Title:
ADJUSTABLE SPLINT
United States Patent 3653378


Abstract:
A splint which may be easily adjusted to the angle of the knee or elbow of a broken leg or arm and which may be easily applied to the broken limb to hold the limb and the joint in position. The splint has a pair of side members which are joined together along one edge by canvas panels and along the opposite edge by removable lacings. The adjacent faces of the side members are covered with heavy padding. Each of the side members is formed of a pair of boards, the first board being rectangular and the second, shorter board partially overlapping the first board. A pair of bolts extending through slots in the second board permit the angle between the first and second boards to be adjusted. The canvas panel may be provided with an opening to permit access to the injured limb after the splint has been installed.



Inventors:
REUTHER KARL A A
Application Number:
05/035170
Publication Date:
04/04/1972
Filing Date:
05/06/1970
Assignee:
KARL A.A. REUTHER
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61F5/058; (IPC1-7): A61F5/04
Field of Search:
128/88,87,86,84,85,83,93
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3256880Convertible intravenous armboard1966-06-21Caypinar
2655916Splint1953-10-20Timmins
2339515Splint1944-01-18Parcher
2186456Splint1940-01-09Gordon
0792407N/A1905-06-13
0552143N/A1895-12-31



Foreign References:
GB635407A
GB190213992A1902-10-02
Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Yasko J.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A splint for use on a fractured limb, comprising:

2. A splint according to claim 1 wherein each of the two bolts passes through arcuate slots in the one of the boards.

3. A splint according to claim 2 wherein the center of curvature of each of said arcuate slots lies at the upper end of the opposite slots, the upper ends of said slots being spaced the same distance apart as said bolts.

4. A splint according to claim 1 further including an opening extending along a portion of said canvas panel.

5. A splint according to claim 1 wherein said fastening means comprises a plurality of hooks mounted at spaced intervals on the outer surface of each of said side members and a lacing engaging said hooks.

6. A splint according to claim 1 wherein said first and second panel members are joined by a pair of bolts, carried by said first board, one of said bolts passing through a hole in said second board and serving as a pivot for said boards, the other of said bolts passing through a semi-circular slot in said second board, and the center of curvature of said slot being coincident with said first hole in said second board.

7. A splint for use in an injured limb, comprising:

Description:
When an individual suffers a broken arm or leg a splint should be applied to immobilize the broken bones and the adjacent joints until they can be set and protected by a permanent cast. When the break occurs at or near the knee or elbow it is desirable that the entire joint be rendered immobile so that the injury is not compounded. Since many of these injuries occur while engaged in sports activities, and particularly while skiing where the injured person is not close to medical attention and may have to be carried for some distance, it is desirable that the splint be easily carried and capable of being correctly installed even by persons of little or no medical training. Various splint arrangements have been proposed but these lack certain essential features. Among the difficulties present in the prior art splints are the difficulty of being properly and quickly installed by a layman without aggravation to the injuries, and the lack of any means for adjusting the splint to the angle of the broken knee or elbow or for retaining the splint securely at that angle. Most injured parties will not allow their limb to be moved or straightened. An adjustable splint will accommodate this human reaction and will further avoid any unnecessary motion. Under certain conditions, it may be desirable to apply some traction to the injured limb as, for example, where traction is needed to prevent muscle spasms.

It is the primary object of may invention to provide a splint which may be used on a broken arm or leg to immobilize the arm or leg and the elbow, knee and ankle. A further object of the invention is the provision of such a splint which may be easily installed by a layman without causing further injury. It is also an object of the invention to provide a splint which may be easily carried and which provides protection from the effects of sub-freezing temperature. A further object of the invention is a provision of a splint which is of simple design and which may be economically constructed. Another object of the invention is the provision, in connection with a splint, of means for applying some degree of traction to the injured limb.

