Title:
ORTHOPEDIC APPLIANCE
United States Patent 3834376


Abstract:
An orthopedic appliance is disclosed which is particularly useful for correcting hip dislocations in children. The appliance is intended to maintain the legs of a child spread apart in such a manner that the thighs extend laterally of the torso and normal thereto. The appliance consists of a shell having two spaced leg support sections which are connected by an arcuate transverse wall. The transverse wall defines a cavity intermediate the leg support sections. When the shell is placed between the legs of a child so as to spread these apart, the leg support sections at least partly encircle the thighs and the cavity is located between the legs and is open to the buttocks. Shoulder straps are provided for maintaining the shell in requisite position on the child.



Inventors:
THUM O
Application Number:
05/349784
Publication Date:
09/10/1974
Filing Date:
04/10/1973
Assignee:
THUM O,DT
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61F5/01; (IPC1-7): A61F3/00
Field of Search:
128/8A,8R,87
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3682163SNAP-ON ORTHOPEDIC SPLINT1972-08-08Plummer
3563601ORTHOPEDIC DEVICE1971-02-16Dickey
3114368Orthopedic appliance1963-12-17Richmond
3068862Abduction splint1962-12-18Fuzere
2955594Hip splint1960-10-11Craig



Foreign References:
DE2018240A1
Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Yasko J.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Striker, Michael S.
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended

1. An orthopedic appliance, especially for correcting hip dislocations in children, comprising a flexible shell having two spaced leg support sections formed with upwardly open depressions which extend to the interior of said shell, an arcuate transverse wall comprising an arcuate back wall portion adapted to extend along the back of the child from substantially the region of the hip to a location between the legs, defining a concavity in a region of said shell downwardly and substantially equidistant from said leg support sections which is open to the interior of said shell, said shell being adapted to be placed between the legs of a child in such a manner that said leg support sections encircle the thighs of the child only from below and maintain the legs which are received in said depressions in a condition in which they are transversely spread and have freedom of upward mobility, said concavity being positioned between the leg support sections and having sufficient depth to accommodate the buttocks of the child at a lower level than said leg support sections; and means for maintaining said shell in requisite position on the child.

2. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 1, wherein said transverse wall comprises an arcuate front wall portion adapted to extend along the front of the child from substantially the region of the hips to a location between the legs, said front wall portion defining a concavity in a region of said shell downwardly and substantially equidistant from said leg support sections which is open to the interior of said shell.

3. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 1, wherein said shell is provided with stiffening means for imparting a requisite shape thereto and for maintaining said requisite shape.

4. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 3, wherein said stiffening means comprises flexible slats.

5. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 4, wherein said slats are elongated and extend substantially transversely to said leg support sections.

6. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 3, wherein said stiffening means comprises flexible shell members.

7. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 6, wherein said stiffening means comprises two substantially C-shaped members having open sides which face one another.

8. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 3, wherein said stiffening means is embedded in said shell.

9. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 1, wherein said shell is at least in part composed of foam material.

10. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 1, wherein said shell comprises at least two juxtaposed connected layers.

11. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 10, wherein said layers are adhesively secured to one another.

12. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said leg support sections is provided with at least one pad adapted to abut a thigh of the child.

13. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for maintaining said shell in requisite position on the child comprises straps, each of said straps including a first strap section adapted to extend over a shoulder of the child and having a free end portion, and each of said straps also including a second strap section adapted to engage said free end portion when said first strap section extends over the shoulder of the child.

14. An orthopedic appliance as defined in claim 13, wherein said straps each include an intermediate strap section integral with said first and second strap sections and embedded in said shell.

15. An orthopedic appliance, especially for correcting hip dislocations in children, comprising a shell having two spaced leg support sections, and an arcuate transverse wall extending between said leg support sections and defining intermediate the same a cavity, said cavity having a depth which is greatest in the region of said shell substantially equidistant from said leg support sections, said shell being adapted to be placed between the legs of a child in such a manner that said leg support sections at least in part encircle the thighs of the child and maintain the legs transversely spread, said cavity being positioned between the leg support sections and having sufficient depth to accommodate the buttocks of the child at a lower level than said leg support sections; and means for maintaining said shell in requisite position on the child.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to orthopedic appliances. More particularly, the invention relates to orthopedic appliances for correcting hip dislocations in children. The orthopedic appliances of interest are those of the type which are intended to maintain the legs of the child spread apart.

Children, and especially those of an age which are still being nursed or bottle-fed, occasionally suffer from a so-called "hip luxation," i.e., hip dislocation, where the head of the thighbone becomes dislocated from its socket. As a result of such a dislocation, the movement of one or both thighs is inhibited so that the thigh cannot attain a position where it extends laterally from the body. A dislocation of this type must be corrected since otherwise the child will be hindered in the future, particularly when walking or running.

