Title:
Device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity comprises shoulder, pelvic, knee, pedal, elbow, hand, and finger supports (1), all of them being interconnected by fixing elements, which are shaped as elastic tie-members (2) and placed on the surface of the patient's body in antagonistic pairs so as to follow anatomical arrangement of skeletal muscles. Each of the tie-members (2) is connected to two of the supports (1) and comprises an adjuster (3) of its tension, which is interposed between the tie-member (2) and one of the supports (1) through a lock (5).



Inventors:
Afanasenko, Nikolai Ivanovich (Moscow, RU)
Kiderman, Sam (Broadview Heights, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/152619
Publication Date:
01/04/2007
Filing Date:
06/15/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
601/23, 601/33, 482/51
International Classes:
A63B21/02; A63B21/065; A61F5/00; A61F5/01; A61H1/00; A61H3/00; A63B21/055
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gugliotta & Gugliotta, LPA (Richfield, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A neurological motor therapy suit comprising: a vest removably secured around the shoulders and chest of a patient, said vest completely encircling a portion of an upper torso of the patient, said vest being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; a pant garment detachably secured to the patient so that the pant garment extends around both the hips of the patient as well as an upper portion of each right thigh of the patient, said pant garment being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; a plurality of elastic bands extending between and interconnecting said vest and said pant garment; and a pair of knee supports, one knee support extending between said interconnecting said pant garment and said knee supports.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 and comprising a cap removably secured to the head of the patient, and a plurality of elastic bands between and interconnecting said cap and said vest.

3. The invention as defined in claim 2 wherein said cap is constructed of a non-elastic material.

4. The invention as defined in claim 1 and comprising a pair of shoe supports, one shoe support being attached to each foot of the patient, and a plurality of elastic bands extending between and interconnecting said knee supports and said shoe supports.

5. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said vest comprises a back panel, a front left panel and a front right panel, said vest having side portions and shoulder portions separated by an arm hole which side portions and said shoulder portions integrally join said back panel to said front left panel and said front right panel, and a fastener which detachably secures said front right panel and said front left panel together.

6. The invention as defined in claim 5 wherein said fastener comprises a hook-and-loop fastener.

7. A neurological motor therapy suit comprising: a vest removably secured around the shoulders and chest of a patient, said vest completely encircling a portion of an upper torso of the patient, said vest being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; a pant garment detachably secured to the patient so that the pant garment extends around both the hips of the patient as well as an upper portion of each right thigh of the patient, said pant garment being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; and a plurality of elastic bands extending between and interconnecting said vest and said pant garment; wherein each elastic band is elongated and includes a plurality of longitudinally spaced openings, said vest and said pant garment each having a plurality of hooks secured thereto, wherein said elastic band is secured between said vest and said pant garment by positioning said hooks through said openings on said elastic band, and wherein the tension of each said elastic band is adjustable by positioning said hooks through different openings in said elastic band.

8. A neurological motor therapy suit comprising: a vest removably secured around the shoulders and chest of a patient, said vest completely encircling a portion of an upper torso of the patient, said vest being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; a pant garment detachably secured to the patient so that the pant garment extends around both the hips of the patient as well as an upper portion of each right thigh of the patient, said pant garment being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; a plurality of elastic bands extending between and interconnecting said vest and said pant garment; and a plurality of elastic band attachment devices attached to said vest, said attachment devices being both laterally and longitudinally spaced along said vest on both a front and rear side thereof.

9. The invention as defined in claim 8 wherein each said elastic band attachment device comprises a hook.

10. A neurological motor therapy suit comprising: a vest removably secured around the shoulders and chest of a patient, said vest completely encircling a portion of an upper torso of the patient, said vest being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; a pant garment detachably secured to the patient so that the pant garment extends around both the hips of the patient as well as an upper portion of each right thigh of the patient, said pant garment being constructed of a substantially non-elastic material; a plurality of elastic bands extending between and interconnecting said vest and said pant garment; and a plurality of elastic band attachment devices attached to said pant garment, said attachment devices being both laterally and longitudinally spaced along said pant garment on both a front and rear side thereof.