As will be described in more detail below, these objectives are fulfilled in the present invention by providing a splint which consists of a pair of side members joined by a cloth panel and adapted to be positioned on opposite sides of the injured limb and which have an adjustable portion which may be moved to accommodate the angle of the elbow, knee or of the broken limb and securely held at that angle. For a more complete understanding of my invention reference should be had to the following description and accompanying drawings wherein there is shown a preferred embodiment of my invention.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of the adjustable splint of my invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear plan view of the adjustable splint;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a pictorial side view showing the splint of FIGS. 1-3 applied to a broken leg;

FIG. 5 is a top view similar to that of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top view of the lower or foot portion of a second embodiment of the splint of my invention;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the splint of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary top view of the lower or foot portion of another embodiment of the splint of my invention;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the splint of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary plan view of a modified arrangement of the pivotal connection between the upper and lower side members of the splint of my invention.

The splint, designated generally by the reference numeral 10 consists of a pair of side members 12 and 14 which are mirror images of one another and canvas panels 16 and 18 which join the side members 12 and 14 together. The side member 12 consists of a main rectangular panel 20, preferably of plywood and a second panel 22, also preferably of plywood. The lower portion of the panel 22 overlaps the upper portion of the panel 20. A pair of carriage bolts 24 extend outwardly through holes near the upper end of the panel 20 and through arcuate slots 26 and 28 in the overlapped portion of the panel 22. The center of curvature of each of the slots lies at the upper end of the opposite slot. Each of the bolts 24 has a washer 30 and a wing nut 32 to permit rapid adjustment and tightening of the bolts. This arrangement permits the upper panel 22 to be adjusted at an angle relative to the lower panel 20 as will be more fully described below. The turning of the upper panel 22 relative to the lower panel 20 may be accomplished about the axis of either bolt. The inner face of each of the panels 20 is provided with a layer of padding 34, preferably a 2-inch thick layer of foam rubber. Likewise, the non-overlapping portions of the panels 22 are provided with padding 36, also preferably of foam rubber. The canvas panel 16 is connected to the lower panels 20 of the side members 12 and 14 along one of the principle edges thereof and the panel 18 is connected to the side edges of the upper panels 22 of the side members 12 and 14. It should be noted that the panel 16 is of slightly greater width at its upper than its lower end to accommodate the natural difference in thickness of a person's leg from the ankle to the knee. The panel 16 may, if desired, be provided with a zippered opening 38. Hooks 40 are provided along the free edges of the panels 12 and 14 and a lacing 42 is run from one hook to another, alternating between the panels 12 and 14, to complete the splint and tightly clamp it to the injured limb.

The dimensions of the various elements of the splint will, of course, vary depending upon the application intended. Thus, a splint for use on a leg will be generally larger than on designed for use on an arm. However, the arrangement which provides the adjustability between the upper and lower portions of the side members of the splint permits the same splint to be used on either an arm or leg. For example, a splint which is of a size suitable for use on an adult's arm may be readily be used on a child's leg. The foam rubber padding 34 and 36 also compensates for different sizes of limbs and permits the splint to be applied without removing the injured person's shoe or ski boot. This is of particular importance when the splint must be applied in sub-freezing temperatures.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the method by which the splint is installed. Assuming that the person has a broken leg, the splint is positioned open under the leg with the canvas panels 16 and 18 beneath the leg and the side portions 12 and 14 on opposite sides of the leg. The adjustable upper plates 22 of the side members are positioned so that the pivot points are approximately aligned with the knee. Assuming that the wing nuts 24 have previously been loosened, the upper plates 22 may be pivoted about the bolts 26 at the upper end of the arcuate slots 28 until the angle between the upper plate 22 and the main plate 20 corresponds to the angle between the upper and lower portions of the broken leg. The wing nuts 24 are now tightened down to hold the side members in this angled position and the side members 12 and 14 are brought together against the sides of the leg. The lacing 42 is now drawn through the hooks 40 to tightly clamp the splint in place, immobilizing both the bones and the adjacent joints. Access to the injured leg, to control bleeding, for example, may be had through the spaces between lacings 42 and through the zippered opening 38 in the canvas panel 16 along the back of the leg.

