United States Patent 3578773

An orthopedic appliance including a flexible and elastic body-engageable and conformable belt having a pressure pad slidably mounted on the inner side thereof for application on the torso of the wearer to provide support and pressure in any preselected position on the circumference of the torso between the lower scapular area and the sacroiliacs.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
A61F5/24; (IPC1-7): A61F5/02
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
3307535Orthopedic appliance1967-03-07Locke
3194234Postoperative binder1965-07-13Duckman et al.
3176684Pelvic traction belt1965-04-06Walsh
3154072Sacroiliac belt1964-10-27Mack
2681059Hernia truss pad, supporter, and massager1954-06-15Dietz
2018981Abdominal belt1935-10-29Tietjen
1940904Surgical appliance1933-12-26Dayton et al.

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Yasko J.
I claim

1. An orthopedic appliance comprising:


This invention relates to an orthopedic support and, more specifically, to a support comprising a flexible elastic body-encircling belt on the inner side of which is movably secured pad means to be located in juxtaposition to a preselected position relative to a patient's body, and means for adjusting the tension of the belt and, consequently, the pad pressure.

The prior art is replete with examples of standard or commercially manufactured pressure pad appliances which have been designed to alleviate pain and to support the user's body. However, in the known prior art practices, such orthopedic pads were either fixedly secured on the body-encircling belt or were placed in a sewn pocket provided on the belt, thus rendering the pad stationary relative thereto. Such constructions, obviously, limit the utility of the support belt and pad. Further, the prior art orthopedic supports are generally constructed for appliance to either the right- or left-hand side of the patient's body and are ill suited to serve as an orthopedic support if positioned on a side of the patient's body for which the same was not specifically designed.


One of the primary objects of this invention is to provide an orthopedic support capable of standardized mass production in the interests of economy.

Another important object of this invention is to provide a physician or surgeon with a versatile appliance in the treatment of patients, each of which requires an individually fitted support.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a body-conformable orthopedic support and pressure pad which may be applied any where on the circumference of the torso between the lower scapular area and the sacroiliacs.

Still another object of this invention is to provide an orthopedic support in the nature of a flexible body-encircling belt having pressure pad means slidably mounted thereon for adjustment to a preselected position to any point on the periphery of the belt.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a supportive orthopedic appliance as generally described supra, and wherein the belt means is provided with adjustable securing means whereby the tension of the belt means may be adjusted to obtain a desired pressure on the pressure pad when the orthopedic appliance is worn by the patient.

This invention contemplates, as a still further object thereof, the provision of an orthopedic supportive appliance as generally referred to above, and wherein the appliance or device is noncomplex in construction and assembly, inexpensive to manufacture, and one which is rugged and durable in use.

Other and further objects and advantages of the instant invention will become more manifest from a consideration of the following specification when read in light of the accompanying drawing.


FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the inner side of the orthopedic appliance of this invention, FIG. 1 showing the pressure pad in one preselected position on the body-engageable belt;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary detail cross-sectional view, FIG. 2 being taken substantially on the vertical plane of line 2-2 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail cross-sectional view, FIG. 3 being taken substantially on the plane of the line 3-3 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of the orthopedic appliance of FIG. 1 as applied to the lower torso (shown in phantom lines) of a patient; and

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of the orthopedic appliance of FIG. 1 as applied to the upper torso (shown in phantom lines) of a patient, the appliance being inverted from its position of FIG. 4.

Referring now more specifically to the drawing, reference numeral 10 designates, in general, an orthopedic support, appliance or device constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention. As is illustrated in the several FIGS. of the drawing, one of the main components of this invention comprises an elongated belt 12 formed of any conventional flexible elastic material and which may be formed of a single blank having, preferably, a substantially elongated rectangular configuration. The opposed ends of the belt 12 are reverted at 14, 16 and are secured in their inwardly folded positions by one or more lines of stitches 18, 20, respectively, to provide finished end edges 22, 24.

The belt 12 includes opposed end portions 12A, 12B on which is secured, on opposite sides, cooperating releasable securing means 26, 28, respectively. Such releasable securing means may take the form of a Velcro fastener comprising a plurality of laterally spaced flexible elongated rectangular strips of fabric material 30, 32 extending longitudinally inwardly from the end edges 22, 24 towards one another and of which the strips 30 may carry the loop pile 34 and the strips 30 to the cooperating filament hook pile 36. Such fastening means are, per se, old and well known in the art.

Substantially centrally of the end edges 22, 24, the belt is formed with a pair of longitudinally extending exteriorly located spaced darts 38, 40 as are conventionally formed in fabric material, the darts 38, 40 extending transversely throughout the entire width of the belt and being secured by transversely extending lines of stitches 42. In forming the darts 38, 40, the length of the peripheral edge 44 of the belt 12 is made shorter than its peripheral edge 46.

A plurality of substantially rectangular strips of fabric material 48 are disposed between the end edges 22, 24 and their respective adjacent darts 38, 40, the strips 48 extending transversely of the belt 12 throughout its entire width and also being disposed at the exterior side thereof. The strips 48, 50 are stitched at 52 along their respective opposed sides and ends to form closed pockets 54 (see FIG. 3) in each of which is enclosed an elongated substantially rectangular metal stiffening stay 56.

