US 3872861 A
The invention relates to an improved finger trap, commonly known as "Chinese Finger Trap," and particularly to one which distributes load over a larger area so as to reduce the digging into the finger caused by the conventional stranded wire "Chinese Finger Trap." This is achieved by forming the trap from stranded wire with a plurality of strands arranged in side by side adjacent relationship throughout their loop configuration to form the open mesh defining the tubular shape of the trap. The adjacent side by side relation of the plurality of strands, at least two in number, effectively distributes or spreads the load while retaining the large gripping range of a single stranded wire construction. A substantial improvement in comfort to the patient is thereby achieved.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llitfi tates Tamny et a1.
1 CONTRACTABLE FINGER TRAP  Inventors: Simon Tamny; Sandi R. Tamny,
both of 5320 Longbrook Rd., Lorain, Ohio 44053 22 Filed: Aug. 20, 1973 211 Appl. No.: 389,597
 US. Cl 128/84 R  lnt. Cl. A611 5/04  Field of Search 128/84 R, 84 C, 83, 81;
24/237, 131, 261 PC, 261 G, 261 C, 129 C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,192,396 8/1916 Hine 24/131 R 1,268,932 6/1918 Corrigan... 128/84 R 1,638,704 8/1927 Pope 128/84 R 2,146,933 2/1939 Budin 128/81 R 2,728,965 l/1956 Hillman 24/131 R 2,783,758 3/1957 Trott 128/84 R 3,079,657 3/1963 Russell 24/237 3,333,307 8/1967 Wheeler 24/237 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-.1. Yasko Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Oldham & Oldham Co.
 ABSTRACT The invention relates to an improved finger trap, commonly known as Chinese Finger Trap," and particularly to one which distributes load over a larger area so as to reduce the digging into the finger caused by the conventional stranded wire Chinese Finger Trap. This is achieved by forming the trap from stranded wire with a plurality of strands arranged in side by side adjacent relationship throughout their loop configuration to form the open mesh defining the tubular shape of the trap. The adjacent side by side relation of the plurality of strands, at least two in number, effectively distributes or spreads the load while retaining the large gripping range of a single stranded wire construction. A substantial improvement in comfort to the patient is thereby achieved.
The improved trap is also provided with a novel compact single loop spring wire clip with extended leads for engagement of the trap with a traction applying device. The extended lead automatically feeds an element such as a cord into the clip, elastically spreading. the clip open to allow passage of the cord and closing the clip behind the cord so that the trap cannot accidentally disengage from the cord during adjustment and application of traction. The extended lead similarly feeds the cord through the clip for removal of the trap.
4 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures .CONTRACTABLE FINGER TRAP PRIOR ART Heretofore it has been known that there have been many and various types of finger traps utilized. The typical Chinese Finger Trap known by the art is such as that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,783,758. This type of trap or finger grip normally constitutes single strand wire strands looped and woven into an open mesh to define a tubular tapering shape which is contractable to allow a finger to be positioned therein and then held when the trap or grip is pulled from the other end. For a further example, reference might be made to Page C35 of the 1972 Zimmer Catalog of orthopedic surgical and related accessory equipment.
Other attempts have been made to distribute the loading of this type of trap, such as through the use of wide strips such as split bamboo utilized in toys or the like. These types of units are less abusive, with less calized pressure on the flesh, but are more limited in gripping range than the stranded wire normally used in medical traction fingers. An example of this type of traction device is shown in the extension bandage of U.S. Pat. No. 1,268,932. I
The most common previous method of attachment of traps to a traction applying device has been to pass a cord through a closed loop or hole at the closed end of each trap. While this method prevents accidental disengagement of the trap from the traction applying device, it is slow and inconvenient.
