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Publication numberUS3281598 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date25 Oct 1966
Filing date19 Nov 1965
Priority date19 Nov 1965
Publication numberUS 3281598 A, US 3281598A, US-A-3281598, US3281598 A, US3281598A
InventorsHollstein Irene
Original AssigneePicker X Ray Corp Waite Mfg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Overhead support for a vertically and rotatably movable x-ray tube support arm and cooperating tiltable x-ray table
US 3281598 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1956 o. c. HOLLSTEIN 3,281,598

OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MOVABLE X-RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE Original Filed Oct. 21, 1963 '7 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. 2 I22 OSWALD C. HOLLSTEIN gkazbb/ fh ATTORNEYfi Oct. 25, 1966 o. c. HOLLSTEIN 3,281,598

OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MOVABLE X-RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE Original Filed Oct. 21 1965 7 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. OSWALD C- H OLLSTEI N QFW a @YM ATTORN EYE Oct. 25, 1966 o. c. HOLLSTEIN 3,281,598

OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MOVABLE X-RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE Original Filed Oct. 21, 1963 7 Sheets-Sheet :5

l go I 5 11 1 H .l l'lfi I g ?1 50 29 I o sz i' 53 5 INVENTOR. Z. 3 OSWALD C. HOLLSTEIN Q Z/QW 2 M4 ATT ORNEYS- 1966 o. c. HOLLSTEIN 3,281,598

OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MOVABLE X-RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE Original Filed Oct. 21, 1963 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 i x I i I I I 'l 6;) I J. ll .1 I

INVENTOR OSWA LD C. HOLLSTEI N 362111 a J YJW ATTORNEYS Oct. 25, 1966 o. c. HOLLSTEIN 3,231,598

OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MOVABLE X- -RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE Original Filed 001;. 21, 1963 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. 47 40 OSWALD C-HOLLSTEIN BY WJEMW ATTORNEYS.

Oct. 25, 1966 1 o. c. HOLL STEIN 3,281,598

OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MOVABLE X-RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE Original Filed Oct. 21, 1963 7 Sheets-sheaf e INVENTOR. OSWALD C. HOLLSTEI N ATTORNEYS.

VABLE Oct. 25, 1966 o. c. HOLLSTEIN OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MO X-RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE '7 Sheets-Sheet '7 Original Filed Oct. 21, 1963 OSWALD C INVENTOR. HOLLSTEIN Z zww d q/Mfiw.

ATTO RNEYS United States Patent OVERHEAD SUPPORT FOR A VERTICALLY AND ROTATABLY MOVABLE X-RAY TUBE SUPPORT ARM AND COOPERATING TILTABLE X-RAY TABLE Oswald C. Hollstein, deceased, late of Euclid, Ohio, by Irene Hollstein, executrix, Euclid, Ohio, assignor to Picker X-Ray Corporation, Waite Manufacturing Division, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Continuation of application Ser. No. 317,443, Oct. 21, 1963. This application Nov. 19, 1965, Ser. No. 511,579

29 Claims. (Cl. 250-57) This is a continuation of United States patent application Serial No. 317,443, entitled C-Frame and filed October 21, 1963, now abandoned in favor of this application. This invention pertains to X-ray apparatus and more particularly to a novel and improved support for a penetrating ray energy emitting mechanism.

As the fluoroscopic and radiological arts progress, the numbers and types of studies undertaken by both scientists and physicians are constantly increasing. This results in increasing demand for versatility in mechanisms for directing penetrating ray energy against a patient or object under study. Previously available mechanisms, and prior proposals for mechanisms forsupporting X-ray tubes or other sources of penetrating radiation have placed limitations on the types of studies which scientists and radiologists have been able to perform in their respective fields of endeavor.

In the past scientists and radiologists have had to tailor their studies within limitations imposed by standard available equipment. Some have resorted to the expensive and never fully satisfactory alternative of custom building special units to meet specialized needs.

The present invention obviates many of these prior limitations by providing greater versatility than was previously available in terms of an ability to direct penetrating rays of energy toward a given point from practically any direction. Powered movements are provided to permit many types of studies with the energy source to be moved uniformly through any one of a substantially infinite number of predetermined paths. Further versatility is obtained by providing a basic unit which easily and economically can be tailored to a given radiologists or scientists needs.

With the present mechanism an overhead support system is provided. This system includes a carriage which is movable in a horizontal plane. This carriage is known in the art as a horizontal travel carriage or more commonly, simply as a horizontal carriage. The horizontal carriage is movable in a horizontal plane to any point within a predetermined area. A vertically positioned mast is carried by the horizontal carriage for rotation about a vertical axis. The mast is horizontally oifset with respect to the vertical axis of rotation permitting vertical movement of a supported mechanism substantially to the ceilmg.

A bifurcated arm in the form of either a C or a U arm is mounted in an arm cradle which in turn is .rotatably mounted on a vertically movable vertical travel carriage. The vertical carriage is mounted on the mast for vertical reciprocation. The cradle rotation is about an axis known as the horizontal axis which axis intersects the vertical axis of rotation. The source of penetrating ray energy is mounted on one end of the arm and positioned to emit a beam of rays through this point of intersection. A coacting mechanism is mounted on the other end of the arm in the path of the emitted beam. In the preferred and disclosed arrangement, this source of energy is an X-ray tube emitting a beam of rays toward an image intensifying tube mounted on the other end of the arm. A v

3,281,598 Patented Oct. 25, 1966 this point of intersection of the horizontal and vertical axes of rotation. With the patient or object being studied, positioned so that this point lies within him or it, the arm can be rotated about either of these axes while maintaining the beam focused on the object or patient under study and emitting energy towards the coacting device carried at the other end of the arm.

One of the outstanding features of the invention resides in the mast assembly which is in the shape of an inverted L. The horizontal leg of the L is pivotal about a vertical axis while the vertical leg is the mast. The mast, as noted above, is horizontally offset from the axis of rotation. This not only provides greater space for vertical movement than prior mechanisms but also permits the amount of vertical movement to be tailored for a given application by simply providing a mast of appropriate length.

