Locking therapeutic device
An improved locking therapeutic device for use in connection with a foot injury or other wound which is locked by a medical care provider. The locking therapeutic device may only be removed by the medical care provider or other authorized party in the event removal is necessary. The locking therapeutic device may be used in connection with medical applications where it is desired that the healing/protective environment remain in place for a prolonged period.
The present application claims priority from U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/607,330 filed Sep. 3, 2004, the entire subject matter of which is incorporated herein by reference.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of Invention
The present invention relates to creation of a healing environment for an injured foot or other body part that cannot be removed by the patient, and more specifically to a locking therapeutic device for a foot or other body part.
2. Background of the Related Art
Particularly in patients with diabetes related foot problems, maintaining a continuous healing protective environment for the foot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is key to successful healing of skin, soft tissue and bone injuries. In order to accomplish the desired healing, mechanical bracing/protection of the foot, dressings, topical therapies and other healing products must be consistently used by the wounded patient. Consistent use of such devices, products or dressings by the patient can be difficult to obtain or maintain, particularly where the device, product or wound dressing is removable. Recent research studies have shown that even the most compliant patients do not wear a removable protective device for more than 60% of their daily steps and that, for most patients, wearing it for 30% of their steps is the norm.BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present application discloses a therapeutic footwear device or other body part product (“locking therapeutic device or footwear device”) that covers the patient's foot for use in connection with a foot injury or other wound, which is locked by a medical care provider. The locking therapeutic device or footwear device and the underlying or incorporated bracing, dressing or other therapeutic product may only be removed by the medical care provider, or by another party in the event the medical care provider supplies the appropriate unlocking information for the therapeutic device or footwear device to enable removal. The locking therapeutic device footwear device may be used in connection with orthopeadic, dermatologic, vascular and other medical applications, where it is desired that the healing/protective environment remain in place for a prolonged period.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present application provides a simple and effective improved locking therapeutic device. In the first illustrated embodiment of
Sizing of the device is intended to provide sufficient room for even a bulky dressing, shown schematically at reference 13, and/or for accepting a footbed 14 or other plantar load-relieving method (having openings 16 of the type shown to provide specific pressure relief locations) determined to provide optimal therapeutic benefit for treating wounds on the plantar surface.
The footwear device has an upper 18 that is very breathable (broad weave nylon mesh) so that the microclimate of the foot would not be adverse. Ideally the upper material has an outer surface 19 which is not permeable to external water—but an optional over garment or overshoe can be provided to prevent external water from entering the boot, as shown schematically in
A locking closure mechanism 20 is provided on the outside of the ankle, which can only be opened by the medical care provider (personally or remotely, using appropriate electronic communications). Alternatively, the lock 20 can be such that it can be easily unlocked by the patient, but cannot be relocked, so that any “breach” is apparent (similar to a “seal” on an electric access panel). The forefoot tabs 22 may be brought into the locking mechanism 20 via a loop system, as shown in
A tensioning mechanism 28 (as shown by the buttons in
The lock section 21A may be provided as a very simple device, such as a conventional key or press fit lock—similar to the way that alarm tags are attached to clothing in a store. Alternatively, the lock could be more sophisticated, for example, in the illustration of
An optional cover 33, similar to that provided for water protection in
In the second illustrated embodiments of
While different embodiments of the invention have been described in detail herein, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to the embodiments could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular devices and arrangements are illustrative only and are not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of any and all equivalents thereof.
1. A protective device for an injured body part having a locking device, so that the protective device is locked into position covering the injured body part.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the locking device is a combination lock.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein the locking device is an electronic lock which may be unlocked remotely or from a position adjacent the device.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein the locking device is easily opened but cannot be relocked without a specific key, code or another unique mechanism.
5. The device of claim 1 wherein the protective device is a shoe or boot-like device for wearing on a foot.
6. The device of claim 1 wherein the protective device is an orthopedic brace-like device for wearing on a foot and ankle.
7. The device of claim 1 wherein the protective device is an orthopedic brace-like device for wearing on a foot and up the leg near the knee.
8. The device of claim 1 having a waterproof protective cover.
9. The device of claim 1 having a cover to resist interference of the device with bedclothes or other coverings used by the wearer of the device.
International Classification: B65D 67/02 (20060101);