Title:
SURGICAL LUMBO-SACRAL SUPPORT
United States Patent 3568670


Abstract:
A relatively narrow, lumbosacral surgical support having a semirigid, but flexible intermediate panel and a pair of porous elastic end panels stretchable longitudinally and transversely.



Inventors:
GAYLORD JOHN F JR
Application Number:
04/788510
Publication Date:
03/09/1971
Filing Date:
01/02/1969
Assignee:
MEDICAL SPECIALTIES INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
128/DIG.15, 450/125, 602/61
International Classes:
A61F5/02; (IPC1-7): A61F5/02
Field of Search:
128/549,157,579,96--101,78,169,578
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3441027COMPOUND SUPPORT1969-04-29Lehman
3434469ORTHOPEDIC APPLIANCE1969-03-25Swift
2733712N/A1956-02-07Wuesthoff
2104699Surgical appliance1938-01-04O'Dell



Primary Examiner:
Eager, Adele M.
Claims:
I claim

1. A lumbosacral surgical support comprising a substantially rectangular semirigid intermediate panel including a fabric-encased core of resilient porous spongelike material secured thereto, first and second elongate opposing end panels of elastic textile fabric connected to and extending outwardly from respective opposing side edges of said intermediate panel, the elastic fabric of said end panels being stretchable both longitudinally and transversely thereof to readily conform to the physiognomy of the patient when worn in the lumbosacral region, and fastening means for detachably interconnecting the distal end portions of said end panels opposite from said intermediate panel when the support is placed about the patient's trunk in the lumbosacral region.

2. A surgical support according to claim 1, wherein said core is composed of discrete particles of polyurethane foam material bonded together and having a density of about 6 pounds per cubic foot and an enhanced porosity comparable to that of common polyurethane foam of about 2 pounds per cubic foot density.

3. A surgical support according to claim 1 including a plurality of spaced substantially parallel and transversely extending rows of binder thread stitching penetratingly secured to said intermediate support panel to stabilize said core relative to said fabric.

4. A surgical support according to claim 1, in which the fabric-encased core includes two layers of fabric sandwiching said spongelike material therebetween, and further comprising a plurality of spaced transverse rows of thread stitching compressively securing the layers of said fabric and said core together in the area of said intermediate support panel, and said rows of stitching serving to hold the core in compressed condition thereat to impart a transversely ribbed configuration to opposing faces of said intermediate panel.

5. A surgical support according to claim 1, wherein each of said end panels includes a longitudinally extending medial portion of substantially lesser elasticity than its outer portions straddling said medial portion,

6. A surgical support according to claim 1, wherein each of said end panels is provided with outwardly converging longitudinal side edges such that each end panel is of lesser width at its outer end than said intermediate panel, and wherein opposing sections of each end panel are disposed in overlapping superimposed relationship.

7. A surgical support according to claim 1, wherein said fastening means comprises means forming a napped surface on one face of one of said end panels adjacent the outer end thereof, and a plurality of hook-shaped fiber members secured to and projecting from the opposing face of the other of said end panels adjacent the outer end thereof for grippingly engaging said napped surface on said one end panel to fasten together the distal ends of said end panels in overlapping relationship.

8. A lumbosacral surgical support comprising an elongate web comprising multiple plies of elastic textile fabric, a substantially rectangular core of resilient porous spongelike material sandwiched between and secured to medial portions of said plies and defining with the plies a semirigid intermediate support panel, said plies defining end panels extending outwardly from opposing side edges of said intermediate panel, said plies being interconnected along their opposing longitudinal side edges, and fastening means positioned on the distal ends of said end panels for securement of such ends together when the support is placed about a patient's trunk.

9. A surgical support according to claim 8, wherein said end panels are elastically stretchable both longitudinally and transversely to readily conform to the physiognomy of the patient's trunk in the lumbosacral region.