11. The invention as defined in claim 10 wherein each said elastic band attachment device comprises a hook.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of Reissue application Ser. No. 10/410,956, filed on Apr. 09, 2003 of U.S. Pat. No. 6,213,922 issued on Apr. 10, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to devices for nonsurgical (conservation) treatment of the locomotor apparatus (locomotorium) in various neuropathies, and more specifically to a device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity.

The invention can find most utility when used for treatment of infantile cerebral paralysis.

The invention is likewise applicable in cerebrovascular accidents involving motor disturbances and traumatic lesions of the spinal cord.

Furthermore, the invention can be applied for correction of patient's posture (attitude), as well as for sports exercises.

2. Description of the Related Art

At present the number of neuropathic patients suffering from affection of the locomotor functions becomes immense, while infantile cerebral paralysis, in particular, tends to rise, for a number of reasons, in many countries throughout the world.

Treatment of motor functions in infantile cerebral paralysis patients becomes urgent due to both, the number of patients and imperfection of the treatment method available.

The present state of the medical art knows a number of methods and devices for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity.

One state-of-the-art method for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity (cf. “Surgical correction of posture and walking in infantile cerebral paralysis” by A. M. Zhuravlev et al., 1986, Aiastan Publishers, Yerevan, pp. 90-91 (in Russian) is known to comprise stage-by-stage plastering, followed by rigidly fixing the position of the limb and trunk with an altered posture. A disadvantage inherent in said method resides in a restricted motor activity (immobility) of a patient, which might result in amyotrophy, spastic phenomena, and increased hypertensive syndrome due to enhanced pathological muscular synergies.

Furthermore, another disadvantage of said object is a prolonged treatment period, that is, from 4 to 6 months.

One state-of-the-art device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity is known (FR, A, 2,120,500) to appear as overalls into which flexible inflatable tubes are inserted to impart rigidity thereto.

A disadvantage inherent in said device is the fact that it is aimed at maintaining the patient's body in a definite position, whereby the field of application of said device is extremely restricted. In addition, said device fails to solve the problem of muscular exercises of a patient, which might lead to profound dysfunction of the muscular system.

Another device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity is known (FR, A, 2,252,836) to comprise two blades interposed between the patient's thighs, each of said blades being fixed to a respective thigh, and a mechanical system connected to the blades.

The device under discussion suffers from the disadvantage that it can correct only a wrong position of the thighs, knee joints, and feet. In addition, said device is bulky and therefore its application with therapeutic purposes is very questionable.

One more device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity is known (SU, A, 1,528,483) to comprise a thoracic, pelvic, and pedal support, and fixing elements to interconnect the aforesaid supports to one another.

The fixing elements are shaped are telescopic stands interconnecting the pedal supports with the pelvic one and with a bar one of whose ends is rigidly coupled to the pelvic support. The bar carries a roller reciprocatingly mounted thereon and rigidly linked to the thoracic support. Two arms are rigidly connected to the pelvic support, the free ends of said arms being connected to springs movably mounted on the telescopic stands.

With the patient's body in the erect position the roller provides a light reclinating effect produced on the entire vertebral column, while the thoracis support provides rest for the upper trunk portion. With an inclined position of the trunk the roller rides over the bar depending on the angle of inclination so as to assume an optimum position, and the springs impart an effort to the bar. Thus, the weight of the inclined trunk portion is compensated for and the muscular system and vertebral column are released from load.

A disadvantage of the abovesaid device consists in that it is intended for treatment of the vertebral column only by releasing it from load. In addition, use of said device might result in restricted mobility of a patient followed by amyotrophy and affected activity of the antigravity muscles. Above all the treatment process with the use of said device is too prolonged.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an essential object of the present invention to provide a physiologically normal stereotype of posture and movements.