The pressure pad constructed according to this invention bears the general reference numeral 60. As is seen in FIG. 1, the pad 60 is elliptical in configuration and has a width, at its minor axis, substantially equal to the width of the belt 12. The pad 60 is laminated construction and includes a substantially elliptical backing plate 62 formed of a light, semiflexible, hard plastic or other suitable material to provide stability. The backing plate 62 is concave-convex about its minor axis and has its convex side superimposed against the inner side of the belt 12, and the backing plate 62 is slidably connected on the belt 12 by an elongated substantially rectangular flexible strap 64 formed of a suitable fabric material. As is seen in FIG. 2, the strap 64 has its upper end folded over the adjacent upper edges of the belt 12 and the backing plate 62, and is similarly folded about their respective adjacent lower edges to provide end tabs 66, 68 which are fixedly secured to the concave side of the backing plate 62 as by rivets 70. As is seen in FIG. 1, the strap 64 is positioned substantially centrally of the ends of the backing plate 62. The concave side of the backing plate 62 is provided with a liner 72 formed of a soft polyfoam or other similar and suitable material which may be connected or otherwise fixedly secured thereto by adhesive or other means conventional in the art.

The liner 72 substantially covers the concave side of the backing plate 62, and while but one liner 72 has been described and illustrated herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the thickness of this liner 72 may be increased, if desired, by merely adhesively securing one or more liners to the liner 72.

Of material importance to the instant invention is the association of the strip 64 relative to the belt 12. The connection of the strap 64 to the backing plate 62 must be such that the pad 60 is slidable on the belt 12 for adjustment to any preselected position intermediate the fastening means 26, 28.

Having described this orthopedic appliance in detail, the utility of the device will be set forth below with specific reference to FIGS. 4 and 5.

In FIG. 4, the belt 12 of FIG. 1 is shown as being engaged about the lower torso of a person, with the Velcro fastening means 34, 36 overlapped and in their securing position. The shorter edge 44 of the belt 12 is here shown in its uppermost position relative to the longer edge 46, and the pad 60 has been adjusted on the belt 12 to, substantially, a position for supporting a condition known as "the pulled side muscle." This occurs very frequently among athletes and persons who are engaged in heavy industry. The obliquus externus is particularly vulnerable because of its origin from the lower eight ribs, its close association with the latissimus dorsi and its attachment to the outer rim of the iliac crest. This support will protect these muscles when injured along with the obliquus internus. Note that in FIG. 4 the orthopedic support or appliance 10 takes the configuration of, substantially, a hollow tapered ellipsoidal appliance.

In FIG. 5, the orthopedic appliance has been inverted on the body of the patient or wearer and the pad 62 has been shifted on the belt 12 to provide a support which is useful to persons with strained or weak abdominal muscles or those requiring post surgical support. The muscles usually involved are the obliquus externus and internus, the transverse and rectus abdominus, the last three lying beneath the obliquus externus.

By virtue of its unique construction, the orthopedic appliance 10 according to this invention may be worn substantially over any portion of the torso below the level of the armpits, and because of the elasticity and flexibility of the body-encircling belt 12 it may be worn angularly on the torso, that is, one side portion may engage the body higher or lower than the other side, and the front and back portions may also be adjusted and worn higher or lower relative to one another, all depending upon the use of the appliance. Regardless of the positioning of the belt on the torso of the patient or user, the pad 60, as has been stated above, may be shifted on the belt 12 in such a manner as to engage and support any preselected portion of the body.

It should be further noted that the Velcro fastener permits adjustment of the effective length of the belt 10 at its upper and lower edges 44, 46, respectively, and also serves as a pressure control means for the pad 60.

This orthopedic appliance is highly versatile and has been designed for many uses, some of which are related below.

The orthopedic appliance 10 has been found useful in the following cases:

1. To give support to strained or sprained intercostal muscles (the muscles between the ribs).

2. To give support in green-stick rib fractures and to aid in the healing of the injury.

3. To give support when there is injury to the costal cartilages (these connect the ribs and sternum).

4. To give support when there is injury to the articulations of the ribs and transverse vertebral processes.

5. To aid in relieving the pain and discomfort of intercostal neuralgia and/or pleurisy.

6. It is also helpful in the strain and contracture of the lower portion of the trapezius and adjacent muscles.

7. It is an ideal postoperative support for many types of abdominal surgery.

8. It is also an aid in the case management of lower back (lumbar area) strains.

9. It will protectively support a lower dorsal strain.

10. It is helpful and a great aid in relieving lumbago (spasmed lower back muscles) because the pad may be moved to a point directly over the spasmed area. The pad pressure, with the aid of the correct directional pull provided by the elastic belt, will give support to the spasmed muscles and aid in their relaxation, thus relieving the patient of pain.

11. In cases of sacroiliac strain or mild sprain, the pad may be moved and placed directly over the injured, painful area, either on the right or left side. Since there is a slight separation in the majority of sacroiliac involvements, this versatile pad may be so specifically placed and the proper directional tension applied through the elastic belt that more complete and normal healing will follow, along with more comfort to the patient during this period. When this support is used in the sacroiliac area, the flared margin of the belt (the edge 46) should be turned so that it becomes the bottom edge.

12. The pad 60 is so designed and is amply sized in order that it may be moved and placed in such a position that it will support the lower lumbar vertebrae as well as both sacroiliacs simultaneously.

Other uses of the orthopedic appliance or device 10 will occur and be self evident to those who are skilled in the healing arts.

Having described and illustrated one embodiment of this invention in detail, it will be understood that the same is offered merely by way of example, and that this invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.