When a C-arm is utilized the C-arm is mounted on the cradle for rotation about a third axis which intersects this same point providing still further versatility. This third axis is known as the orbital axis. This orbital axis is at right angle to the horizontal axis.

In one application of this invention, the vertical carriage is coupled to a longitudinal track on an X-ray table. Since the arm, the cradle, and the vertical carriage are ceiling supported, the load imposed on the support mechanism is always vertical. This produces another of the outstanding advantages of the invention in that it is possible to couple an X-ray tube and an X-ray stimulated,

device to an X-ray table and utilize spring counterbalances with constant tension. Previously, the only successful counterbalancing of fluoroscopic columns and similar structures coupled to tables has been with count'erweights where the inertia encountered is approximately twice that of spring counterbalances. Moreover, counterbalancing both parallel and perpendicular to a table has been required to accommodate tilting of the table. Here, because the arm is supported independent of the table, a single counterbalance replaces the two of prior structures.

The movements of (l) rotation of the C-arm cradle relative to the mast, (2) the vertical travel of the carriage relative to the mast; and (3) the horizontal travel of the horizontal carriage, all coact to permit the unit to be coupled to a table of the pivotal type. Because of these listed movements, the table is free to tilt while the tube and image producing mechanism remains stationary relative to the table top. The support mechanisms also permits the tube to be moved both longitudinally and transversely relative to the table top at all times and in all table positions. A drive means is provided to cause the device to shift longitudinally selectively relative to the table top.

As suggested above, the C-arm is rotatable about an orbital axis. When the unit is coupled to the table, the orbital axis longitudinally parallels the table top. Thus, the C-arm and X-ray tube may be rotated about an orbital axis to provide an ability to conduct X-ray studies at a variety of angles with respect to the transverse axis of the table top.

Further versatility and another feature of the invention are provided by positioning a power means between the C-arm cradle and the vertical carriage so that the C-arm may be rotated relatively to the table top about the horizontal axis which is transverse to the table top. Thus, when the C-arm is coupled to a table, the X-ray tube may be moved at any point within a segment of a sphere and the image producing devices is maintained in an aligned position and a chosen distance from the X-ray tube.

The center of gravity of the C-arm is displaced radially from the orbital and horizontal axes. It would require a sizable counterweight to correct this off-balance condition due to the weight of the C-arm assembly. Both motions, therefore, are motor driven with remote controls always in easy reach of the operator. All linear motions are easily manipulated manually. The rotation of the mast about its off-set vertical axis also is relatively eitortless, so that in its preferred design all linear motions and the rotation of the mast about its vertical axis are manually operated.

There are many applications for the arm support mechanism alone when it is either uncoupled from the table top or used in installations without a connected table. In these applications, power drives for the lineal motions and rotation about the vertical axis are provided if remote controlled operation is desired.

As an example of the use of the mechanism of this invention without a coupled table, it is possible to position the arm in a horizontal plane and then rotate the device about the vertical axis. The tube may be rotated 360 about a patient or other object to direct penetrating rays from all directions. Since the device is vertically movable, studies with rays emitted from any point within a cylindrical configuration can be obtained in this situation while maintaining the arm in a horizontal plane. Similarly, the arm can be rotated about the horizontal axis so as to emit rays from any point in a cylinder having a horizontal axis.

Another feature of the invention resides in a novel and improved C-arm cradle and C-arm construction which increases the amount of obtainable movement of the C-arm along an arcuate path around the orbital axis. Unlike prior proposals, the tube brackets do not limit the amount of obtainable rotational movement of the C-arm relative to its cradle.

This aspect of the invention is accomplished by providing a C-arm cradle which defines an arcuate slot open along its concave face and at-its ends. The C-arm is mounted in the slot while the X-ray tube and, if desired, the coacting mechanism are mounted on narrow brackets which can project'into the slot.

A more specialized feature of the invention resides in a novel and improved C-arm and C-arrn cradle'constructions which provide simple, light weight but dependable arm and cradle mechanisms.

Still another more specialized feature of the invention resides in a novel and improved fail safe mechanism which will prevent a damage to the C-arm and patient injury if a support cable on a balance spring breaks.

Another feature of the invention resides in a locking system. The linear motions are locked by electro-magnets such as those described in U.S. Patent No. 2,673,627, issued March 30, 1954, to R, I. Stava. Rotation of the mast about the vertical axis is selectively locked by a mechanical brake. This brake is held closed in the locked position by tension springs and is released by a solenoid. The magnetic locks must be energized in order to lock the linear motions while the solenoid must be de-energized in order to lock the rotation of the mast about its vertical axis. This design made it possible to eliminate a multiplicity of switches to operate the different locks. One single pole double throw switch locks or unlocks four motions. When the toggle switch is in the center-cit position, normally closed contacts lock all linear locks. The solenoid for locking the rotation of the mast is de-energized so that the springs hold the rotation lock closed. Therefore, all locks are on when the toggle switch is in the center-off position.

All linear locks can be disengaged by throwing the toggle switch from the center-off position in one direction, which leaves the rotation of the mast locked, throwing the toggle switch in the other direction will open the mast rotation and will lock the linear motions. This split selectivity of locking and unlocking the mast rotation and the collective linear motions separately, provides easier manual control of the equipment and the simple switching arrangement needing only one toggle switch. The use of a single switch eliminates search for the proper switch to lock one particular motion.

The principal object of this invention, then is to provide a novel and improved support for an X-ray tube or other source of penetrating radiation and a coacting mechanism such as an image intensification tube.

Related objects are to provide constructions which contribute to the simplicity, flexibility, and versatility of such a support.

