(19)
(11)EP 3 021 799 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
09.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/37

(21)Application number: 14826866.7

(22)Date of filing:  15.07.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61F 5/01(2006.01)
A61F 13/08(2006.01)
A61F 13/06(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/046736
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/009747 (22.01.2015 Gazette  2015/03)

(54)

GRADUATED COMPRESSION DEVICE FOR THE TREATMENT OF CIRCULATORY DISORDERS

ZWEITEILIGE UNEBENE GRADUIERTE KOMPRESSIONSVORRICHTUNG ZUR BEHANDLUNG VON KREISLAUFERKRANKUNGEN

DISPOSITIF DE COMPRESSION GRADUÉ POUR LE TRAITEMENT DE TROUBLES CIRCULATOIRES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 17.07.2013 US 201313943937

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.05.2016 Bulletin 2016/21

(73)Proprietor: Medi Manufacturing Inc.
Whitsett, NC 27377-9214 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • RICHARDSON, Thomas
    Del Mar, California 92014 (US)
  • LIPSHAW, Moses A.
    Encinitas, California 92024 (US)

(74)Representative: Lindner Blaumeier Patent- und Rechtsanwälte 
Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB Dr. Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 23
90402 Nürnberg
90402 Nürnberg (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
CA-A1- 2 734 299
US-A1- 2003 149 389
US-A1- 2009 112 129
US-A1- 2012 179 084
US-B2- 7 329 232
DE-A1- 4 230 165
US-A1- 2005 192 524
US-A1- 2011 125 183
US-A1- 2012 179 084
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS



    [0001] The present application claims priority to U.S. Patent Application No. 13/943,937, entitled "A Two-Part Non-Planar Graduated Compression Device For The Treatment Of Circulatory Disorders," filed July 17, 2013. U.S. Patent Application No. 13/943,937 is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Patent Application No. 12/952,065, entitled "Graduated Compression For The Treatment Of Circulatory Disorders," filed November 22, 2012, which in turn claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/264,213, entitled "Graduated Compression For The Treatment Of Circulatory Disorders," filed November 24, 2009.

    TECHNICAL FIELD:



    [0002] The present invention relates to devices that treat circulatory disorders such as lymphedema, edema and venous diseases.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:



    [0003] A common treatment for circulatory disorders such as lymphedema, edema and venous diseases is to wear a compression garment. Current compression garments are available in various ready-to-wear standard sizes. Unfortunately, a wide array of inventory must be kept on hand when distributing ready-to-wear garments in order to accommodate the population majority. Although compression garments have been designed that can be modified in circumference or length to obtain a better fit, the "nearest" size must still be chosen.

    [0004] Alternatively, custom made-to-measure garments have also been produced as a form of treatment. Unfortunately, measuring, sizing, and ordering these made-to-measure garments is time consuming and may still not result in a properly fitted compression garment. For limbs that are outside of the standard ready-to-wear size range, custom garments need to be built to match the curvature, length and circumference of the limb. As a result, many measurements are needed to make these custom garments and there is a period between measuring, ordering, production and fitting of the garment where the limb profile may change, which can result in an improper fit due to the time it takes for the patient to receive their garment.

    [0005] Various compression garments have tried trimming-to-fit methods where longer bands are cut down from the largest size to fit the patient. Unfortunately, these bands need to be trimmed separately or in pairs and angled in a manner that best conforms to the shape of the limb. This is a slow and time consuming process. Working out the correct lengths and angles of each band can be very difficult, and is often made more difficult due to the fact that the bands need to overlap to obtain complete coverage.

    [0006] Other compression modalities such as bandaging have also been used. An advantage of bandaging is that it can be used on 100% of the population with one inventory set. Unfortunately, bandaging is very time consuming and does not have the benefit of quick and easy application as compared to standard compression garments. In addition, bandaging is not guaranteed to provide reliable/consistent compression levels., and cannot be adjusted as the limb shape and compression needs change.

    [0007] US 2012/179084 A1 discloses a graduated compression device having separate body and bands. A garment that contours the body limb is disclosed. A left portion and a right portion have indented areas leading to a shape that better contours the leg when they are attached together. The attachment may be implemented using hook-and-loop fasteners.

