said lower side edge thereof, each of said fasteners being substantially aligned with one of said apertures and extending upwardly and through the aligned aperture such that the other end of each fastener overlies the outer face of said one band, said apertures serving as a bearing surface whereby a pull exerted on the fasteners results in the overlap of the bands being reduced to thereby increase the height of the collar; and means carried by the outer face of said one band for releasably securing each of said fasteners thereto to permit the fasteners to be maintained in a desired position.

9. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 8,

wherein each of said pair of bands has a plurality of spaced-apart perforations therein for allowing a ventilating flow of air through said pair of bands.

10. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 8, including an elongate strip of soft cushioning material secured to the lower longitudinally extending side edge of said one band and an elongate strip of soft cushioning material secured to the upper longitudinally extending side edge of said other band for permitting the cervical collar to conform more closely to the anatomy of the wearers neck, lower chin, and shoulders,

and making the cervical collar more comfortable while encircling the wearers neck.

11. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 8, wherein said pair of bands are longitudinally sinusoidal in shape for corresponding to the configuration of the head, neck and upper chest of the wearer when in encircling relation around the neck of the wearer.

' 12. An adjustable cervical collar according to claim 8, wherein one of said apertures and associated fastener are longitudinally spaced a predetermined distance from the medial portion of the collar, and the other of said apertures and associated fastener are longitudinally'spaced a corresponding distance in the opposite direction from the medial portion of the collar. =l

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US4520801 *Jul 8, 1983Jun 4, 1985Max LermanCervical collar
US4538597 *Nov 22, 1983Sep 3, 1985Max LermanCervical collar
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Classifications
U.S. Classification602/18, 128/DIG.230
International ClassificationA61F5/055
Cooperative ClassificationY10S128/23, A61F5/055
European ClassificationA61F5/055