Other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had be referring to the following description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a C-arm and support mechanism and a diagrammatic and sectional showing of an X-ray table as seen from the planes indicated by the line 11 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 2 is a front elevational view of the table and arm of FIGURE 1 on an enlarged scale showing a fragmentary view of the mast;

FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view on the scale of FIGURE 1 of another application of the invention;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged sectional view as seen from the plane indicated by the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view of the mast support carriage as seen from the plane indicated by the line 55 of FIG. 4;

FIGURE 6 is a foreshortened end elevational view of the mast support structure as seen from the plane indicated by the line 66 of FIGURE 3 and on an enlarged scale with respect to FIGURES 1 and 3;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view of the mast and vertical carriage showing a top plan view of the fail safe mechanism as seen from the plane indicated by the lines 7-7 of FIGURE 3 and on an enlarged scale with respect to FIG- URES 1 and 3;

FIGURE 8 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view of the C-arm support mechanism with parts broken away and removed;

FIGURE 9 is an enlarged sectional view of the C-arm construction as seen from the plane indicated by the line 99 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 10 is a foreshortened front elevational view of a modified C-arm support on a reduced scale with respect to the remainder of the drawings;

FIGURE 11 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view of an upper portion of the arm carriage with parts broken away and removed to show a front elevational view of the fail safe mechanism with parts of each fail safe mechanism broken away and removed to reveal the internal construction; and

FIGURE 12 is a schematic wiring diagram of the motion arresting circuitry.

Referring to the drawings and FIGURE 1 in particular, an X-ray table is shown schematically at 10. A C-arm shown generally at 11 is positioned for treating a patient on the table. The C-arm 11 is supported by a mast assembly shown generally at 12 which in turn is connected to the ceiling by a support assembly 13.

The support assembly 13 The support assembly 13 has a .pair of horizontally disposed and parallel ceiling tracks 14 fixed to the ceiling. An overhead support 15 is mounted on the tracks 14 for movement along the tracks in a path normal to the plane of FIGUREI. The support 15 includes a pair of hori zontal tracks 16, FIGURE 6, which are normal to the ceiling tracks 14.

A horizontal carriage 17 is mounted on the support tracks 16 for movement therealong. The details of construction of the horizontal carriage 17 which permits and guide rotation of the mast assembly are described below in the section headed MAST ASSEMBLY. The horizontal carriage 17 is movable to any location in a predetermined horizontal area by movement of the overhead support 15 along the ceiling tracks 14 and movement normal to the overhead support movement of the overhead carriage 17 alonge the support tracks 16.

The mast assembly 12 The mast assembly 12 includes a vertically oriented mast-18 and a horizontally disposed mast support arm 19. The horizontal carriage 17 is equipped with an apertured mast supporting plate 20, FIGURES 4 and 5. The plate 20 has walls 21 defining a relatively large circular journaling aperture. A mast journaling bracket 23 is secured to the upper side of the arm 19 relatively near a support end 24 of the arm 19 remote from the mast 18. The journaling bracket 23 has a pair of upstanding lugs 25 which carry mast supporting rollers 26, 27. The supporting rollers 26, 27 engage the upper face of the apertured support plate 20.

An arm extension bracket 28 is secured to the remote end 24 of the arm 19. A third roller 29 is journaled on the support extension bracket 28 engaging the underface of the apertured plate 20. The third roller 29 coacts with the rollers 26, 27, to rotatably support the mast for rotation about the aperture in the plate 20.

A pair of locating wings 30 project horizontally from the opposite sides of the arm 19. The locating wings 30 carry locating rollers 31 which engage the aperture walls 21 at spaced locations. Another pair of locating rollers 32 are carried by the support extension bracket and engaged to the walls 21. The locating rollers 31, 32 prevent relative horizontal movement of the mast support 19 and the horizontal carriage 17 while permitting rotation about the axis of the plate aperture.

When powered rotation of the mast assembly 12 about the vertical axis of the aperture in plate 20 is desired, a vertical rotation reversible electric motor 100 is mounted on the extension bracket 28, FIGURE 1. The vertical rotation motor 100 drives a worm 101 which in turn drives a work gear 102. The worm gear 102 is coupled to and drives the third roller 29, FIGURE 1.

The mast 18 depends vertically from the mast arm 19 to reciprocally carry a vertical carriage shown generally at 35. The mast 18 is horizontally offset from the axis of mast rotation depending from the end of the arm 19 remote from the mast support carriage 17.

The construction of the mast 18 is seen most clearly in FIGURE 7 where a generally channel shaped extrusion 36 is shown in cross section. A back plate 37 is secured to vertically extending back flanges 38 on the mast extrusion 36 to provide a generally rectangular tubular construction encasing counter-balance springs 39.

The mast extrusion 36 is equipped with a pair of laterally extending journaling tracks 40 and a forwardly extending fail safe track 41. These tracks 40,41 extend vertically the length of the mast to provide guiding support for the vertical carriage 35.

The vertical carriage 35 has an arm support face casting 42 which is positioned in front of the mast 18. Four journaling side castings 43 are secured to the face casting 42 and connected together behind the mast 18'by a pair of handle braces 45. As a comparative examination of FIGURES l and 7 will show, there are a total of four side castings 43 with an upper and a lower casting on each side. Each of these four castings 43 carries a pair of carriage supporting rollers 46 which engage the front and rear faces of the supporting tracks 40. Each of the side castings 43 also carries a lateral thrust roller 47 each of which engages an end surface of one of the journaling tracks to prevent lateral movement of the vertical carriage 35 relative to the mast 18. V

The counterbalance assembly used in this mechanism is shown most completely in FIGURE 3 and incorporates the counterbalance system described in greater de-' tail in United States Patent No. 2,901,202, issued August 22, 1959, to R. J. Stava et al., under the title Counterbalance. This counterbalance assembly includes a counterbalance shaft 49 journaled in suitable brackets 50 which are mounted in the mast arm 19. A cylindrically contoured drum 51 is secured to the shaft 49 and connected to the counterbalance springs 39 by a cable 52. A spi-r-ally convoluted compensating sheave 53 is also fixed t-o the-counterbalance shaft 49. A cable 54 depends from the sheave 53 and is connected to the carriage 35 to support it.