    [0008] US 2005/192524 A1 discloses a therapeutical compression garment. A central region is disclosed, which has curved edges to conform to the limb shape.

    [0009] US 2003/0149389 A1discloses a daneshvar wound dressing and support units. In case of a support unit for a joint, cuts may be provided to function as a hinge on the elbow or hip.

    [0010] CA 2 734 299 A1 concerns therapeutic compression garments. A joint piece having a notch on each side to allow hinging is disclosed, providing an hourglass shape.

    [0011] DE 42 30 165 A1 discloses a compression cuff to treat varicose symptoms in the legs of a patient. A membrane used is kept open at its longitudinal edge and can be variably closed by using narrow hook-and-loop fasteners distanced from each other to adapt the compression to the individual anatomy of the legs.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:



    [0012] The invention provides a therapeutic compression garment according to claim 1. Advantageous embodiments are described in the dependent claims.

    [0013] The present invention provides a one-size-fits-all compression garment that can easily and quickly be tailored to match the circumference profile of a particular patient's limb.

    [0014] In a preferred embodiment, the present invention provides a therapeutic compression garment, comprising: a body portion having a plurality of bands extending from one side; and a spine portion having a plurality of bands extending from one side, wherein the bands extending from the body portion and the bands extending from the spine portion attach the body and spine portions together when the body and spine portions are wrapped around a body limb, and wherein the spine portion is releasably attached onto the body portion. The present invention provides therapeutic compression.

    [0015] It is to be understood throughout the specification that the present invention may be used on either a patient's arm or leg, and that examples referring to a leg are merely exemplary, and not limiting.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:



    [0016] 

    Fig. 1A is an illustration of a garment prior to attaching the body and spine portions together.

    Fig. 1B is an illustration of the garment after attaching the body and spine portions together.

    Fig. 2A is a close up of the top of the garment showing the alignment of the body and spine portions.

    Fig. 2B is a close up of the bottom of the garment showing the alignment of the body and spine portions.

    Fig. 3A is an illustration of a first alignment of the body and spine portions (as suited for a patient having a small ankle and calf).

    Fig. 3B is an illustration of a second alignment of the body and spine portions (as suited for a patient having a small ankle and medium calf).

    Fig. 3C is an illustration of a third alignment of the body and spine portions (as suited for a patient having a small ankle and large calf).

    Fig. 4 is an illustration of discarding an unused portion of the body portion after the body and spine portions have been attached together.

    Figs. 5A and 5B are sequential illustrations of the patient wrapping the garment around their leg.

    Figs. 6A and 6B are a second embodiment of a garment.

    Figs. 7A and 7B are third embodiments of a garment.

    Fig. 8 is a fourth embodiment of a garment.

    Fig. 9 is a fifth embodiment of a garment.

    Fig. 10 is a sixth embodiment of a garment.

    Fig. 11A is a seventh embodiment of a garment.

    Fig. 11B is a profile view of a band tab hook attachment of the garment of Fig. 11A.

    Fig. 11C is a profile view of a portion of the garment of Fig. 11A.

    Fig. 11D is a profile view of spine tab hook attachment including stay of the garment of Fig. 11A.

    Fig. 12A is a reverse side view of the garment shown in Fig. 11A.

    Fig. 12B is a profile view of a portion of the garment of Fig. 12A.

    Fig. 13A is an eighth embodiment of a garment in an open position (with the bands removed for clarity of illustration).

    Fig. 13B is the garment of Fig. 13A in a closed position (with the bands removed for clarity of illustration).

    Fig. 13C is an illustration corresponding to Fig. 13A (with the bands shown).

    Fig. 13D is a top plan view corresponding to Fig. 13B.

    Fig. 14A is a plan view of an alternate embodiment with a guide band on the body portion, wherein the guide band and the body portion wrap together around the body limb.

    Fig. 14B is similar to Fig. 14A, but instead has a pair of parallel guide bands.

    Fig. 14C is another alternate embodiment with a guide band spanning between the body and spine portions of the garment.