Description:
Various types of surgical binders or supports have been proposed heretofore to be positioned about a patient's trunk for supporting the patient's back in the lumbar and/or sacral regions. Generally, such surgical supports have been made entirely of elastic webbing stretchable in longitudinal direction only, or they have been made of woven inelastic duck sections with elastic web sections interposed between adjacent duck sections. In many instances, such surgical supports are provided with hard inflexible pads in the central portions thereof in order to provide the necessary support for the wearer. The elastic type of surgical support tends to roll upon itself quiet easily while in use, and the type of surgical support made up of duck and elastic web sections is undesirably expensive to manufacture because of the number of elements involved in its manufacture. Also, those supports which have been provided with hard pads therein are uncomfortable because they do not readily conform to the physiognomy of the patient and are uncomfortably hot to the wearer.

It is an object of this invention to provide a surgical binder or support which is so constructed as to overcome the above-mentioned and other drawbacks inherent in surgical supports commonly in use.

More specifically, it is an object of this invention to provide a lumbosacral support comprising an intermediate, semirigid but flexible and resilient panel and opposing the panels of elastic fabric, which end panels are stretchable both longitudinally and transversely of the same so as to conform to the physiognomy of a patient's trunk when the support is in use.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the lumbosacral support of the present invention as it is worn about a patient's trunk;

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation of the lumbosacral support as it is worn about a patient's trunk;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the outside surface of the lumbosacral support;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the inside or body-engaging surface of the lumbosacral support;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the various parts of the lumbosacral support before they are fastened together;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the partially assembled support;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged transverse sectional view through one of the end panels of the support, taken substantially along line 7-7 in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view through the intermediate panel of the support taken substantially along line 8-8 in FIG. 3.

Referring more specifically to the drawings, the improved lumbosacral support is broadly designated at 10 and comprises a substantially rectangular, semirigid and resilient intermediate panel 11, and a pair of first and second elongate opposing end panels 12, 13 which are preferably trapezoidally shaped. End panels 12, 13 are stretchable both longitudinally and transversely thereof to readily conform to the physiognomy of the patient, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, when worn about the patient's trunk in the lumbosacral region. In its preferred embodiment, the support 10 is formed of a multilayer elastic fabric extending throughout the length thereof and which is stretchable in both the transverse and longitudinal directions.

As shown, with particular reference to FIG. 5, all three panels 11--13 of support 10 are formed collectively from a pair of complementary elongate lengths or layers of porous elastic fabric 14, 15. The fabric forming each layer is preferably of the well-known power net type in which rubber or spandex elastic yarns extend longitudinally of the fabric and are interlaid with respective rows of knitted stitches of relatively inelastic yarn. By way of example, a power net fabric structure is shown on page 189 of a publication copyrighted 1964 by the National Knitted Outerwear Association, and entitled "Advanced Knitting Principles," to which reference is made for a disclosure thereof, Other types of elastic fabrics capable of transverse and longitudinal stretch may be used however.

The intermediate panel 11 comprises a resilient spongelike core 17 whose length is about one fourth to one third the overall length of the support 10 and which is encased or sandwiched between medial portions of the fabric layers 14, 15 defining the intermediate panel 11. The core 17 may be about three-eighths inch to five-eighths inch thick, depending to some degree upon the desired size of the support. In the process of manufacturing the support 10, the two fabric layers 14, 15 preferably are formed originally of about the same width throughout their length as shown in FIG. 6, and they are secured together along their opposing longitudinal edges by suitable stitching 20, with the core 17 positioned between the fabric layers 14, 15. Although the two fabric layers 14, 15 are shown in FIG. 6 as being separate strips of fabric, it is apparent that both layers 14, 15 may be made from a single width of fabric folded upon itself along its longitudinal center, without departing from the invention.

To further facilitate confirmation of the support 10 to the physiognomy of a patient when it is worn about the patient's trunk, the opposing longitudinal side edges of each end panel 12, 13 extend in angular or converging relationship from their juncture with intermediate panel 11 outwardly to the outer end edges thereof as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Additionally, the longitudinal central or medial portion of each end panel 12, 13 is reinforced and is of lesser elasticity or stretchability under a given amount of tensile force than the opposing side portions of the respective end panel. To this end, in the process of manufacture of the support after the two fabric layers 14, 15 have been secured together along their opposing longitudinal edges, each end panel 12, 13 is severed longitudinally thereof along a line extending parallel with the opposing side edges of the fabric layers 14, 15 and about halfway between such opposing side edges, with the line of cut terminating adjacent opposing end edges of core 17, as best shown in FIG. 6.