As is best seen in FIGURES 7 and 11, the support cable 54 is reeved around a carriage support pulley 55. The end of the cable 54 is secured to the sheave 53 in a manner not shown 'in the drawings. The support pulley 55 is journaled on a fail safe plate 56. The fail safe plate 56 is journaled on a fail safe shaft 57 mounted in the face casting 42 of the vertical carriage 35. The fail safe plate is pivotal about the axis of the fail safe shaft 57 which is below and vertically offset with respe'ct to the axis of the support pulley 55.

When the support cable 54 is tensioned by the weight of the carriage, the fail safe plate 56 is caused to rotate about the axis of the fail safe shaft 57 until it strikes a stop 58 provided on the front carriage face casting 42. A fail safe spring 59 is connected to the fail safe plate 56 and the face casting 42. Whenever the tension of the support cable 54 is released because, for example, of a failure of either the counterbalance cable 52 or the support cable 54, or if a balance spring breaks, the fail safe spring 59 will rotate the fail safe plate 56 about the axis of the fail safe shaft 57.

The fail safe plate 56 has horizontally disposed rearwardly extending braking surfaces 60' which are normally spaced from and on either Side of the fail safe track 41. On a cable failure and pivoting of the fail safe plate 56 under the action of the spring 59, these braking surfaces 60 are brought into engagement with the sides of the fail safe track 41. A lower edge of one of the-braking Walls 60, the right hand one, as seen in FIGURE 11, will dig into the fail safe track 41 arresting the descending movement of the vertical carriage 35 and preventing the free fall of the carriage which might result in either damage to the equipment or injury to a patient.

The arm assembly 11 "'Referring now to FIGURE 8, the vertical carriage 35 has a horizontally disposed arm supporting shaft 62 secured to it. The shaft 62 projects through an aper-- ture 63 in a face of the carriage face casting 42. An anchor plate 64 is welded to a reduced diameter end portion 66 of the shaft 62. The anchor plate 64 is se-. cured to the face casting 42 as by bolts and is positioned on the inside of the face casting 42.

The C-arm assembly 11 includes a C-arm cradle 67 which is journaled on the shaft 62. The cradle 67 and the vertical carriage 35 are relatively freely rotatable about the axis of the support shaft 62. A worm gear 68 is fixed to the cradle 67 and keyed against relative rotation. The worm gear 68 is coaxially disposed around the shaft 62. A worm 69 engages the worm gear 68 and is carried by a gear housing 70. A cradle rotating electric motor 71 is supported on the gear housing and drivingly connected as by chain 72 to the Worm 6 9.

the gear housing 70 to permit relative rotation.

port assemblies and the journaling of the cradle 67 on r the shaft 62. At the same time horizontal rotation of the cradle 67 relative to the gear housing 7 t} and, therefore, relative to the table and other elements of the entire mechanism is obtainable.

This rotation of the cradle 67 relative to the table is depicted in FIGURE 2 where the phantom showing of the C-arm '11 is at 45 with the solid line showing, the other pictured mechanisms remaining stationary. With certain types of studies, this type of rotation is desirable and with the preferred arrangement rotation is provided approximately 45 in either direction from the vertical position shown in solid lines. As will be apparent, this rotation of 45, in either direction from the vertical position, is obtained by alternately driving the cradle rotating motor 71 in opposite directions.

The C-ar-m assembly 11 includes a C-arm shown generally at 75. The C-ar'm 75 has a pair of arcuately curved tubular, preferably aluminum, frame members 76, FIGURE 9. A pair of arcuately curved hardened steel tracks 77, 78, are mounted on opposite sides of the frame members 76. Stud assemblies including stud members 79, 80 project through the frame members 76 and are threaded respectively into the track members 77, 78. The stud member 89 has a reduced diameter end projection 81 which telescopes into a bore in the stud member 79. A pin 82 is inserted in aligned holes in the stud members 79, 80 to secure the stud members against relative rotation. The stud members 79, 80 are threaded into their respective tracks with threads formed in the same spiral direction. Thus, for example, the threading of both may be right handed. With this construction and the two stud members pinned together, any tendency of one of the stud members to loosen from its connected track will cause tightening of the coupled stud member in its track. Accordingly, a simplified C-arm construction is provided in which the members are positively locked together against accidental loosening. The C-arm is fabricated from elements which are relatively easy to manufacture and the composite result is a very rigid and strong but inexpensive C-arm.

Four roller assemblies 84, FIGURE 8, are secured to opposite sides of the cradle 67 in spaced relationship with one another. Each of these roller assemblies includes a cluster of three rollers 85. The three rollers 85 of each cluster engage respectively the concave, convex, and side faces of the associated one of the C-arm tracks 77, 78 to journal the C-arm in the cradle 67 for rotation about the orbital axis of the C-arm.

As the preceding description suggests, in the preferred construction the C-arm is rotatable from its vertical position as shown in FIGURE 1 and in solid lines in FIG- URE 2 about the vertical axis of the vertical carriage 17, about the horizontal axis of the shaft 62, which axis inter- .sects the mast, and orbitally about another axis, the axis of the C-arm. When the C-arm is in the vertical position shown in FIGURES land 2, these three axes are each normal to the other two. Moreover, the structure is such that the three axes always intersect at a common point immediately above table top 87 of the table 10. The point is indicated schematically in FIGURE 1 and identified by the letter P.

An X-ray tube housing 88 is secured to the C-arm 75 near one end. The housing 88 and the enclosed X-ray tube are preferably of the type described and claimed in greater detail in Patent No. 3,094,616, entitled X-Ray Table, issued to E. B. Graves et al. on June 18, 1963. This housing and tube construction is preferred for the extra target to patient distance obtained with that con- 8 struction as is described in greater detail in the patent. V

A coacting mechanism is mounted near the end of the C-arm opposite the X-ray tube. nism will be an X-ray stimulated device and is preferably an image intensification tube 89. The image intensification tube 89 may be connected to a closed television cir cuit, used for optical viewing, and/or used in conjunction with a cine camera 90. The tube 89 is mounted on tracks 91 for adjusting movement toward and away from the X-ray tube.

