US 2523606 A
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Sept, 26, 1950 M. K. YOUNG PLASTIC mom: SUPPORT Filed Sept. 3, 1947 Patented Sept. 26, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE PLASTIC KNUCKLE SUPPORT Melvin K. Young, Alexandria, Va. Application September 3, 1947, Serial No. 771,959
(Granted under the act of March 3, 1883, as
The present invention relates generally to devices for supporting injured members of the body and more particularly to a transparent plastic knuckle support for the thumb.
In the devices of the prior art it has been the practice to provide for the injured or disabled digital member a heavyrplaster cast or splint which because of its size, weight, and the fact that it usually covers the entire hand prevents the normal use of the injured member. Other prior art devices include .heavy glove-like structures and wrist bands with metallic splints, all
of which are cumbersome and unsightly.
, pearance, and comprises a minimum number of parts.
An object of the present invention is to provide a plastic knuckle support which performs all the;
functions of a splint and which does not detract appreciably from the appearance of the hand.
Another object is to provide aplasticknuckle support which is preformed to the shape and amended April 30, 1 928; 370 0. G. 757) Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 3-3 of Fig. 2. I
Referring more particularly to the drawings in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views there is shown thereon a splint member or support composed of .a rigid transparent plastic material suitable for the purpose such, for example,- as vinyl chloride and indicated generally at it. One end portion H of the device is formed in such a manner as to grip the sides of the first joint of the thumb intermediate the tip and knuckle of the thumb, the constriction thereof being shown as at l2. The member ll) is formed-with an enlargement l3 r which is preshaped to the knuckle of the thumb.
of the second joint of the thumb and extends over a portionof the body of the hand. The
flared portion M has formed therein, adjacent the lower extremity l5 thereof a pair of openings iii to receive the looped ends 22 of a pai of elastic transparent strap members H and it! respectively. The strap member i1 is preferably provided with a plurality of male fastening members l9, and strap member it has at least one complementary female fastening member 2|.
Thus an adjustable fastening arrangement for contour of the member to which it is to be applied.:;
Another object is to provide a method of preforming and molding a plastic support of the aforedescribed character. Still another object is to provide a new and improved plastic knuckle support which fixedly.
transparent character does not obscure the pigw mentation of the member to which it is applied and therefore is not readily discernable in use.
A still further object is to provide a plastic knuckle support which is economical to manufacture, light of weight, durable, simple to apply, and inconspicuous in use.
Other objects, improvements, and advantages will appear hereinafter from the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. l is a view in perspective of the device of the present invention applied to the thumb of a human hand; I
Fig'. 2 is a view in perspective of the device per se; and
the straps l1 and I8 is provided.
.In the use of the device of thepresent invention it will be assumed for the purpose of description that a person has suffered a thumb injury and that it is desirable to hold the thumb by the device in such a manner that the knuckle will be held firmly in its socket at all times. This is accomplished by the instantdeviee which by reason of the constricted portion I2 of the thumb support firmly engages and grips-the enlargement at the. knuckleof the firstjoint whereby the joint is adapted to be yieldably' urged into, and firmly retained in, proper engagement with the second joint of the thumb by tension applied to the first joint from straps I! and I8 when these are secured in proper position about the wrist. Moreover, the support in being preformed to conform to the shape and contour of the thumb, particularly to the major peripheral portions of the terminal joint and knuckle thereof, provides a splint of sufficient rigidity to prevent movement of the first joint in its socket when the remaining portion of the support is held by the straps firmly in contact with the second joint and knuckle of the thumb. The support at the same time is sufficiently resilient to conform to the contour of the bone structure, thereby to insure a. firm gripping action therewith. It will be understood that movement of a joint in cases of injuries such, for example, as breaks or sprains is undesirable in order to promote healing of the joint. Except for lack of movement of the thumb at the terminal knuckle joint, however, normal use of the thumb otherwise is substantially unimpeded. It will be appreciated, moreover, that the foregoing functional requirements of the support are attained by a light, strong, and transparent structure which is not readily discernable and, therefore, does not materially detract from the esthetic appearance of the injured member and may be worn inconspicuously by the user.
The foregoing desired characteristics of the support of the present invention are best attained when the support is preformed according to the following method. The inner half of the injured member is arranged longitudinally in a quantity of molding clay with the center line of the member in substantial coincidence with the plane surface of the clay. A mold is made of the outer half of the digital member by pouring a quantity of gypsum base molding cement over the member and over the surface of the clay. The gypsum base mold is removed from the digital member and the clay when the material has hardened, and the inner surface of the mold is coated with a parting medium. A gypsum replica of the injured member is formed with the mold. A sheet of vinyl chloride is heated sufficiently to render it ductile whereupon it is formed about the replica to conform to the contour thereof. The hardened sheet is removed from the replica, and the edge of the sheet is trimmed to a predetermined contour whereby it will be comfortable to the wearer. The openings I6 are now punched or otherwise formed in the flared portion of the support and the adjustable straps are affixed thereto by passing the ends thereof through the openings, forming the loops 22, and heat sealing or cementing the ends of the straps thereto as at 23.
It is understood that while the invention has been disclosed with special reference to a support particularly suited for use on an injured thumb, it may be used equally well for other injured members of the body with slight modification as may be necessary to conform to the contour of the injured member. Moreover, while only one structural embodiment of the support and a preferred method of preforming the same have been disclosed in particularity, other embodiments, modifications, and methods may occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
The invention herein described and claimed may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. In a knuckle support preshaped to conform to the contour of a digital member of the hand, the combination of a constricted portion of said support adapted to embrace the first joint of said member, an enlarged portion of said support adapted to fit the knuckle of said member, a flared portion of the support adapted to cover the outer portion of the remainder of the member and a part of the hand, and flexible attaching means for said support adapted to encircle the wrist and attached to opposite sides of said flared portion for securing the member to the hand.
2. In a knuckle support preshaped to conform to the contour of the thumb of the hand, the combination of a constricted cross sectionally C-shape portion of said support adapted to fit the first joint of said thumb, the opening of said C-shaped portion being adapted to be positioned on the side of said thumb opposite to the nail thereof, an enlarged cross-sectionally U-shaped portion of said support adapted to fit the knuckle of said thumb, the opening of said U-shaped portion being a continuation of the opening of said C-shaped portion and positioned on the same side of said support, a flared portion of the support adapted to cover the outer portion of the remainder of the thumb and a part of the hand, and flexible semi-elastic attaching means for said support adapted to encircle the Wrist and secured to opposite sides of said flared portion whereby said support is firmly urged against and secured to the edge portion of the hand adjacent the base of the thumb.
MELVIN K. YOUNG.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,990,384 Klohs Feb. 5, 1935 2,292,144 Meldman Aug. 2, 1942 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 15,276 Great Britain Apr. 6, 1911 of 1910 364,716 Great Britain Jan. 14, 1932 OTHER REFERENCES Modern Plastics for November 1938, page 34. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, British edition, vol. 30B, No. 2, May 1948, pages 298-308.
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