    Fig. 15A is a plan view of an embodiment of the invention in which the garment assumes a non-planar shape when the ends of the body and spine portions are secured together.

    Fig. 15B is an illustration of the body and spine portions held together by a notched connector, showing the non-planar shape of the garment.

    Fig. 15C is another illustration of the body and spine portions held together by a notched connector, showing the non-planar shape of the garment from a different angle.

    Fig. 15D is an illustration similar to Fig. 15B, but instead showing the inside surface of the garment.

    Fig. 15E is an illustration of the side view of the garment of Figs. 15A to 15D, showing its non-planar shape.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:



    [0017] Referring first to Figs. 1A to 5B, a therapeutic compression garment 10 is provided. Garment 10 comes in two pieces, being a body portion 20 and a spine portion 30. Body portion 20 has a plurality of bands 22 extending from one side as shown. Spine portion 30 similarly has a plurality of bands 32 extending from one of its sides as shown.

    [0018] As will be explained, the bands 22 extending from body portion 20 are juxtaposed between the bands 32 extending from spine portion 30 when garment 10 is wrapped around the patient's limb. Specifically, as seen in Figs. 5A and 5B, bands 22 are fastened onto spine portion 30 and bands 32 are fastened onto body portion 20. Most preferably, bands 22 and 32 have Velcro® (i.e.: hook and loop fastener) ends. Similarly, the surfaces of body portion 20 and spine portion 30 are also covered with corresponding Velcro® (i.e.: hook and loop fastener) surfaces. In some embodiments, bands 22 and 32 may extend past the spine divider (i.e.: the connection point between the body and spine portions) and back onto their own portions respectively.

    [0019] In operation, the therapeutic compression garment 10 is fitted onto a patient's limb, as follows. First, the patient (or other person assisting the patient) measures the circumference of the limb at a top location and at a bottom location and the length of the limb. For example, the limb would be the leg, the top location would be the calf, the bottom location would be the ankle, and the leg length from ankle to knee crease would determine the preferred garment length.

    [0020] Next, the patient assembles therapeutic compression garment 10 around their limb by: (i) aligning spine portion 30 with the measurement indicia on body portion 20 (as seen in close up Figs. 2A and 2B); (ii) attaching spine portion 30 onto body portion 20; (iii) discarding any unused portion of body portion 20; and then (iv) wrapping the assembled therapeutic compression garment 10 around their leg (while juxtaposing bands 22 and 32 thereby securing bands 22 onto spine portion 30 and bands 32 onto body portion 20). As a result, the two piece garment shown in Fig. 1A is first changed into the one-piece garment shown in Fig. 1B. Next, as shown in Fig. 4, an unused portion 20A of body portion 20 is discarded. Finally, as shown in Figs. 5A and 5B, garment 10 is wrapped around the patient's leg.

    [0021] As can be seen in Figs. 3A to 3C, spine portion 30 is releasably attached onto body portion 20. As a result, spine portion 30 is positionable at different locations on body portion 20. This permits spine portion 30 to be positioned at different locations depending upon the dimensions of the patient's limb. Preferably, body and spine portions 20 and 30 are simply attached together by hook and loop fasteners. As illustrated, spine 30 may have three fastener tabs 34 disposed along the curved edge of spine 30 (opposite to the side from which bands 32 extend). The spacing selected between fastener tabs 34 allows the spine curve (i.e.: the connection along which the body and spine portions 20 and 30 are attached together by fastener tabs 34) to be positioned such that garment 10 starts to take a three dimensional shape (as opposed to simply lying flat). This shaping helps the garment to best fit the contours of the limb.

    [0022] As can be seen, body portion 20 preferably has parallel top edge 21 and bottom edge 23. These top and bottom edges 21 and 23 of the body portion are marked with measurement indicia. As seen in the close up view of Figs. 2A and 2B, the curved edge of spine portion 30 is aligned with the measurement indicia on the top and bottom edges 21 and 23 of body portion 20. Aligning spine portion 30 with the measurement indicia on body portion 20 comprises aligning the top 31 of spine portion 30 with the measurement indicia on the top 21 of body portion 20 corresponding to the circumference measurement taken at the top location on the patient's limb (e.g.: at the calf). Similarly, aligning spine portion 30 also comprises aligning the bottom 33 of spine portion 30 with the measurement indicia on the bottom 23 of body portion 20 corresponding to the circumference measurement taken at the bottom location on the patient's limb (e.g.: at the ankle).