While the device is designed for use primarily with an image intensification tube 89, there are times when a radiographicexposure may be required. To effect a radiographic exposure, a cassette tray is pivotally connected to the image tube by a pivotal linkage 111. Normally the cassette tray is parked in the storage position shown in solid lines in FIGURE 1. When one wishes to make a radiographic exposure, the tray 110 is shifted to the position shown in phantom lines in FIG- URE 1 and a radiographic cassette is positioned in the tray 11% One of the outstanding advantages of this invention is obtained through the mounting of the C-arm in the C-arm cradle 67. To eifect orbital rotation of the C-arm about an axis passing through the point P, parallel to the table top when the device is in the solid line position of FIG- URE 2, and longitudinal with respect to it, an orbital rotation drive motor 112, FIGURE 8, is provided. The orbital-motor 112 is mounted on the C-arm cradle 67. A drive sprocket 113 is driven by the orbital motor 112. The drive sprocket 113 engages a chain 114 which has ends secured to the C-arm near the image tube 89 and the X-ray tube 88 respectively. Between this end securement, the chain is free so that it may pass over the drive sprocket 113. carriage housing 67 to maintain the chain 114 in driving engagement with the drive sprocket 113.

Another advantage of this invention is obtained through the C-arm construction which permits much greater arcuate travel when the orbital motor 112 is operated than has heretofore been obtainable. This increased arcuate travel is obtained through the provision of a C- arm cradle 67 which is open at 117 along its concave face, FIGURE 8. An X-ray tube support 118 is provided which has a dimension paralleling the axis of C-arm arcuate travel which is less than the width of this concave face opening 117. The X-ray tube support 118 is so constructed so it may pass into and through the C-arm concave face opening 117 as is demonstrated in the version of the invention shown in FIGURE 10. Moreover, the image tube 89 may, as shown in FIGURE 10, be mounted on a support 119 corresponding to the X-ray tube support 118. With this construction the image tube support 119 can also pass into the face opening 117 to increase the amount of arcuate travel of the C-arm when the orbital motor 112 is operated.

The table and the arm connection Referring now to FIGURES l and 2, an X-ray table is shown which is tiltable from its pictured horizontal position in either direction. The table shown in FIG- URE 2 is one which is tiltable in one direction to a vertical position and in the other position to approximately 30 Trandelenberg. A well known, so-called 90-90 table tiltable 90 in either direction from the horizontal may also be employed. With this table arcuate tracks 120 are provided on a pedestal 121 which supports the remainder of the table. A chain 122 is provided to cause selective rotation of the table through a mechanism quite similar to the C-arm rotation. A table tilting motor 123,

FIGURE 2, is mounted on the pedestal and in driving engagement with the chain 122 to cause this table tilting.

A pair of guide tube brackets 124 are fixed to the table near the ends of the top 87. The guide tube brackets 124 support a C-arm guide tube 125. Guide followers 126 referenced I The coacting mecha- Idler sprockets are mounted on the are journaled on the guide tube 125 for relative reciprocation along the axis of the guide tube 125. A pair of C-arm guide bars 127 are respectively connected to the guide followers 126. The guide bars 127 respectively telescope into guide sleeves 128 which are secured to the C-arm gear housing 70. The guide bars 127 are telescoped into the guide sleeves 128 to permit relative reciprocal movement and thereby movement of the C-arm toward and away from the table top 87 along a path located by the bars and sleeves 127, 128, while preventing rotation of the C-arm gear housing 70 relative to the table top. Conversely, when the table is tilted, the coaction of the guide bars and sleeves 127, 128 cause the C-arm-to tilt with the table top maintaining the relative position of the X-ray tube, image amplifier 89, and the table top 87.

Longitudinal reciprocation of the C-arm relative to the table top is obtained through a chain 130 which has its ends connected to the guide followers 126. The chain is reeved around sprockets 131 mounted on opposite sides of the guide support brackets 124. The chain extends through the guide tube 125 and is driven by a C-arm reciprocation motor 132 mounted on the table at the right as seen in FIGURE 2. Operation of the motor 132 will cause reciprocation of the C-arm longitudinally of the table along a guided path located by the guide tube 125.

In the arrangement shown, the table top 87 is pivotally mounted at 134 for rotation about a longitudinal axis paralleling the table top. The amount of rotation about the pivots 134 is controlled by a coacting pin 135 and arcuate slot 136. Pivoting of the table top provides further versatility in obtaining relative angular relationship of the patient and the X-ray beam.

In the preferred and disclosed arrangement, the C-arm may be disconnected from the table. This is accomplished by disconnecting the coupling means between the C-arm and the table top. In the disclosed arrangement, bolts 137 may be removed to disconnect the C-arm guide structure from the C-arm gear housing 70.

When the table to C-arm coupling mechanism is disconnected to permit the C-arm to be used independently at the table, a means is provided to prevent relative rotation of the C-arm and the C-arm carriage other than when the cradle rotating motor 71 is operated. In FIGURE 1 the disclosed means comprises a slidable bolt 138 mounted on the gear housing 70 and selectively projectable into an aperture 139 in the vertical carriage 35.

In the embodiment of FIGURE 3, a U-arm 140 is provided rather than the C-arm 114. The structure for rotating the U-arm about the axis of the arm support shaft 62 is somewhat modified from the structure of FIGURES 1 and 2 and is the structure which is preferred with either a C or U-arm designed for use normally without being coupled to a table. In this arrangement the cradle rotating motor 71 is mounted on the vertical carriage 35. With this construction, and the construction described in greater detail above being otherwise identical, operation of the cradle rotating motor 71 will cause rotation of the U-arm 140, or a C-arm, about the axis of the arm support shaft 62. At the same time the cradle motor 71, the worm 69, and worm gear 68 will prevent rotation of the arm about the axis of the arm support shaft 62 at times when the motor 71 is not operating.

In the version of FIGURE 10, a gooseneck 145 replaces the arm support shaft 62. This structure is preferred where ceiling height permits because the mast 18 may be terminated at a relatively high height to permit unobstructed movement under the mast. The C-arm carriage 35 may be raised vertically to move the entire C-arm assembly out of the way and permit movement under the entire described mechanism.

