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United States Patent 3,713,437
Wiedmer January 30, 1973

BED SHOE FOR PREVENTING FOOT DROP

Abstract

The sole of a bed shoe has a perforated plastic lower portion and an upper portion comprised of a polyurethane foam cushion. A polyurethane foam anklet is affixed to the sole so as to substantially surround the wearer's heel and ankle. The top of the anklet is adjustably fastened about the lower portion of the wearer's leg and an adjustable strap extends from the toe portion of the sole to the top of the anklet to limit downward motion of the wearer's toes away from the leg. A strap extends from one side of the sole across the wearer's foot to the other side of the sole; and slidable members are located at the heel so as to be extendable outwardly for preventing inversion and eversion of the foot. A two element strap is detachably affixed to the shoe's heel. One element is adapted to be grasped by the wearer's hand so that the foot can be pulled by the heel toward the wearer's body. The other element is adapted to extend over rollers or the like below the wearer's foot and then back to the wearer's hand so that the foot can again be pulled by the heel away from the wearer's body. In this manner, the wearer can alter the position of the foot and the leg can be exercised.


Inventors: Wiedmer; Louise (Richmond, VA)
Appl. No.: 04/785,240
Filed: December 19, 1968


Current U.S. Class: 601/27 ; 602/28
Current International Class: A61H 1/02 (20060101); A61F 5/01 (20060101); A61h 001/02 (); A61f 005/00 ()
Field of Search: 128/80,581,583,25,157,156,153

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
3527209 September 1970 Baker
2584010 January 1952 Goffredo
2664886 January 1954 Coffman
3157178 November 1964 Bentor
3463164 August 1969 Matles
3511233 May 1970 Holy
Primary Examiner: Trapp; Lawrence W.

Claims



The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A bed shoe for preventing foot drop comprising:

a rigid sole having a heel and a toe portion and adapted for placement beneath the sole of the wearer's foot;

an anklet member extending above said rigid sole and adapted to substantially surround the wearer's heel and ankle;

said anklet being comprised of a cushion layer and including anklet fastening means for fastening the upper portion of said anklet about the wearer's leg;

a strap extending from the toe portion of said sole to said anklet for limiting downward motion of the wearer's toes away from the wearer's shin, whereby the wearer's foot is not permitted to drop and the cushion portion of said anklet reduces chaffing and ulceration of the wearer's ankle and heel; and,

attachment means for attaching said anklet member to said rigid sole in a fixed position relative to said rigid sole so that the anklet member normally extends substantially transverse to the plane of said rigid sole.

2. The shoe of claim 1 wherein said cushion layer has a downy portion on the surface adjacent the wearer's skin.

3. The shoe of claim 1 wherein said cushion layer is comprised of a foam material having first and second laminae wherein the cells of the second lamina are smaller than the cells of the first lamina so that the first lamina is more porous, but the second lamina has a downy texture.

4. The shoe of claim 1 wherein said attachment means includes a second cushion layer covering said sole.

5. The shoe of claim 4 wherein said cushion layers have a downy portion on the surfaces adjacent the wearer's skin.

6. The shoe of claim 4 wherein said cushion layers are comprised of a foam material having first and second laminae wherein the cells of the second lamina are smaller than the cells of the first lamina so that the first lamina is more porous, but the second lamina has a downy texture.

7. The shoe of claim 1 including a tab on the toe thereof extending above said sole for preventing said strap from rubbing on the wearer's toes.

8. The shoe of claim 1 including a second strap extending from one side of said sole to the other side of said sole and adapted to go over the lower portion of the wearer's instep for limiting inverse and everse motion of the foot with respect to the leg.

9. The shoe of claim 8 including means for adjusting said second strap fore and aft along said sole.

10. The shoe of claim 8 including side tabs extending upwardly from the sides of said sole; and,

wherein said second strap is adapted to extend from one of said side tabs to another of said side tabs.