Such a dislocation is usually corrected by using an orthopedic appliance which is intended to maintain the legs of the child spread apart over an extended period of time. The legs should be so widely spread that the longitudinal axes of the thighs are as nearly as possible perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the torso, i.e., that the thighs are as nearly as possible perpendicular to the torso. The known orthopedic appliances used for this purpose are in the form of a flat cushion or pad which is placed between the legs of the child and folded over the thighs and buttocks. The cushion is secured to the torso via straps in such a manner that the thighs are drawn up so as to be as nearly as possible perpendicular to the torso. In practice, however, it is constantly found that the so-obtained positions of the thighs cannot be maintained with the known orthopedic appliances, at least not for an extended period of time. The reason for this lies in the fact that the buttocks of the child exhibit a downward curvature as seen from a position above the child. Thus, when the cushion lies against the buttocks, cavities or spaces remain intermediate the cushion and the thighs, even when the thighs are horizontally positioned, i.e., even when the thighs extend normal to the torso. The thighs can fall back into these spaces and, consequently, will no longer be drawn up as high as necessary by the orthopedic appliance. This effect is aggravated when the child is diapered, in known manner, with a muslin or other type of diaper for catching the excrement, since the rounding of the buttocks is then accentuated and the effectiveness of the orthopedic appliance is further reduced.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A general object of the invention is to provide a novel orthopedic appliance, especially for correcting hip dislocations in children.

It is also an object of the invention to provide an orthopedic appliance for correcting hip dislocations, and which can maintain the thighs in requisite position over extended periods of time.

Another object of the invention is to provide an orthopedic appliance for correcting hip dislocations, and which does not lose its effectiveness when the child wearing it is diapered.

A further object of the invention is to provide an orthopedic appliance for correcting hip dislocations, and which will not fall off and cannot be removed by a child wearing it.

An additional object of the invention is to provide an orthopedic appliance for correcting hip dislocations, and which will not cut into the person wearing it.

In pursuance of these and other objects which will become apparent, the invention provides an orthopedic appliance, especially for correcting hip dislocations in children, which comprises a shell having two spaced leg support sections and arcuate transverse wall extending therebetween. The transverse wall defines a cavity intermediate the leg support sections. The shell is adapted to be placed between the legs of a child in such a manner that the leg support sections at least in part encircle the thighs of the child and maintain the legs transversely spread while the cavity is located between the legs and is open to the buttocks of the child. Means are provided for maintaining the shell in requisite position on the child.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a front view of a child wearing the novel orthopedic appliance;

FIG. 2 shows the interior of the orthopedic appliance of FIG. 1 when unfolded;

FIG. 3 is a view in the direction of the arrows III--III of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a side view of a modified form of the novel orthopedic appliance folded as when being worn.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a child and shows generally the manner in which an orthopedic appliance according to the invention is worn when it is desired to correct a hip dislocation, i.e., to return the head of the thighbone into its socket. The orthopedic appliance includes a flexible shell 1 which is held in requisite position on the child via straps 7. The shell 1 is inserted between the legs of the child in such a manner that the spaced leg support sections 2 thereof each, at least, partly encircle a thigh 3 of the child. When the shell 1 is in requisite position on the child, the legs of the child are transversely spread to such an extent that the longitudinal axes 4 of the thighs 3, here shown as coinciding, are substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis 5 of the torso. In other words, the thighs 3 of the child extend laterally of the torso and are substantially normal thereto.

The shell 1 includes an arcuate transverse wall 6 which extends between the leg support sections 2 and defines a cavity 15 therebetween. The cavity 15 is so arranged that it is located between the legs of the child and opens to the buttocks when the shell 1 is in its requisite position on the child. The configuration of the cavity 15 is such that it attains its greatest depth in the center region of the shell 1, that is, in a region of the shell 1 which is substantially equidistant from the leg support sections 2. In the embodiment shown, the depth of the cavity 15 is greatest at the intersection of the longitudinal axis 5 of the torso with the transverse wall 6, and decreases in a direction from the axis 5 to the leg support sections 2.

FIG. 2 shows the appearance of the shell 1 when unfolded and is a view of the interior thereof, i.e., a view of that side or surface of the shell 1 which faces the body of the child when the shell 1 is positioned on the child. It will be seen that the transverse wall 6 includes a front wall section 6a which is adapted to extend along the front of the child and a back wall section 6b adapted to extend along the back of the child, i.e., the front wall section 6a and back wall section 6b are adapted to extend from a location between the legs of the child in a direction towards the head of the child. As most clearly seen here, each strap 7 comprises a first strap section 7a which extends from the back wall section 6b and a second strap section 7b projecting from the front wall section 6a. FIG. 1 illustrates that the first strap section 7a is adapted to pass over the shoulder of the child and has a free end portion 16 which may be engaged by the second strap section 7b. When the free end portion 16 of the first strap section 7a is engaged by the second strap section 7b, the strap 7 will hold the shell 1 in position on the child with the shell 1 maintaining the legs of the child transversely spread.