    [0023] Fitting is done by measuring the patient's ankle and calf circumferences. These circumference measurements are represented by a range of indicia markings along the top edge 21 and bottom edge 23 of body portion 20. The bottom markings reflect the ankle circumference and the top markings reflect the calf circumference. The hook tabs 34 from spine portion 30 are secured to body portion 20 according to where the patient's ankle and calf circumference measurements fall within the marked ranges. Each tab 34 can be angled independently due to spacing between the tabs and any elasticity in the material used. This allows spine tabs 34 to be further adjusted to create smooth transitions from top to bottom along spine portion 30. The spine's already curved edge aids in mimicking the limb's natural contour. This feature, along with adjustable spine tabs 34, allows the garment to adjust to almost any limb size and shape.

    [0024] As seen in Figs. 3A to 3C, a variety of different alignment positions are possible (since each position will depend upon the exact ankle and calf measurements of the particular patient). Specifically, Fig. 3A illustrates a patient having a small ankle and calf. Fig. 3B illustrates a patient having a small ankle and medium calf. Fig. 3C illustrates a patient having a small ankle and large calf, though any variation of leg proportions can be addressed. After spine portion 30 has been properly aligned, it is then simply pressed against body portion 20 such that it is held in position by hook and loop fasteners 34. (Note: the side of body portion 20 and spine portion 30 is preferably covered with a hook and loop fastener surface.)

    [0025] Next, as shown in Fig. 4, spine portion 30 is simply pulled back aside, and the patient/clinician then cuts off the unused portion (designated 20A) of body portion 20. Thus, the unused portion 20A is removed from a side opposite to the side from which bands 22 extend.

    [0026] Next, as seen in Figs. 5A and 5B, the assembled garment 10 is then wrapped around the front of the leg, thereby securing bands 22 onto spine portion 30, and securing bands 32 onto body portion 20. Thus, bands 22 are simply fastened onto spine portion 30 by hook and loop fasteners. Similarly, bands 32 are attached to body portion 20 by hook and loop fasteners. Preferably, the hook and loop fasteners holding the body and spine portions 20 and 30 together are stronger than the hook and loop fasteners holding the bands 22 and 32 to either of the body and spine portions 20 or 30. As a result, tightening, adjusting, or disengaging bands 22 and 32 at the front of the garment does not pull apart the body and spine portions 20 and 30 at the back of the garment. The preferred difference in hook and loop strength provides the user with additional guidance as to which hook tabs should be disengaged while doffing or adjusting the therapeutic garment. Optionally, one or more reinforcement tabs 40 (see Fig. 11A) can also be used to further secure the body and spine portions 20 and 30 together. Reinforcement tabs 40 can similarly be made of hook and loop fastener surfaces such that they can attach directly on top of body and spine portions 20 and 30 (to reduce the risk of the spine-to-body connection being disengaged along the back of the garment).

    [0027] The hook and loop fasteners may be secured directly on to the surface of (i.e.: sewn onto) the ends of bands 22 and 32. In contrast, the hook and loop fasteners may optionally extend from the edges of the body and spine portions 20 and 30. As a result, the addition of the hook and loop fasteners onto the body and spine portions 20 and 30 would not add any significant thickness to the final garment, reducing the risk of accidental spine tab 34 removal.

    [0028] As illustrated, there are three tabs 34. It is to be understood that the this description encompasses any number of tabs 34. For example, using additional smaller tabs (e.g.: four or more) can better match the limb profile, however more adjustments would be necessary. The adhesion strength of the spine to body portion connection may also be reduced due to the increased number of spine tabs 34. Conversely, using fewer tabs 34 (one or two) decreases the ability for the spine to contour to the limb because current hook material available is inelastic in nature and doesn't bend easily. If an elastic pliable hook were to be used, the entire curved portion of spine portion 30 could be made from one tab.