The braking system braking system shown in FIGURE 6 arrests mast rotation about the vertical axis. This brake system includes brake shoes 151. A spring 152 normally holds the brake shoes 151 in an on condition. Energization of a solenoid 153 actuates a linkage 154 which overcomes the action of the spring 152 and releases the brake shoes 151.

In FIGURE 12 a schematic diagram of the single switch control of the braking of the various movements is shown. Here the magnets for controlling lineal motions are shown as is the solenoid 153 which actuates the linkage 154. A single pole double throw toggle switch is shown schematically at 155. The switch 155 is connected by a conductor 156 to one side of a line L. Pole 163 of the switch 155 is shown in solid lines in its center off position. A spring biases the toggle switch 155 to this center of condition. When the pole 163 of the switch is moved to the right to the position shown in phantom at 164, the relay 153 is energized releasing the rotation brake.

The magnets are connected to the line L by a conductor 162. A normally closed switch 161 is in series with the conductor 162 and controlled by a solenoid 160. When the pole 163 is moved to the left to the position shown at 170, the solenoid is energized opening the switch 161 and de-energizing the magnets 150. 7

Thus, when the switch is in the position shown in solid lines at 163, all brakes are on. When it is moved to the right to the phantom position shown at 164, the rotational brake is released because all magnets are energized and the solenoid 153 is also energized. g

If the pole 163 is moved to the left to the-position shown in phantom at 170, the magnets and the relay 153 become de-energized and, therefore, rotational movement about the vertical axis is prevented while lineal movements are obtainable. Thus, through a single switch 155 which is normally spring biased to the position shown in solid lines, selective control of the vertical rotation and the lineal movements is obtained.

Although the invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without department from the-spirit and the scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination:

(a) a carriage system including tracks supporting a horizontal carriage and permitting horizontal movement of the horizontal carriage to a selected location within a predetermined area;

(b) a generally vertical mast depending from and supported by the horizontal carriage;

(c) a vertical carriage mounted on the vertical mast for vertical reciprocation;

(-d) an arm rotatably mounted on the vertical carriage for rotation about a horizontal axis;

(e) an X-ray tube mechanism mounted on the arm;

(f) an X-ray stimulated image producing mechanism mounted on the arm and spaced from the tube mechanism, the image mechanism being positioned to be stimulated by rays emitted from the tube mechanism;

(g) an X-ray table including a table top and means to tilt the top from -a horizontal position and return; and,

(h) coupling means connecting the mechanisms to the table while permitting movement of the mechanisms longitudinally with respect to the table top.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the C-arm is mounted for rotation selectively about the horizontal axis and an orbital axis.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein:

(a) the mast is rotatable about a vertical axis;

(b) the arm is a C-arm rotatable relative to the vertical carriage about an orbital axis; and,

(c) the three mentioned axes are substantially normal to one another intersecting at a point.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein: Y

(a) the mast assembly comprises an inverted L-shaped mast assembly rotatably mounted on the horizontal carriage near the end of the horizontal leg of the L assembly for rotation about a vertical axis, the L assembly having a depending vertically disposed mast horizontally spaced from said vertical axis;

(b) the vertical carriage is mounted on the mast; and,

(c) the arm is a bifurcated arm mounted on the vertical carriage for rotation about a horizontal axis intersec-ting the vertical axis at a point.

5. An'X-ray apparatus comprising:

(a) a support assembly adapted to provide support for the remainder of the apparatus from above the remainder of the apparatus;

(b) a depending mast rotatably supported on the support assembly and rotatable about an axis horizontally offset from the mast;

() arm support means reciprocally mounted on the mast;

(d) a bifurcated arm rotatably mounted on the arm support means for rotation about a horizontal axis intersecting said mast;

(e) extensions of said axes intersecting at a point;

(f) a penetrating ray energy source and a coactin-g mechanism mounted in spaced relationship on the bifurcated arm with the source positioned to emit a beam of rays through said point; and,

(g) said mechanism being positioned in the path of the beam.

6. In the combination of claim 5 said mast including a track, the vertical carriage being a vertically movable weight mounted on the mast, and a flexible member connecting the weight to a counterbalance, the combination of:

(a) a fail safe member pivotally connected to the weight;

(b) a pulley journaled on the member and horizontally offset with respect to the weight to member connection;

(c) said member including track engageable portions adapted to engage the track and prevent downward relative movement;

(d) biasing means between the weight and the member biasing said portions toward engagement with the track; and,

(e) a flexible member reeved around the pulley to connect weight to the overhead support and pivot the member against the action of the biasing means and maintain said portions out of holding engagement with the track.

7. The device of claim 5 wherein said arm is a C-arm comprising:

(a) first and second spaced, curved, track members; (b) first and second spaced, curved, tubular frame members between the track members; and, (c) a plurality of spaced coupling assemblies coupling the members together, each of said assemblies comprising: I

(i) first and second stud members each projecting transversely through the like numbered frame member and connected to the like numbered track member to fix like numbered members together; and, (ii) means coupling the stud members together.

8. The device of claim 5 wherein the arm is a C-arm and the vertical carriage includes a C-arm cradle and wherein:

(a) the C-arm cradle includes four bearing clusters;

(b) the C-arm includes a pair of tracks each journaled in two of said bearing cluster-s;

(c) each of said clusters including three rollers en gageable with said tracks, the rollers of each cluster being mounted on a different one of four supports; and,

(d) the supports being removably connected to the carriage whereby the clusters may each be removed as a unit for replacement or repair.

9. In combination with the device of claim 5 wherein the mast and horizontal carriage are relatively rotatable components and wherein the mast and vertical carriage are components which are relatively movable lineally, the improvement which comprises:

(a) lineal motion arresting means carried by certain of the components and coactable with other of the components to arrest relative lineal motion therebetween;

(b) rotary motion arresting means carried by one component and coactable with another component to a1- rest relative rotation therebetween;

(c) control circuitry connected to each of said motion arresting means for electrically controlling said arresting means and thereby controlling the arresting of relative movement between said components; and,

(d) said circuitry including a manually actuatable control means positionable to conditionsaid circuitry to produce a desired motion arresting condition, said control means having: a

(i) a first position wherein both lineal and rotative motion is arrested;

(ii) a second condition wherein lineal motion is arrested and rotary motion is permitted; and,

(iii) a third position wherein rotary motion is arrested and lineal motion is permitted.