When it is not possible to slide the splint under the leg, the splint may be placed with the canvas side up and pressure applied to the sides until the limb is immobilized. The splint may now be moved to allow the splint to be laced from the bottom side.

It is further contemplated that the zipper 38 might extend the full length of the canvas strips 16 and 18 thereby allowing the halves 12 and 14 to be used separately in certain circumstances. Further, if for certain situations the limb to be splinted is badly broken so that ice packs or absorbent material must be applied or the limb itself is so wide that the canvas sections 16 and 18 are not wide enough, the separated configuration would provide this adjustability. To this end, the hooks 40 might also be placed adjacent the canvas edge, as indicated in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a modified splint construction which includes an arrangement for applying traction to the broken limb to reduce the possibility of internal injuries due to muscle spasms. In this embodiment, the end of each of the lower panels 20a of the splint has a notch 42. A rod 44 is received in the notches 42 and has a crank-like end 46. When this embodiment is used, a bandage 50 is wrapped around the wrist or ankel of the injured limb before the splint is closed. The ends 52 of the bandage are fastened to a pin 48 on the rod 44. After the splint has been tightened about the limb, the rod 44 may be turned to wind the bandage ends 52 around the rod 44 and apply tension to the joint and limb. A suitable latch or clip 54 may be provided to prevent accidental turning of the rod 44.

Another arrangement for applying traction to a broken limb is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. The straight legs 56a of a U-shaped rod 56 are slidably received in brackets 58 which are mounted on the outer faces of the panels 20b. Stops 60 are provided to prevent the rod 56 from sliding inwardly toward the panels 20b. Traction is applied to the injured limb by wrapping an elastic bandage 62 around the wrist or ankle of the limb and around the rod 56. When the splint has been closed and tightened to clamp the limb, the bandage 62 is twisted to tighten it and apply traction to the limb. The twisting may be accomplished by using a bar or rod 64. The bar used to twist the bandage is either shorter than the distance between the legs 56aor is turned at an angle to clear the legs as the bandage is twisted. If a short bar is used to tighten the band, a longer bar 64 is inserted through the twisted portion of the bandage 62 when it is sufficiently tightened. The ends of the bar 64 are held by the legs 56a to prevent the bandage from becoming untwisted. The stops 60 may pivot about their mounting screws so that they may be swung clear of the ends of the rod 56 to allow the rod to slide inwardly when it is not needed. Alternatively, the rod 56 may be removed from the brackets 58 and carried separately from the splint when it is not needed. It is preferably, however, to keep the rod and splint together so that all components are readily available when needed. For this reason, clips (not shown) may be provided on one of the side members 20b for holding the tightening rod or bar 64 when it is not in use.

Another arrangement for pivoting the upper and lower sections of the splint to accommodate the angle of the knee or elbow of the broken limb is shown in FIG. 10. In this embodiment, the upper and lower panels 22c and 20c, respectively, are connected by two bolts 68 and 70. The bolts 68 and 70 are aligned on the longitudinal axis of the panel 20c with the bolt 68 serving as the pivotal axis between the panels. The upper bolt 70 passes through a semicircular slot 66 in the panel 20c. This slot 66 is centered about the bolt 68. This arrangement has a greater degree of adjustability than the previously described embodiment since it permits the upper panel 22c to be adjusted to any angle up to 90° on either side of the panel 20c.

It will be understood that changes and additions may be made in the described embodiment of my invention. Thus, for example, eyelets may be provided in the side members 12 and 14 for receiving the lacings 42. Alternatively, straps and buckles may be provided on the outer faces of the side members 12 and 14 for securing these members to one another across the injured limb. Reference should therefore be had to the appended claims in determining the true scope of the invention.