    [0029] Alternatively, garment 10 may be provided to the user with portions 20 and 30 already fastened together (via bands 22 and 32 fastened to opposing body portion 20 and spine portion 30). In this situation, fitting would be done by holding the free end of the body portion 20 against the limb and wrapping the garment around the limb so that spine portion 30 encircles the limb and overlaps back onto the outside of the free end of body portion 20. Spine portion 30 is then attached to body portion 20 so that the garment is as snug as possible. Further fitting is achieved by pulling on each individual hook tabs 34 in order to mimic the limb contour and further shape the fit of the garment to match the shape of the limb.

    [0030] Once the garment has been fitted and the body and spine portions are fully secured together, the garment is removed by disengaging the juxtaposed bands 22 and 32. Once removed, the body-to-spine attachment can further be secured by smoothing out the material or making minor adjustments for clean transitions between the spine hook tabs 34. The excess material can be trimmed following the inside edge of the spine hook tabs 34.

    [0031] Figs. 6A and 6B illustrate a second embodiment of a garment in which spine portion 30 has a straight edge opposite to the side from which bands 32 extend. Specifically, Fig. 6A shows an interior (i.e.: surface to be put against the skin) of the garment. Fig. 6B shows a corresponding exterior view after bands 22 and 32 have been attached onto the outside surface of the garment. In previous Figures, a curved edge on spine 30 increases the ability of the spine portion 30 to contour to the limb. This is because the circumference at the ankle is generally smaller than the circumference at the calf, which creates a curved contour. Thus, the curved edge spines (seen in Figs. 1A to 5B) best match the curves of the limb profile. In contrast, the use of a straight spine (Figs. 6A and 6B) would force the material to stretch and adjust more than with a curved spine. Thus, in the embodiment of Figs. 6A and 6B, garment 10 is preferably made out of elastic or limited stretch material. As also seen in Figs. 6A and 6B, body portion 20 may have cut away tabs 23 permitting a user to cut away a top (or bottom) portion of the device, thereby shortening the length of the device on the body limb. Specifically, the user could cut off a portion of the height of the device by cutting horizontally across body portion 20 along dotted line one of dotted lines 27. Similarly, cut away tabs may be found on spine portion 30 to trim the height of spine portion 30. Alternatively, as illustrated, the Velcro® fasteners on the ends of band 32 may have gaps 37 there between. Should the user wish to trip the height of the garment (i.e.: it's length along the body limb), the user could cut off a portion of the height of the device by cutting horizontally across spine portion 30 along one of the illustrated dotted lines.

    [0032] Also in this embodiment, body portion 20 has measurement indicia that designate more general sizes such as small, medium, large and extra-large (S,M,L,XL). Lines can be drawn from top to bottom on body 20 such that a user with a "small" leg cuts along a line 24A whereas a user with a "medium" leg cuts along a line 24B to discard portion 20A. Such lines 24A, 24B, etc. provide a "rough guide" as to the size of portion 20A to discard. Note: similar lines (which may either be markings or perforations) could be used with the garment of Fig. 1A as a method of removing a significant portion of the unused body portion 20A prior to performing a final adjustment to the spine location thus allowing the patient to easily test the spine placement before removing the remaining portion of the body portion 20.

    [0033] One advantage of the present system is that the need for time-consuming length adjustments is eliminated. Instead, only two predetermined length models (i.e.: body portion 20 and spine portion 30) need to be stocked. This advantageously decreases needed inventory space.

    [0034] Currently all adjustable designs in the market rely on trimming band length and/or adjusting its angle to fit the garment to the limb. The described garments adjusts the body of the garment to match the contour of the limb independently of any band adjustment. Current compression garments with spines or a second set of bands that are used for adjustment have overlapping adjustment points which make them difficult to use. In contrast, the described garments require the securing of only three tabs 34 and the trimming of one piece 20, as compared to the trimming and angling of several bands.

    [0035] In existing compression devices, length adjustment is typically done by cutting off a complete set of bands. In contrast, the described garments trim the width of a band so as to keep gradient compression and not to cut through any assembled materials that could fail due to the cut. In addition, the described garments are a one-layer system, as compared to the three or four layers typically used in bandaging approaches.