FIG. 2 shows further that the shell 1 is provided with stiffening means which impart a requisite shape thereto and serve to maintain this shape. The stiffening means includes flexible or elastic elongated slats 8, 9 and 10 and two flexible or elastic shell members 11. The slats 8, 9 and 10 extend substantially transversely to the leg support sections 2 whereas the shell members 11 have a substantially C-shaped configuration and are so arranged that the open sides thereof face one another. The slats 8, 9 and 10, as well as the shell members 11, may be composed of a synthetic plastic or synthetic resin, for example. In the illustrated embodiment, the slats 8, 9 and 10 are connected with the shell members 11. It will also be seen that each of the leg support sections 2 is provided with a cushion or pad 12 which is adapted to abut the thigh 3 of the child when the shell 1 is mounted on the child. The cushions 12 may be composed of a foam material such as, for example, foamed synthetic resin, and serve to protect the child by preventing the shell 1 from rubbing against or cutting into the child.

FIG. 3, which is a view in the direction of the arrows III--III of FIG. 2, shows the shell 1 to include two juxtaposed layers 13 and 14 which are joined to one another, for example, by adhesive means. The layers 13 and 14 may be composed of a foamed synthetic resin. As best illustrated here, the slats 8, 9 and 10, as well as the shell members 11, are located intermediate the layers 13 and 14 or, in other words, are embedded in the shell 1. This FIGURE also shows that each strap 7 may include an intermediate section 7c which is similarly embedded in the shell 1 and is integral with the first and second strap sections 7a and 7b.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a modified form of the orthopedic appliance of FIGS. 1-3. The shell 1 is here illustrated as being folded substantially into the configuration it would assume when positioned on a child. The present embodiment differs from that previously described in the configurations of the front and back wall sections 6a and 6b and, in particular, in the configurations of the respective portions 17 and 18 thereof. The front wall portion 17 and the back wall portion 18 are arcuate and are each adapted to extend from substantially the region of the hips of the child to a location between the legs. The front wall portion 17 defines a concavity 19 whereas the back wall portion 18 defines a concavity 20. The concavities 19 and 20 are defined in regions of the shell 1 downwardly from the leg support sections 2 and are largest in the center regions of the shell 1, that is, the concavities 19 and 20 are largest in those regions of the shell 1 which are substantially equidistant from the leg support sections 2. The concavities 19 and 20 are arranged to open to the interior of the shell 1 or, in other words, are adapted to open to the body of the child when the shell 1 is positioned on the child.

It will be seen that the invention has achieved all of the objectives set forth. The novel orthopedic appliance takes into account the natural contours of the body of a child and enables the thighs of the child to be maintained in a substantially horizontal position, i.e., enables the thighs of the child to be maintained substantially normal to the torso, even over extended periods of time. Furthermore, the novel orthopedic appliance has the advantage that it is positioned on the child in such a manner that the child cannot extricate itself therefrom. It is favorable when the depth of the cavity 15 is greater in the center region of the shell 1 than in the regions of the leg support sections 2 since then, as a result of the gradual blending of the transverse wall 6 into the leg support sections 2, the tendency of the shell 1 to cut into the thighs is eliminated.

It is also advantageous for the front wall section 6a to be provided with a concavity, such as the concavity 19 indicated in FIG. 4, and, if necessary, for the back wall section 6b to be also provided with a concavity, such as the concavity 20 shown in the same FIGURE. The presence of such concavities allows the child to be diapered, even with a large diaper, without diminishing the effectiveness of the orthopedic appliances, since the diaper will be accommodated within these concavities.

In order to impart a requisite shape to the shell 1 and to maintain this shape, it is favorable for the shell 1 to be provided with a stiffening frame or structure. Advantageously, such a frame includes bendable or flexible slats, such as the slats 8, 9 and 10, which are joined to one another and insure that the shell 1 maintains its elasticity or flexibility. The shell 1 may additionally be connected with bendable or flexible shell members, such as the shell members 11, which may also serve to impart a requisite shape to the shell 1 and to maintain this shape. All of these stiffening elements may be embedded in the shell 1 which, in such an instance, is favorably composed, at least in part, of foam material. A particularly favorable construction is obtained when, for example, shell 1 includes two connected juxtaposed layers 13 and 14 composed, for instance, of foam material, with the stiffening elements located intermediate these layers and connected thereto by, say, adhesive means.

Straps 7 are advantageously provided in order to obtain a firm and secure positioning of the shell 1 on an afflicted child. These straps may be partially embedded in the shell 1. If desired, the straps 7 may be secured to the shell 1, for example, via adhesive means. When the straps 7 are embedded in the shell 1 as described, there is the advantage that the tensile forces generated in the straps 7 are transmitted to the shell 1 via a relatively large area rather than over a relatively small area as would be the case if the straps 7 were connected to the shell 1 at discrete locations. As a result, the stresses on the shell 1 will be reduced.

In order to protect the skin of the child from abrasion, it is also favorable to provide the leg support sections 2 with cushions 12 which are adapted to abut the thighs of the child when the shell 1 is positioned on the child. These cushions 12 may be composed of foam material, for example.

It is pointed out that the slats 8, 9 and 10, the shell members 11 and the intermediate sections 7c of the straps 7 need not necessairly be connected with the shell 1. Rather, these may, if desired, be worked into the shell 1 during manufacture of the orthopedic appliance.

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of construction and uses differing from the type described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in an orthopedic appliance, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.