Thereafter, the side portions of each end panel 12, 13 are positioned in overlapping relationship with the amount of overlap diminishing in a direction toward the intermediate panel 11, thus forming respective substantially triangularly-shaped or wedge-shaped reinforcing gussets 22, 23 extending longitudinally of and along medial portions of the respective end panels 12, 13. The previously cut or severed edges of the gussets 22 are then secured in overlapping relationship by respective outwardly diverging lines of stitching 24, 25, and 26, 27.

In order to secure core 17 in the desired position between fabric layers 14, 15 such as to impart a semirigid characteristic to intermediate panel 11 without sacrificing the resiliency and porosity of intermediate panel 11, panel 11 is provided with a plurality of space substantially parallel and transversely extending rows of support thread stitching 30 penetratingly secured to the same, which rows of stitching serve to hold the core in compressed condition thereat to impart a transversely ribbed configuration to opposing faces of intermediate panel 11. The rows of stitching 30 may be in the form of chain stitching, or any other suitable means may be provided for compressively securing the layers of fabric and the core together along lines extending transversely of the intermediate panel so as to stabilize the intermediate support panel and to impart a transversely ribbed configuration to opposing faces of the intermediate panel.

Core 17 preferably is formed of a resilient foam material having a relatively high density, in order to provide sufficient rigidity while also having sufficient porosity so that some ventilation of the covered area of the werarer's body is possible. A suitable material for this purpose is disclosed in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,374,785, issued Mar. 26, 1968. Such material, formed from discrete particles of polyurethane foam material bonded together, preferably has a density of about 6 pounds per cubic foot, while having a porosity comparable to that of common polyurethane foam material of about 2 pounds per cubic foot density.

Suitable fastening means are provided for fastening the distal end portions of end panels 12, 13 in overlapping relationship to snugly secure the lumbosacral support about the patient's trunk as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. It is preferred that a so-called "Velcro" type of fastening means is employed in which a relatively small strip of textile pile material 33 is secured to one face of the outer or distal end portion of one of the end panels, and wherein one or more hook strips 34 is suitably secured to the opposite face of the outer or distal end portion of the other end panel. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the strip of pile material 33 is secured, by suitable stitching, to the outer end portion of face of end panel 12, and hook strips 34 are secured, by suitable stitching, to the outer portion of the opposite face of end panel 13. The "Velcro" fastening means may be of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,717,437, issued Sept. 13, 1955, to which a reference is made for a more detailed description thereof. It is to be understood that other fastening means, such as snap fasteners, hooks and eyes, buttons, etc., may be used for this purpose. At the time that pile and hook members 33, 34 are secured to end panels 12, 13, 7 the opposed ends of the fabric layers 14, 15 also may be sewn together.

It is thus seen that I have provided an improved lumbosacral support of flexible, breathable characteristics and which includes a semirigid, porous and resilient panel with two-way stretch end panels, and which may be worn by both men and women, since it will readily and comfortably conform to the patient's physiognomy while preventing or relieving pain in the lower region of the patient's back.

Because of the resilient but semirigid characteristics of the intermediate panel 11 and the smoothly rounded configuration of the ribs of the intermediate panel, the width of intermediate panel 11 may be substantially less than the width of the supports conventionally used for reinforcing a patient's back. Heretofore, conventional lumbosacral supports have been of such width as to embrace an area extending from about the region of the second lumbar vertebra to a position below the coccyx in order to provide adequate support of the sacral vertebrae. The width of the support of this invention need only be sufficient to overlie the fifth lumbar vertebra and the five sacral vertebrae (roughly about 6 to 7 inches wide). The length of intermediate panel 11 (core 17) should be about 11 to 12 inches; sufficient to embrace the patient's pelvic region.

It has been determined that the lumbosacral support should be manufactured in various sizes, i.e., the width and length of the support should be suited to the wearer. However, it has been determined that the intermediate panel 11 need not be wider than about 7 inches, even in the largest sizes, to provide satisfactory support for the lumbosacral region of the patient.