An alternate attachment method has been to provide an S-shaped hook on the closed end of the trap which is placed over a cord or other closed loop attachment point on the traction applying device. This alternate method provides easy engagement and removal of the trap, but is prone to accidental disengagement of the trap, particularly during adjustment of the traction applying device. An example of this type of attachment is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,783,758.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION Therefore, it is the generalobject of the invention to provide a trap or finger gripping device which incorporates the excellent gripping power of stranded wire, but distributes or spreads the load while retaining the large gripping range of the single strand construction. Many doctors utilizing such single strand Chinese Finger,
Traps tape the patients fingers before putting on such tapes to provide some protection since the strands normally will dig in quite heavily in the localized contact area when the arm is under traction loading.
A further object of the invention is to provide a simple and compact attachment clip at the closed end of the trap which automatically feeds over a closed loop or cord, elastically deforming to open and close and completely surrounding the attached cord in the closed position to prevent accidental disengagement in operation.
The aforesaid objects of the invention and other objects which will become apparent as the description proceeds are obtained by providing a tubular shaped contractable trap comprising a plurality of looped strand groups formed into an open mesh to define the tubular shape, a clamp holding the strand ends at one end of the tubular shape and a single loop springwire attachment clip with extended leads engaged with the clamp, the strand groups by each group being formed from at least two separate strands arranged to lie in ad-- DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In order to move adequately understand the invention, reference should be made to the attached drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the improved trap, or finger grip of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the multiple strand arrangment;
FIG. 3a is a cross sectional view of the strands taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 3b is a cross sectional view of a single strand comparable to FIG. 311;
FIG. 4a is an elevation view of the attachment clip and a cord preparatory to engagement;
FIG. 4b is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 4a;
FIG.. 5a is an elevation view of the attachment clip and a cord in the process of engagement;
FIG. 5b is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 5a;
FIG. 6a is an elevation view of the attachment clip and a cord in engagement;
FIG. 6b is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 6a;
FIG. 7a is an elevation view of the attachment clip and a cord preparatory to disengagement;
FIG. 7b is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 7a;
FIG. 8a is an elevation view of the attachment clip and a cord in the process of disengagement;
FIG. 8b is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 8a;
FIG. 9a is an elevation view of the attachment clip and a cord after disengagement; and
FIG. 9b is a plan view corresponding to FIG. 90.
With reference to the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, the numeral 10 indicates generally a tubular shaped trap, or finger grip which is contractable, and which is normally known as a Chinese Finger Trap. The trap comprises an open end portion at 12, atubular shaped open mesh at 14, and a clamp 16 which holds the mesh closed. An attachment clip 18 is adapted to engage the clamp 16, and allow traction to be transmitted through clamp 16 and into the mesh 14 for traction purposes in the normal manner understood by those skilled in the medical art.
It is well known how to fabricate this type ofChinese finger in contractable form in tubular tapering shape from reticulated wire strands braided or otherwise formed into an open mesh. Thus, when the trap 10 is expanded by reducing its length and then applied to the thumb or finger and drawn out to extend its length it will bind tightly around the finger or thumb to securely grip such memberfor applying traction thereto. It has been found that the problem with this single strand arrangement is that too much localized pressure is brought to bear upon the flesh of the finger or thumb with subsequent patient discomfort resulting thereby, particularly when traction is of long duration.
In order to solve this problem, applicant incorporates plural strands in place of the single strands heretofore utilized. This arrangement is illustrated in FIG. 2 which shows that each strand group 14 actually comprises two separate strands 14a and 14b in parallel adjacent relationship. These individual strands 14a and 141; are preferably made from the same type of stranded wire currently utilized in Chinese fingers so the same type of gripping action is achieved thereby. The strands 14a and 14b remain parallel and in adjacent relationship throughout their length in making up the woven mesh configuration, and are retained in such parallel relationship by the clamp 16. The individual strands 14a and 14b tend to remain in contact throughout substantially their entire length, and in fact when traction is actually brought with the finger or thumb in the trap, the strands tend to squeeze and hold closely together because of the parallel looped relationship thereof. This insures with the strands remaining in the contacting adjacent relationship that the effective area of high pressure contact through the skin to the flesh of the patient is substantially increased from that area designated as b in FIG. 3b to that area designated by a in FIG. 3a. The reason that b is less than the diameter of the single strand 14b is because with the curved or circular cross sectional configuration of the strand acting against the membrane strength of the skin, surface conformance is achieved only over the reduced area b. Whereas, with the strands in adjacent relationship, the membrane strength of the skin serves to extend the effective contacting region over the space between the two strands to form what could be considered a surface bridge which much more broadly distributes the load of the strands through the skin into the supporting flesh.