10. In combination with the device of claim 5 wherein the mast and the horizontal carriage are relatively rotatable components and wherein the mast and vertical carriage are components which are relatively movable lineally, the improvement which comprises:

(a) lineal motion arresting magnets carried by certain of the components and coactable Wtih other of the components to arrest relative lineal motion therebetween;

(b) a solenoid controlled rotary motion arresting brake carried by one component and coactable with another component to arrest relative rotation therebetween;

'(c) control circuitry connected to said magnets and said solenoid for electrical control thereof, thereby controlling the arresting of relative movement between said components; and,

(d) said circuitry including a manually actuable switch positionable to condition said circuitry to produce a desired motion arresting condition, said switch hav- (i') a firs-t position wherein the circuitry is conditioned to energize the magnets and de-energize the solenoid, whereby both lineal and rotative motion is arrested;

(ii) a second position wherein the circuitry is conditioned to energize the solenoid and the magnets, whereby lineal motion is arrested and rotary motion is permitted; and,

(iii) a third position wherein the circuitry is broken to de-ene-rgize the magnets and the solenoid, whereby rotary motion is arrested and lineal motion is permitted.

11. An apparatus for supporting a penetrating ray energy mechanism comprising:

(a) a carriage assembly adapted for mounting on a ceiling or the like for supporting the remainder of said apparatus and mechanism;

(b) an inverted L-shaped mast assembly rotatably mounted on the carriage assembly near the end of the horizontal leg of the L assembly for rotation about a vertical axis, the L assembly having a depending vertically disposed mast horizontally spaced from said vertical axis;

(c) a vertically reciprocal vertical carriage mounted on the mast; and,

(d) a bifurcated arm mounted on the vertical carriage for rotation about a horizontal axis intersecting the vertical axis at a point.

12. An X-ray apparatus comprising:

(a) a support assembly including a horizontal carriage for movement to a selected location in a horizontal plane; Y

(b) a depending mast supported on the horizontal carriage and rotatable about a vertical axis;

() a vertical carriage reciprocally mounted on the mast;

(d) an arm cradle rotatably mounted on the vertical carriage for rotation about a first horizontal axis; (e) a C-arm mounted on the arm cradle for rotation about an orbital axis;

(f) extensions of said three axes intersecting at a point;

(g) a penetrating ray energy source and a coacting mechanism mounted in spaced relationship on the C-arm with the source positioned to emit a beam of rays through said point; and,

(h) said mechanism being positioned in the path of the beam.

13. In an X-ray mechanism the combination of:

(a) a bifurcated arm having spaced ends;

(b) a support assembly including a depending mast carrying said arm for rotation about intersecting horizontal and vertical axes, said horizontal axis intersecting the mast;

(c) an X-ray tube mounted on the arm near one end and adapted to emit a beam of rays through said intersection; and,

(d) an X-ray stimulated device carried by the arm near its other end and positioned in the path of said beam.

14. The mechanism of claim 13 wherein said device is mounted for adjustable movement toward and away from said tube.

15. The device of claim 14 wherein:

(a) said device is an image intensification tube; and,

(b) a cassette carrier is swingably mounted on the image tube for selective movement into and out of the path of said beam.

16. In an X-ray mechanism the combination of:

(a) a tiltable X-ray table;

(b) an arm support assembly movable over a predetermined area in a horizontal plane;

(0) said assembly including a depending mast;

(d) a carriage reciprocally mounted on the mast;

(e) an arm mounted on the carriage and carrying s aced penetrating ray energy source and coacting mechanisms; and,

(f) telescoping coupling means connecting the arm to the table while permitting reciprocation of the arm in a horizontal path toward and away from the table.

17. In combination:

(a) a supporting assembly including a support movable in a horizontal plane to any location within a predetermined area;

(b) a generally vertical mast member supported by the support;

(c) a carriage mounted on the mast for vertical reciprocation;

(d) a cradle mounted on the carriage;

(e) a bifurcated arm connected to the cradle;

(f) power means interposed between the arm and the cradle to cause selective relative rotation;

(g) a penetrating ray energy source and a coacting mechanism mounted on the arm with the mechanism positioned in the path of rays emitted from the source;

(h) an X-ray table including a table top and means to 14 tilt the top from a horizontal position and return; and,

(i) coupling means connecting the mechanisms to the table while permitting movement of the arm longitudinally and transversely with respect to the table top.

18. In an X-ray mechanism the combination of:

(a) a tiltable X-ray table including a top and a parallel tubular guide;

(b) an arm support assembly movable over a predetermined area in a horizontal plane;

(c) said assembly including a depending mast;

(d) a carriage reciprocally mounted on the mast;

(e) an arm mounted on the carriage and carrying spaced penetrating ray energy source and coacting mechanisms;

(f) coupling means connecting the arm to the table guide;

(g) a flexible power transmitting device extending through the guide and having its ends connected to the carriage; and,

(h) power means connected to the power transmitting device for moving the device and causing reciprocation of the carriage.

19. In an X-ray mechanism the combination of:

(a) a C-arm support cradle delineating an arcuate guide slot open at its ends and along a concave face;

(b) an arcuately curved C-arm mounted in the guide slot for movement along an arcuate path delineated by said slot;

(c) first and second mountings secured to said arm and spaced along said arcuate path, said slot having a sufficient transverse dimension to permit one of said mountings to pass into and out of said slot as said arm moves along said path;

(d) a penetrating ray emitting source of the first mounting near one end of the C-arm and adapted to emit a beam of penetrating rays; and,

(e) a coacting mechanism on the second mounting near the other end of the C-arm and positioned in the path of a beam emitted by said source.