    [0036] Regardless of compression band engagement design (overlap, juxtaposition, interlock, d-ring, etc.), the present design can be converted to a one-size-fits-all garment. It will also match the leg contour regardless of where the fit is made circumferentially on the limb. If the user applies the fitting spine to the shin area while fitting, but then positions it to the back of the calf so the compression bands are easily accessible in the shin area for application, the garment will still match the contour of the limb.

    [0037] All previous compression garment models rely on a spine or curve point that is centrally/symmetrically located on the garment. For trim to fit versions, material is cut equally on each side of the garment or from band ends. In contrast, the described garments are unique in that they can quickly and easily be adjusted to match the contour of the limb with or without falling on a central point in the garment.

    [0038] Fitting and applying the garment to appropriate compression can typically be done in less than five minutes. This is far superior to the time involved with bandaging a limb, sizing and fitting a standard size garment, or measuring and producing a custom-made garment.

    [0039] Optionally, the described garments also include a "Built-In Pressure System™" and guide card. The patient's ankle circumference measurement determines the appropriate range on the Built-In Pressure System card for the patient. This eliminates the need to translate the patient's ankle circumference into a nominal size, furthermore simplifying the fitting process. The Built-in Pressure System card allows the patient to adjust the garment to the prescribed amount of compression.

    [0040] Fig. 7A is a third embodiment of a garment in which garment 10 has D-rings 35 attached to the ends of bands 32. In this embodiment, the ends of bands 22 are placed through D-rings 35 and then attached back onto themselves. As can be seen in this embodiment, the bands 32 can be quite short, and may simply be short projections on spine portion 30 onto which the D-rings 35 are attached. As can also be seen, bands 22 can be quite long in this embodiment as they are long loops of materials that weave through D-rings 35 and then attached back upon themselves. The advantage of such a D-ring system is that it allows the patient to tighten the garment using only one hand. Note as well that the measurement indicia are found on spine portion 30 in this embodiment of the garment. Only two spine tabs 34 are used.

    [0041] Fig. 7B is quite similar to Fig. 7A, however, instead of D-rings on the ends of bands, the spine portion 30 instead has holes 38 passing therethrough. Bands 22 are passed through holes 38, and are then looped back upon themselves. Fig. 7B illustrates the fact that the described garments are not limited to devices that have bands extending from both of the body and spine portions. Instead, either of the body and spine portions need not have bands extending therefrom, all keeping within the scope of the described garments.

    [0042] Fig. 8 is a fourth embodiment of a garment in which garment 10 has bands 22 and 32 which are not juxtaposed between one another. Instead, each band 22 is simply fastened onto a respective band 32 (preferably by Velcro® hook and loop fasteners). Body portion 20 has a plurality of numbered perforations (lines 1,2,3,4,5,6) allowing unused portion 20A to be removed more easily. This embodiment further includes an elastic wrap 50 for applying compression to an area of the limb that would be difficult to cover (such as the foot or hand), or where flexibility is needed (such as the elbow or knee). Elastic wrap 50 could also be used to cover the junction between garments when using two garments 10 to cover different segments of the limb. It could also be made of a nonslip material to anchor the garment in place and extend from the top of the garment instead.

    [0043] Fig. 9 is a fifth embodiment of a garment in which garment 10 has an intermediary portion 60 is positioned between body portion 20 and spine portion 30. Preferably, intermediary portion 60 is attached to body portion 20 by hook and loop fasteners, and spine portion 30 is attached to intermediary portion 60 by hook and loop fasteners. Thus, body and spine portions 20 and 30 are connected together by way of intermediary portion 60. A number of intermediary portions 60 can be kept on hand to prevent the waste of cut away portions 20A as the patient's limb changes in circumference over time. As can also be seen, bands 22 and 32 may be made of different widths along the length of the garment (for example with narrower bands at the ankle/wrist and wider bands at the calf/elbow), as shown. Also in this embodiment, bands 32 may have pockets 37 that can be used to hold one side of the garment in place while the other side is wrapped over and attached.