11. The shoe of claim 10 wherein said tabs have forward and aft extensions thereon having slots therein for adjusting the fore and aft positions of said second strap.

12. The shoe of claim 8 wherein the length of said second strap is adjustable.

13. The shoe of claim 8 wherein said second strap is comprised of first and second pieces; and,

means for adjustably fastening said first piece to said second piece.

14. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the length of said strap extending from the toe portion of said shoe to the anklet thereof is adjustable.

15. The shoe of claim 1 wherein said anklet fastening means for fastening the upper portion of said anklet about the wearer's leg is adjustable.

16. The shoe of claim 1 wherein said anklet portion is lower in the rear thereof so as to be adapted for location in the hollow of the leg behind the wearer's ankle, but higher in the front portion thereof so as to extend above the instep-bend of the foot.

17. The shoe of claim 1 including an extensible means at the heel thereof for extending the effective width of said heel to prevent inward or outward rotation of said foot with respect to said ankle.

18. The shoe of claim 1 including an exercise strap affixed to said heel and adapted so that the wearer can pull the heel toward the wearer's body.

19. The shoe of claim 18 including a second exercising strap affixed to said heel and adapted to move the heel away from the wearer's body.

20. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the sole thereof is ventilated.

21. The shoe of claim 1 wherein the anklet member thereof is ventilated.

22. A bed shoe for preventing foot drop comprising:

a rigid ventilated sole having a heel and a toe portion;

a first cushion layer having the general shape of said sole and fastened thereto, but of a smaller dimension so that the perimeter of said sole extends outwardly from the perimeter of said first cushion;

an anklet member extending above said rigid sole from said first cushion and adapted to substantially surround the wearer's heel and ankle;

said anklet being comprised of a second cushion layer and including adjustable anklet fastenings means for adjustably fastening the upper portion of said anklet about the wearer's leg;

said cushions being comprised of a foam material having first and second laminae wherein the cells of the second lamina are smaller than the cells of the first lamina so that the first lamina is more porous, but the second lamina has a downy texture and is adapted for location adjacent the wearer's skin;

a toe tab integral with said sole and extending upwardly therefrom above said first cushion;

a first strap extending from said toe tab to said anklet for limiting downward motion of the wearer's toes away from the wearer's shin whereby the wearer's foot is not permitted to drop;

side tabs integral with said sole and extending upwardly therefrom above said first cushion layer, said side tabs having forward and aft extensions thereof; and,

a second strap adapted to extend from a first of said side tabs across the wearer's foot to another of said side tabs and adjustable fore and aft along said side tab extensions.

23. The shoe of claim 22 including an extensible means on the heel thereof for selectively enlarging the effective width of said heel to prevent rotation of the foot with respect to said ankle.

24. The shoe of claim 22 including first and second exercising straps affixed to the heel thereof and adapted so that the wearer can pull the heel of said shoe toward the wearer's body by pulling on a first of said straps, and also move the heel away from said body by pulling on the second of said straps.

25. An orthopedic device for preventing undesirable movement of an extremity of a patient lying on a bed comprising:

extremity support means for supporting said extremity and adapted to be affixed to said extremity; and,

supplemental support means on said extremity support means, said supplemental support means having independently operable sliding arms adapted to extend outwardly from said extremity support means and thereby said extremity in a predetermined position to prevent undesirable movement of said extremity with respect to said bed;

said arms being adjustably slidable into said supplemental support means when not needed for support.

26. The device of claim 25 including means for attaching said supplemental support means on said extremity support means so that the position of said arms is adjustable with respect to said support means.

27. The device of claim 25 wherein said extremity support means is adapted to be affixed to the patient's foot.

28. The device of claim 27 including means for attaching said supplemental support means at the portion of said extremity support means adjacent the patient's heel.

29. The device of claim 28 wherein the position of said arms at the heel portion of said extremity support means is adjustable with respect to said extremity support means.