Hence, it is seen that the invention incorporates the idea of utilizing multiple adjacent strands to spread a load while retaining the large gripping range of a single strand construction. The strands tend to remain in adjacent contacting relationship because of the woven parallel arrangement thereof, and particularly tend to remain so when the strands are under tension for traction purposes. This arrangement very greatly increases the patients comfort, and because of the enhanced gripping features is a considerable improvement over the split bamboo or tape type Chinese fingers proposed in the past to eliminate the localized pressure problem of the stranded wire.
It should be understood that while only two strands in adjacent relationship are illustrated hereby, the invention contemplates that the actual number of strands might be larger than two, although this number appears to satisfactorily distribute the load so as to be practical, economical, and highly effective. The strand utilized is preferably comprised of a plurality of wires twisted together, and of a moderate elastic modulus spring material such as phosphor bronze as has been found preferable for Chinese fingers in the past. The cross sectional configuration of the strand is preferably round, although quite clearly other cross sectional configurations might be utilized to still achieve the objects of the invention, namely the use of a plurality of strands in adjacent relationship to effectively create a broader load surface in cooperation with the skin.
Since the primary use of the Chinese Finger Trap" as an orthopedic traction member is for the reduction of fractures it is very desirable to engage the trap as quickly and securely as possible with a traction apply ing device to minimize patient discomfort. It is further desirable that the engaging element be as compact as possible for maximum positional control during reduction of the fracture.
In order to provide these characteristics applicant incorporates a single loop spring wire clip 18 with extended leads 22 in cooperation with the clamp 16 for engagement of the trap 10 with a traction applying de vice as through a cord 20. This arrangment is illustrated in FIG. 1. The sequence of engagement of clip 18 with cord 20 is shown in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6. As can be seen from these drawings lead 22 automatically feeds the cord into the nip 24 of the loop elastically opening the clip and then closing behind the cord to provide secure engagement. The sequence of disengagement is shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. Again lead 22 automatically feeds the cord into the nip 24 of the loop elastically opening the clip and then closing behind the cord. The automatic feed provided by leads 22 on clip 18 substantially enhances the ease and speed of engagement and disengagement of the trap with a traction applying device while the closed single loop of the clip 18 eliminates the possibility of accidental disengagement. The two side legs 24 of clip 18 are elastically in series providing the necessary opening capability at the nip 24 to pass the cord 20 for engagement or disengagement while retaining a compact length for the clip 18.
While in accordance with the Patent Statutes only a best known embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited thereto or thereby, but that the inventive scope is defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A tubular shaped contractable finger trap comprising a plurality of looped strand groups formed into an open mesh to define the tubular shape, a closure element holding all the strand ends at one end of the tubular shape, and wherein each strand group is formed from at least two separate strands arranged to lie in immediate adjacent side by side relation over substantially their entire length in a surface essentially of revolution about the axis of the trap and wherein the strands comprising a single group are spaced apart by no more than a minor percentage of the cross-sectional measure of an individual strand and the spacing between parallel strand groups is several times larger than the total cross-sectional measure of a strand group.
2. A tubular shaped contractable finger trap as recited in claim 1 which further includes a clip in cooperation with the closure element to form an attachment point for the trap, the clip comprising a closed wire loop of at least one full turn with an extended lead on at least one end of the wire.
3. A trap according to claim 2 where the clip is formed with an extended lead on each end of the wire.
4. A trap according to claim 2 where the clip is formed with less than two full turns.