20. In an X-ray mechanism the combination of:

(a) a C-arm cradle delineating an arcuate guide slot open at its ends and along a concave face;

(b) an arcuately curved C-arm mounted in the guide slot for movement along an arcuate path delineated by said cradle;

(c) an arcuately spaced pair of mountings secured to said arm, said slot having a sufficient transverse dimension to permit said mountings to pass into and out of said slot as said arm moves along said path;

(d) a penetrating ray emitting source on one of the mountings near one end of the C-arm and adapted to.

emit a beam of penetrating rays;

(e) a coacting mechanism on the other mounting near the other end of the C-arm and positioned in the path of a beam emitted by said source; and,

(f) said arm being movable from a position wherein the source mounting projects into the slot along said arcuate path to a position wherein said coacting mechanism mounting projects into said slot.

21. A C-arm construction comprising:

(a) first and second spaced, curved, track members;

(b) first and second spaced, curved, tubular frame members between the track members; and

(c) a plurality of spaced coupling assemblies coupling the members together, each of said assemblies comprising:

(i) first and second stud members each projecting transversely through the like numbered frame member and connected to the like numbered track member to fix like numbered members together; and,

(ii) means coupling the stud members together.

22. The device of claim 21 wherein each stud member has a threaded portion threaded into a member and the threads of each pair are identical whereby rotation tending to loosen one stud member of a coupled pair tightens the other.

23. The device of claim 22 wherein each stud member threads into a track member and each stud member has a shoulder abutting a like numbered frame member to clamp like numbered frame and track members together.

24. In a C-arm mechanism, the improvement which comprises:

(a) a C-arm cradle including four bearing clusters;

(b) a C-arm including a pair of tracks each journaled in two of said bearing clusters;

(c) each of said clusters including three rollers engageable with said tracks, the rollers of each cluster being mounted on a different one of four supports; and,

(d) the supports being removably connected to the cradle and independently removable whereby the clusters may each be removed as a unit for replacement or repair.

25. In an apparatus having an overhead supported mast assembly including a track, a vertically movable weight mounted on the assembly, and a flexible member connecting the weight to a counterbalance, the combination of:

(a) a fail safe member pivotally connected to the weight;

(b) a pulley journaled on the member and horizontally offset with respect to the weight to member connection;

(c) said member including track engageable portions adapted to engage the track and prevent downward relative movement;

(d) biasing means between the weight and the member biasing said portions toward engagement with the tracks; and,

(e) a flexible member reeved around the pulley to connect weight to the overhead support and pivot the member against the action of the biasing means and maintain said portions out of holding engagement with the track.

26. The device of claim 25 wherein the weight and element have coacting stop surfaces limiting relative pivotal movement against the action of the biasing means.

27. In a penetrating radiation apparatus having a support system carrying a source of radiation and a coacting mechanism wherein the system includes relatively rotatable components and wherein the system includes components which are relatively movable lineally, the improvement which comprises:

(a) lineal motion arresting means carried by certain of the components and coactable with other of the components to arrest relative lineal motion therebetween;

(b) rotary motion arresting means carried by one component and coactable with another component to arrest relative rotation therebetween;

(c) control circuitry connected to each of said motion arresting means for electrically controlling said arresting means and thereby controlling the arresting of relative movement between said components; and,

(d) said circuitry including a manually actuatable control means positionable to condition said circuitry to produce a desired motion arresting condition, said control means having: I

(i) a first position wherein both lineal and rotative motion is arrested;

(ii) a second condtion wherein lineal motion is arrested and rotary motion is permitted; and,

(iii) a third position wherein rotary motion is arrested and lineal motion is permitted.

28. In a penetrating radiation apparatus having a support system carrying a source of radiation and a coacting mechanism wherein the system includes relatively rotatable components and wherein the system includes componentswhich are relatively movable lineally, the improvement which comprises:

(a) lineal motion arresting magnets carried by certain of the components and coactable with other of the components to arrest relative lineal motion therebetween;

(b) a solenoid controlled rotary motion arresting brake carried by one component and coactable with another component to arrest relative rotation therebetween;

(c) control circuitry connected to said magnets and said solenoid for electrical control thereof, thereby controlling the arresting oftrelative movement between said components; and,

(d) said circuitry including a manually actuatable switch positionable to condition said circuitry to produce a desired motion arresting condition, said switch having:

(i) a first position wherein the circuitry is conditioned to energize the magnets and de-energize the solenoids, whereby both lineal and rotative motion is arrested; 7

(ii) a second position wherein the circuitry is conditioned to energize the solenoid and the magnets, whereby lineal motion is arrested and I0- tary motion is permitted; and, 7

(iii) a third position wherein the circuitry is broken to de-energize the magnets and the solenoid, whereby rotary motion is arrested and lineal motion is permitted.

29.. In combination:

(a) a support system including tracks supporting a horizontal carriage and permitting horizontal movement of the horizontal carriage to a selected location within a predetermined area;

(b) a generally vertical mast assembly depending from and supported by the overhead carriage;

(c) a vertical carriage mounted on the mast assembly for vertical reciprocation;

(d) an arm mounted on the vertical carriage;

(e) an X-ray tube mechanism mounted on the arm;

(i) an X-ray stimulated image producing mechanism mounted on the arm and spaced from the tube mechanism, the image mechanism being positioned to be stimulated by rays emitted from the tube mechanism;

(g) an X-ray table including a table top and means to tilt the top from a horizontal position and return;

(h) a longitudinally disposed guide connected to the table;

(i) coupling and j-ournalin'g means connecting the mechanisms to the guide and thereby connect the mechanisms to the table while permitting movement of the mechanisms longitudinally with respect to the table top; and,

(j) said coupling and journa'ling means being releasable to permit the mechanisms to be used selectively either coupled to or independent of the table.

No references cited.

RALPH G. NILSON, Primary Examiner.

W. F. LINDQUIST, Examiner.

Non-Patent Citations
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Classifications
U.S. Classification378/179, 378/189, 378/181, 188/158, 378/196
International ClassificationA61B6/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B6/587, A61B6/4441, A61B6/4464
European ClassificationA61B6/44J8, A61B6/44J2B, A61B6/58H