30. A foot protector comprising a casing and a lining, said casing being formed of sheet material, said lining being formed of a resilient material and being secured to the inner surface of said casing and wherein said lining includes a foot panel and an upstanding ankle retainer with said ankle retainer including a forwardly open channel into which is received the ankle of a person, as the person's foot is received on the foot panel.

31. The foot protector defined in claim 30 including flexible retaining means for retaining the foot of a patient in place in said lining.

32. The structure defined in claim 30 wherein said casing is formed of relatively rigid material and said lining is formed of foamed polyurethane adhered to said material.
Description



Non-ambulatory patients frequently develop "foot drop" or "toe drop." That is, a condition where the toe end of the patient's foot drops away from the leg so that the angle between the foot and the leg is more than the normal 90.degree.. Although foot drop is more common among geriatric patients, it is an affliction suffered by patients of all ages. In this respect, foot drop can be experienced by anyone whose feet are elevated for long periods of time, such as by patients in iron lungs, paralytics, those confined to Stryker frames, and other patients who might merely be confined to bed for lengthy periods.

Many devices and braces are available for assisting patients once they have encountered foot drop. Most of these devices, however, are adapted to be worn with street shoes which are not succeptible to being worn in bed. Moreover, these devices do not prevent foot drop, they merely assist the patient in overcoming its problems. Hence, it is an object of this invention to provide a bed shoe that can be both worm afflicted by patients already afflicated with foot drop; and other non-ambulatory patients so as to prevent the onset of foot drop.

Another problem which arises with bedridden patients is that of decubitus ulcers, more commonly known as bed sores. This is particularly true where the patient is encumbered with various types of braces which increase the number of pressure points at which patients develop bed sores. Hence, it is another object of this invention to both reduce the incidence of bed sores on the patient's heel and ankle; and provide a foot drop preventive shoe which does not itself cause bed sores.

Foot drop is a well known affliction of bed patients in particular. Hence, various means have been devised in the past to prevent foot drop. One such device is an adjustable foam-padded foot rest that is affixed to the foot end of the patient's bed. These devices, however, are relatively complex, quite expensive, and are not able to be moved with the patient in the event that the patient is able to leave the bed. Consequently, it is another object of this invention to provide a structure which prevents foot drop but does not require expensive structures such as foot rests; and which is also adapted to be affixed to the patient's foot while the patient is out of the bed and even permit the patient to walk a bit, albeit in a rather shuffling manner. In addition, the above described foot rests are only suited for use by a patient on his back. Consequently, it is another object of this invention to provide a foot drop prevention device which permits the patient to be in many positions while still having his foot properly aligned.

One of the contributing factors to foot drop is the weight of sheets and blankets upon the toes so as to thereby force the toes and foot downwardly away from the leg. One means for preventing sheets and blankets from thusly resting upon the patient's toes is to place a "cradle" or frame above the patient's feet to prevent the bedding from touching them. It is another object of this invention to provide a bed shoe which eliminates the need for such a cradle, but nevertheless prevents the bedding from forcing the patient's foot downwardly from the leg.

In accordance with the principles of the invention, the bed shoe is constructed of a rigid perforated sole member having a layer of cushion or foam material adjacent the wearer's foot. An anklet made of foam or other soft, air-pervious material extends upwardly from the sole so as to surround the wearer's ankle and heel. The anklet is adjustably fastened at its top forward portion above the wearer's instep and an adjustable strap extends between the anklet fastener and the toe of the sole. In this manner, the foot is cushioned so as to permit air circulation and prevent bed sores on the patient's ankle and heel, while at the same time the toe end of the patient's foot is not permitted to drop away from its normal position with respect to the leg. In addition, the patient is able to both exercise his toes and ankles so as to prevent "frozen joints," and manage a shuffling walk without having to remove the thusly structured foot drop prevention device. Also, the rigid sole prevents the weight of the bedding from resting upon the patient's foot so as to eliminate one of the major causes of foot drop.

