United States Patent 
Axelgaard et al.
[ii] 4,326,534  Apr. 27, 1982
 TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL MUSCLE STIMULATION FOR TREATMENT OF SCOLIOSIS AND OTHER SPINAL DEFORMITIES
 Inventors: Jens Axelgaard, 10440 Paramount Blvd., J-180, Downey, Calif. 90241; David C. Howson, 4505 Oakland Ave. South, Minneapolis, Minn. 55407; John A. Perhay, W. Hidden Valley Rd., Savage, Minn. 55378
 Appl. No.: 50,760
 Filed: Jun. 21, 1979
 Int. CI.3 A61N 1/36
 U.S. CI 128/421
 Field of Search 128/419 R, 421, 422,
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,718,132 2/1973 Holt et al 128/421
3,724,467 4/1973 Avery et al '. 128/419 R
3,833,005 9/1974 Wingrove 128/419 P
3,911,930 10/1975 Hagfors et al 128/421
3,983,881 10/1976 Wickham 128/421
4,026,301 5/1977 Friedman et al 128/419 R
Annual Reports of Progress, Rehabilitation Engineering Center at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Dec. 1976-Jan. 1978, pp. 1-2.
Primary Examiner—William E. Kamm
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Orrin M. Haugen; Thomas J.
A method and apparatus for treatment of spinal deformities, for example, scoliosis, in which a muscle stimulator (pulse generator) is used to apply a preferred form of stimulating impulses to a patient so as to involuntarily cause contraction of particular selected trunk muscle groups to thereby effect a curvature correcting movement of selected spinal vertebrae while minimizing undesirable side effects, such as muscle fatigue. A first integrated circuit timer establishes a selectively variable "on-time" for a burst of pulses while a second such timer sets the "off-time" or interval between bursts. The individual pulses in the burst are initially of narrow width, but succeeding pulses in the group are of increasing width up to a predetermined maximum which maximum level is maintained for a desired time ("holdtime") prior to the termination of the burst. In an alternative embodiment, the stimulating impulses may be gradually decreased in width immediately prior to the pulse generator's effective "off-time". It has been determined that this pattern of stimulating pulses, when applied via body contacting electrodes positioned proximate the trunk muscle groups judiciously selected and determined by observations of the spinal curve to be corrected, has particular efficacy in the treatment of scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis and combinations thereof.
15 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures
LOCATE I POSITION ELECTRODES APPLY
APICAL VERTEBRA I WITH RESPECT TO PREDETERMINED
ON MAJOR I RIB CONNECTED TO PATTERN OF PULSES
CURVE I APICAL VERTEBRA TO ELECTRODES