The present invention has for its principal object to provide a device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity, wherein the fixing elements interconnecting the supports have such a construction that enables the patient's trunk and limbs to be fixed in a position approximating normal physiological parameters, while maintaining a possibility of performing energy-loaded movements by the patient, with the amplitude of said movements characteristic of a given patient.

The foregoing object is accomplished due to the fact that in a device for treatment of patients with disturbed posture and motor activity, comprising pelvic and pedal supports placed on patient's trunk and limbs and interconnected by fixing elements, according to the invention, the fixing elements are shaped as elastic tie-members arranged on the patient's body surface so as to follow anatomical arrangement of the skeletal muscles, each of the tie-members being connected to two supports.

The proposed device is instrumental in fixation of joints in a required position and to establish a moment of force effecting flexion, extension, rotation, adduction, and abduction of the patient's limbs and trunk.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the device comprises additional shoulder, knee, elbow, finger and toe supports.

Such an embodiment of the invention makes it possible to fix practically all the joints of patient's trunk and limbs in a preset position and enables patient to perform energy-loaded movements with amplitudes attainable by a given patient.

It is quite reasonable that the device comprises tension adjusters of the elastic tie-members, each of such adjusters being interposed between the respective tie-member and one of the supports.

Provision of the tension adjusters in the device enables one to vary and individually select the force of action exerted by the tie-members on the musculoskeletal system, thus adding to the efficacy of treatment.

Use of the proposed device makes it possible to utilize functional (active) correlation of the pathological positions of the trunk and limbs instead of static (passive) corrections thereof, rearrange the previous pathelogic stereotype of the posture and movements in the central and peripheral nervous systems, potentiate destruction of the old pathological complex of reflexes that has been established in the course of the disease, and create the new control and conduction system through the intermediary of the defense structures of the brain. In addition, the effect produced by the device on the patient's organism consists in that the correction of the locomotorium and energy loading of movements with the limbs and trunk assuming a new position result in activation of the brain central structures in elaborating a new arrangement of the control system of both, the locomotorium and the motor system of the speech-formation system. Practical application of the proposed device allows for creation of the stereotype of posture and movements closely resembling the physiological one.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be understood from the following detailed description of a specific exemplary embodiment thereof and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a device, according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a rear view of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The device of the invention comprises supports 1 adapted for being mounted in the region of the patient's shoulders, elbows, hands, pelvic girdle, knees, feet, fingers, and toes. The supports 1 are interconnected through fixing elements which appear as elastic tie-members 2 adapted to interconnect both the adjacent and non-adjacent supports 1. The tie-member 2 are so connected to the supports 1 that they are arranged on the surface of the patient's body in antagonistic pairs to follow the anatomical arrangement of the skeletal muscles.

Each of the tie-members 2 has an adjuster 3 of its tension, which connects said tie-member 2 to one of the supports 1.

Each tension adjuster 3 is in fact a band 4 having one of its ends connected to the tie-member 2 and the opposite end is held to a lock 5 which in turn is fastened on one of the supports 1.

The adjuster 3 may obviously be of any other construction suitable for performing a similar function.

The supports 1 can be made of any material featuring a minimum degree of extensibility, such as fabric, leather, plastics, and so on.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the supports can substantially cover the joint to which they are mounted. For example, each shoulder support, when properly positioned, can substantially to fully cover the front, top, and back exterior surfaces of its respective shoulder joint, by defining a cup-shaped shoulder harness that contacts, conforms, and covers most, if not all, of the exterior curvilinear skin surfaces of the shoulder. Additionally, the supports can closely surround their respective joints. For example, each knee support, when properly positioned, can closely surround its respective knee, by defining a cuff-shaped knee harness that substantially conforms to the anatomy of the exterior surfaces of the knee by closely contacting, conforming to, and covering most, if not all, of the curvilinear exterior skin surfaces of the knee. Thus, when a load is applied to a given support by any attached tie-member, the load is not transferred to any other tie-member connected to that support.