In accordance with another aspect with the invention, an adjustable strap extends across the tarsal area of the wearer's foot transversely from one side of the sole to the other; and a pair of sliding supports are located at the lower portion of the shoe's heel. For patients whose feet have a tendency toward inversion (rotation of the toes toward the body's midline) or eversion (rotation of the toes away from the body's midline), the slidable members are pulled outwardly so as to increase the effective width of the shoe's heel and provide a more stable base against such rotation; and the transverse strap prevents the front of the wearer's foot from rotating off of the sole portion of the shoe.

In accordance with still another aspect of the invention, a two-part strap is detachably affixed to the shoe's heel. One part of the strap extends directly toward the wearer's hands; and the other part of the strap extends away from the patient toward and over a pulley mechanism before returning towards the wearer's other hand. In this manner, the patient can grasp the two straps and exercise or otherwise alter the position of his foot by means of alternate to and fro motions by his hands of the two strap elements.

The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the more particular description of preferred embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein the same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the various views. The drawings are not necessarily intended to be to scale, but rather are presented so as to illustrate the principles of the invention in clear form.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a lower-side perspective view of a foot drop prevention bed shoe embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is an upper front perspective view of the FIG. 1 bed shoe;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective rear view of a bed shoe including outwardly slidable members at the heel for increasing the effective width of the shoe's heel;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of exercise straps affixed to the shoe's heel portion;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the FIG. 4 schematic illustrating the detachable manner in which the exercise straps are affixed to the heel.

In FIGS. 1 and 2 sole 10 of a rigid material such as a hard-formed plastic is of a substantially rectangular shape having a heel portion 12 and a toe portion 14. The sole is provided with a plurality of perforations such as 16 and has a slotted tab member 20 integrally formed at its toe end. Slotted tab members such as 22 are similarly integrally affixed on the sole's sides so as to extend somewhat above a cushioned sole 24 to be described more fully shortly. The slotted portion 26 of the tab 22 is elongated so the two pieces 27 and 28 of an adjustable strap 29 can slide fore and aft in slots 30.

The cushion sole 24 is preferably constructed of a suitable air pervious material such as polyurethane foam. One suitable type of such foam is available under the trademark "Metaplast" from Fiber Formations, Inc. Another suitable type is sold under the trademark "Dermatec" by Parke, Davis and Company. In the illustrated preferred embodiment, the cushioned sole is laminated so as to provide a lower lamina 32 and an upper lamina 34. The lower lamina has relatively large pores or cells so as to make the sole porous and lightweight, while the upper lamina is thinner, but comprised of very small cells so as to present a downy surface to the wearer's foot.

An anklet 36 extends upwardly from the shoe's sole and is comprised of a cushion material similar to the polyurethane sole. In this respect, the anklet also has a large-pored outer layer 38 and a small-pored downy surfaced layer 40 so as to provide a soft, smooth surface and prevent bed sores from forming on the wearer's ankle and heel. The top of the anklet may be level as best seen in FIG. 2, or rear portion 42 of the anklet may be somewhat lower than the front portion 44 as shown in FIG. 4, so that the rear portion meets the hollow behind the wearer's ankle and the front portion extends above the bend in front of the ankle. A two-piece strap has right and left-sides thereof, 46 and 48, respectively, fastened to the upper portion of the anklet cushion as shown, and the two anklet straps are adjustably fastened together by suitable means such as a Velcro fastener 50. In this respect, although a Velcro fastener material is preferred, any suitable fastener means may be used in its place.

Another adjustable strap 52 extends from the top of the anklet to the shoe's toe. In one embodiment, such as that illustrated, one end 54 of the strap 52 is looped over the anklet fastener straps 46 and 48 and adjustably fastened by a snap fastener having a plurality of male members 56 and a female member 57. The other end of the strap 52 is permanently affixed in slot 58 of the integral tab 20 extending upwardly from the sole's rigid lower portion 10.

