US 3374785 A
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March 26, 1968 J. F. GAYLORD, JR 3,374,785
CERVICAL COLLAR Filed Oct. 11, 1965 JOHN F. GAYLoEb,J2.
BYWJ g/ QLM ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,374,785 CERVICAL COLLAR John F. Gaylord, Jr., Matthews, N.C. assignor to Medical Specialties, Inc., Charlotte, N.C., a corporation of North Carolina Filed Oct. 11, 1965, Ser. No. 494,422 7 Claims. (Cl. 12875) This invention relates to orthopedic appliances and more specifically to a novel cervical collar.
The use of cervical collars in the treatment of various neck injuries and pathological disorders is well known in the medical art. The collar basically functions to immobilize the wearers head while supporting it to relieve strain upon the neck muscles. In performing its intended function, the collar must be sufficiently rigid to give the required support, but at the same time, it must be porous or breathable, or in some way allow a degree of air circulation to the wearers skin beneath the collar to prevent it from being prohibitively uncomfortable.
The prior art has taken two general approaches toward cervical collar constructions. The first construction is one which basically incorporates a rigid sheet of material such as plastic in the shape of a collar and padded in some suitable manner on each of its longitudinal edges. In order to prevent this type of collar from being prohibitively hot, a plurality of air holes are provided in the plastic sheet material. As such, this type of collar permits air circulation, but it is often found to be too rigid, and thus, uncomfortably and unnecessarily confining for the patient. Thus, in this type of collar, comfort is sacrificed for therapeutic effectiveness.
The other approach to prior art cervical collars attempts to eliminate the comfort problems encountered with the first type collar by using resilient foam material to perform the supporting function. In this type of collar, a piece of porous, resilient foam material in the general form of the collar is provided and is covered with a suitable porous fabric. As long as a foam material of not more than about two or three pounds per cubic foot density is used in this type of collar, the porosity is sufiicient to render the collar relatively comfortable from the standpoint of heat. However, resilient, porous foam materials of this low density are not sufficiently rigid or stiff normally to provide adequate support to the wearer. And, if the density is increased beyond this, the porosity decreases to an unacceptable level. Thus, in this type of collar, therapeutic effectiveness is sacrificed for comfort.-
In accordance with the present invention, I have provided a novel cervical collar which combines the therapeutic effectiveness of rigid plastic collars with the comfort of low density, resilient foam collars. This is accomplished through the use of a novel resilient foam material having a density of about six pounds per cubic foot, and thus sufficient rigid and stiff to provide adequate therapeutic support, while having a porosity comparable to that of common polyurethane foam material of about two pounds per cubic foot density.
Accordingly, it is the primary object of this invention to provide a cervical collar having sufficient stiffness and rigidity to be therapeutically effective, but still comfortable in that it is not over-confining, and having sufficient porosity so as not to be prohibitively uncomfortable from a heat standpoint.
It is another object of this invention to provide a novel polyurethane foam material adaptable for use in forming cervical collars which material ha a density of about six pounds per cubic foot while having an enhanced porosity comparable to that of common polyurethane foam material of about two pounds per cubic foot density.
Some of the objects of the invention having been stated,
R 3,374,785 Patented Mar. 26,1968
other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a partially schematic view showing a cervical collar of the present invention in use about a wearers neck;
FIGURE 2 is an isometric view of the same collar in open form looking at the inside surface thereof;
FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 showing the opposite side of the collar and having a portion of the porous covering broken away to illustrate the nature of the core material of the collar;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional View taken substantially along line 44 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is an isometric view of a core used in making the collar illustrated in the other figures; and
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 66 of FIGURE 5 and schematically illustrating the enhanced porosity of the core material with arrows.
Referring now more specifically to the figures, the numeral 10 broadly indicates a cervical collar made in accordance with the invention and comprising a core broadly indicated at 11, a porous covering 12 and securing means 13 and 13a, shown in the form of mating Velcro fasteners, attached to respective ends of the collar for securing the same about a wearers neck. Of course, various other fastening means such as snaps, hooks and eyes, buttons, etc., could be used for this purpose.
The core 11 is shaped generally in the form of the complete collar 10 and is formed from a material having a density of about six pounds per cubic foot. This material comprises discrete particles 14 of polyurethane foam material bonded together with a suitable binder.
In forming this core material, I begin with common or virgin polyurethane foam material having a density ranging from about one to three pounds per cubic foot Preferably, I utilize both the polyester-type and polyethertype polyurethane foam materials. The foam material is then shredded or otherwise formed into the discrete particles 14, preferably into the foam of about oneeighth inch cubes. Thereafter, I prefer to combine the particles 14 in a ratio of about pol'yether-type polyurethane to 10% polyester-type polyurethane, whereupon they are then mixed with a suitable binder such as about 4% by weight of base form polyester-type polyurethane.
The mixture of particles 14 and binder is then heated to form a gelatinous, lumpy mass which is then forced into a suitable mold and cured, as by subjecting to steam, to form a material of approximately six pounds per cubic foot density.
The cured core material is then removed from the mold, and depending upon the shape of the mold, it is already in the shape of core 11, or if necessary, it can be cut or otherwise shaped into the desired core shape.
Although this so-formed core material has a density of about six pounds per cubic foot, it is unexpectedly vastly more porous than common six pounds per cubic foot density polyurethane foam material, and in fact, has a porosity comparable to that of a common polyurethane foam material having a density of about two pounds per cubic foot.
The core 11 is next covered with a porous covering 12, such as knitted cotton fabric, which is preferably stitched directly to the core 11 by stitches 15 which serve to prevent shifting of the covering relative to the core.
Finally, as shown, the mating Velcro fasteners 13, 13a or other suitable securing means, are sewn or otherwise secured to the ends of the covered core thereby completing the collar.
r 3 In the drawings and the specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the -invention, and, although specific term are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for the purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.
I claim: 1. A cervical collar comprising: (a) an elongate, resilient, porous core of discrete particles of polyurethane foam material bonded to gether, said core having 7 (l) a size generally corresponding to the overall shape of the collar; 7 V (2) a density of about six pounds per cubic foot,
(3) an enhanced porosity comparable to that of common polyurethane foam material of about two pounds per cubic foot density;
(b) a porous covering on said coreiand (c) means positioned on each end of said covered core for securement of such ends together when the collar is placed about a wearers neck.
2. A cervical collar according to claim 1 wherein said discrete particles consist of about 90% polyether-type polyurethane foam material and about polyestertype' polyurethane foam material.
3. A cervical collar according to claim 1 wherein said discrete particles are bonded together with about 4% by weight base form polyurethane.
4. A cervical collar according to claim 1 wherein 'said discrete particles consist of about 90% polyether-type polyurethane foam material and about 10% polyestertype polyurethane and are bonded together with about 4% by weight base form polyester-type polyurethane, and wherein said porous covering comprises a knitted cotton fabric.
5. A material adaptable to be used as the core in forming cervical collars comprising:
(a) discrete particles of polyurethane'foam material bonded together, said material having (1) a density of about six pounds per cubic foot,
(2) an enhanced porosity comparable to that of common polyurethane foam material of about two pounds per cubic foot density.
6. A material according to claim 5 wherein said discrete particles consist of about 'polyether-type polyurethane foam material and about 10%.polyester-type polyurethane foam material.
7. A material according to claim 6 wherein said discrete particles are bonded together with about 4%. by weight base form polyester-type polyurethane.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1959 Hacklander 264-321 XR 6/1965 Barnett 12875 OTHER REFERENCES L. W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner.
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