Specifically, the tie-members 2 can be made of rubber, plastics, or appear as metallic springs.

The device of the invention functions as follows.

The proposed device is selected individually for every patient taking account of his/her state and size of the body. Then the device is put onto the patient and those tie-members 2 are tensioned which correct the position of the body parts to be treated. The tie-members 2 are adjusted for tension with the aid of the adjuster, whereupon the position thus attained is fixed by the locks 5. The tie-members 2 are adjusted until a new position of the trunk and limbs is reestablished, which approximates the normal physiological one and enables the patient to perform movements with an amplitude close to a maximum one for a given patient. The tension of the time-members 2 is increased at least until a load appears in the group of muscle corresponding to a given movement. This done, the device is ready for use.

One end of the band 4 is connected with the respective tie member 2, while the opposite end of the band 4 is secured in the lock 5 installed in one of said supports 1.

When the elastic tie-members are extended, the means for tensioning the elastic tie members (in the form of the band 4) are shortened, i.e. the length of a section between the elastic tie-member 2 and the lock 5 is reduced. The lock is essentially a conventional buckle comprising a square frame such as buckles used in safety belts.

Thus, a dynamic supporting structure (functional corset) is established with the aid of the present device and the patient is prepared for performing movements.

The device is utilized by the patient with due account of his/her status and individual peculiarities daily for a period of up to 12 hours a day, a treatment cycle lasting for 15-30 days.

The tie-members 2 arranged on the surface of the patient's body in antagonistic pairs to follow the anatomical arrangement of the skeletal muscles with respect to the joints provide all kinds of patient's movements in the course of practical application of the device. In the course of treatment the degree of tension of the tie-member 2 is gradually increased. As the patient becomes adapted to the correcting action of the device, the correction force is increased without affecting the sense of comfort with respect to the load applied.

A new stereotype of control of patient's movements is established in the course of treatment. In addition, the patient's physiological status becomes predominant, which results in a reduced amount of pathological muscular synergies and increased extent of motor activity and allows of correcting the patient's posture in the cases unamenable to treatment with other correcting methods.

The present devices can be additionally furnished with overalls put onto patients above the device. The overalls are provided with openings to provide access to the adjusters 3.

EXAMPLE 1

Male patient B. K., 17. Diagnosis: infantile cerebral paralysis. The diagnosis has been established since the six-month age. By the time of treatment with the proposed device the patient had developed paralysis in the form of spastic diplegia. There occurred triple flexion in the lower limbs complicated by contractures in the ankle joints, internal rotation of the thighs, uncompensated body inclination forwards, difficulties in locomotion, phatologic gait; talipes equinovalgus in both feet (“rocking foot”), internal rotation of both arms, and difficult movements of the hands and fingers. The patient's intellect remained unaffected, as well as phrasal speech. There was noticed high level of psychologic motivation for therapeutic rehabilitation. Previously the patient has been treated medicinally and with the aid physiotherapy, as well as by correction with plaster bandages and solid plaster bars. However, the treatment produced but a transient effect.

The patient passed a treatment course with the proposed device for one month, by daily sessions of 2-3 hours.

The load applied was perceived by the patient within the initial seven days of treatment after which the sensation of load disappeared and adaptation ensued. However, within the initial five days the pathological posture of the patient's trunk and limbs reappeared in two hours after load releasing. On the 10th day of treatment a stable result of treatment occurred manifested in complete disappearance of the pathological posture, elimination of flexural disturbances of the lower limbs, improvement in the gait pattern, facilitating forward displacement of the thighs and higher walking pace. After the 10th day of treatment the patient could walk in the erect position. In addition, by the 10th day of treatment there were observed a considerable decreasing of the pronation disturbances in the hands and fingers. The patient was dismissed in 30 days after admission with a considerable improvement of motor and static functions.