In FIG. 3 housing 60 and arms 62, 64 extend across the shoe's heel and may be integrally formed with the heel portion 12 of the sole 10; supplementally cemented thereto; or perhaps merely fastened to the rear of the sole cushion 24. Slidable members 62 and 64 are of slightly greater length than the width of member 60 and are adapted to slidingly overlap each other within the member 60 as illustrated by the dotted line in the figure. Each of the slidable members 62 and 64 has an indented portion 66 so that the slidable members can be engaged by a fingernail and withdrawn from a storage position within the member 60.

After the patient's foot is placed in the bed shoe, the various straps are adjusted so as to be comfortable to the patient. In this respect, it should be noted that the tarsal straps 28 are only necessary when the patient is experiencing inversion or eversion tendencies. In such cases, it is preferred that the ends 27 and 28 of the straps 29 engaging the slots 30 be affixed so as to be non-detachable, but slidable back and forth in the slots 30 to a position that is most comfortable to the wearer and the straps adjusted and fastened by a suitable means such as the illustrated snap fasteners 67 or perhaps a Velcro fastener. When thusly fastened, the straps 29 prevent the patient's foot from rotating off of the downy cushioned portion 34 of the sole. In addition, the slidable members 62 and 64 are slid outwardly so as to increase the effective width of the shoe's heel and prevent the inversionary or eversionary tendency of the patient's foot to rotate at the ankle.

From the above description, it will be apparent that the shoe of the invention provides a light-weight comfortable shoe which both prevents the patient's toes from extending downwardly away from his legs and also prevents the foot from undergoing undesirable rotations so as to prevent inversion or eversion. At the sametime, however, the patient can exercise his toes and ankles so as to prevent frozen joints. It will also be apparent that the sole perforations 16 (as well as vent holes 68 in the anklet) permit air to circulate about the wearer's foot so as to reduce the tendency toward bed sores. In addition, the tab 20 and the rigid sole 10 prevent the weight of the bedding from pressing the wearer's foot into an undesirable position. In this respect, it should also be noted that the sole 10 preferably extends about one-sixteenth to one-eighth inch outwardly from the sole's cushion portion 24. In this manner, the smooth surface of the plastic sole permits it to be easily slidable between the sheets.

The above-described shoe is also suited for limited walking by the patient; permits the patient's foot to be suitably supported no matter what position the patient might assume (although a pillow should be placed just below the knee to the ankle, if the patient rests on his stomach); and the patient's foot receives full-time support against the various types of foot drop whether the patient is in or out of bed.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate another embodiment of the invention wherein a strap is comprised of a short element 70 and a long element 72. The straps are affixed to the rigid sole 10 such by a fastener 74 or the like which is detachably mounted on member 60. The shorter of the two straps 70 extends directly toward the patient's hands and has a suitable D ring 76 located on the end thereof. The longer of the two straps 72 extends downwardly toward the bottom of the patient's bed and over a schematically illustrated roller 78. The longer strap then passes upwardly and over a second schematically illustrated roller 80 and returns towards the patient's other hand which manipulates the strap 72 by means of a D ring 82. In this manner, the heel of the shoe and thereby the patient's foot is drawn upwardly towards the patient's body when the patient pulls on the D ring 76; and the patient is able to return his foot to the extended position by relaxing his grasp on the D ring 76 and pulling on the D ring 82. Hence, the patient is able to either alter the position of his foot or otherwise exercise his leg.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments, it should be noted that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, although the invention has been described in connection with a laminated cushioned sole, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention is equally applicable to other types of cushioned soles. Similarly, although slidable elements have been illustrated for extending the effective width of the shoe's heel other means could also be used for the same purpose, such as swinging hinge elements which are storable along the sides of the sole, for example.

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