    [0044] Fig. 10 is a sixth embodiment of a garment in which garment 10 has bands 22 having ends that are received through holes 37 in bands 32. Such interlocking bands provide conformity to the shape of the body limb. Also included is an ankle/foot wrap portion 70 for applying compression to the ankle-foot region. As can also be seen, there are indicia (S,M,L,XL) printed on body region 20 (for positioning spine portion 30). Tabs 34 can be attached to connect spine portion 30 onto body portion 20 at the preferred (i.e.: S,M,L,XL) location corresponding to the size of the patient's limb. A tension measuring card 80 may also be included in the device as sold. The tension measuring card 80 has scales relating to the size of the patient's limb. Tension measuring card 80 relates the distance that the garment is stretched to the tension in the garment bands by measuring the spacing between lines printed on the garment as the garment is stretched.

    [0045] Fig. 11A is a seventh embodiment of a garmentin which garment 10 (i.e.: both body portion 20 and spine portion 30) are made of a thick material such as foam laminate with directional seams 29 and 39 are sewn in to create alternating channels of high and low pressure running along the interior of the garment along the body limb. Such alternating channels of high and low pressure may facilitate drainage of lymphatic fluids. Velcro® stays 40 may be used to further secure tabs 34 to body portion 20. Fig. 11D shows a close-up profile view of this attachment. Fig. 11B is a profile view of the attachment of band 22 back onto body portion 20 (after the end of band 22 has been juxtaposed between two bands 32). Fig. 11C is a profile view of a portion of the garment of Fig. 11A showing directional seams 29 running along body portion 20. As can be seen, the vertical profile (i.e.: thickness) of the connection in Fig. 11B is higher than the vertical profile (i.e.: thickness) of the connection in Fig. 11D. This can be advantageous in that it makes it easier to detach the bands 22 and 32 than to detach the body and spine portions 20 and 30. In this embodiment, the bands 22 and 32 extending across the front of the body limb adhere with a lesser strength than the attachment of the spine and body portions 20 and 30 across the back of the body limb.

    [0046] Fig. 12A is a reverse side view of the garment shown in Fig. 11A. The dotted area 90 is an area where an optional bladder or foam may be added to distribute pressure. Similarly, area 92 represents a region where an ulcer is often present (just above the ankle) and spot pressure is required. Foam or bladder piece 94 is positioned in dotted area 90 Fig. 12B is a corresponding profile view.

    [0047] Fig. 13A is simplified view of an eighth embodiment of a garment in an open position. Fig. 13B is the garment of Fig. 13A in a closed position. In this embodiment, garment 100 is a one-piece cylindrical structure. (In Figs. 13A and 13B, the exterior straps of the garment have been removed for clarity of illustration. The exterior straps are shown in Fig. 13C). The device is first supplied as shown in its "open" position of Figs. 13A and 13C. An adhesive tab 110 is provided on the outside of the cylindrical device. Garment 100 is either placed on the body limb, and then "closed" to the position shown in Fig. 13B; or alternatively, garment 100 may be closed and then fitted over the body limb. In operation, adhesive tab 110 (which may comprise Velcro®) is simply pulled forward and attached onto the body of the cylinder, as shown. This causes garment 100 to be folded over onto itself (to the position of Fig. 13B), thereby narrowing the circumference of the garment (such that it applies therapeutic pressure to the limb). Similar to the embodiments described above, the positioning of adhesive tab 110 may be set such that it best conforms to the shape of the particular patient's limb. Therefore, measurement indicia may be printed on the outside of garment 100 (either along the top and bottom edges and/or along the mid section of garment 100). The user therefore simply moves adhesive tabs 110 to a preferred position corresponding to the measurement indicia. For some patients, the top tab 110 may be moved farther forward before being attached to garment 100 (e.g.: if the patient has a thinner calf). For some patients, the bottom tab 110 may be moved farther forward before being attached to garment 100 (e.g.: if the patient has a thinner ankle region). Fig. 13C shows exterior bands or straps 22 and 32 (which are attached to the exterior of the garment on the opposite side as shown in Fig. 13C). Bands 22 and 32 are used to tighten the garment around the patient's limb, using the same system as was described above. Fig. 13D corresponds to Fig. 13B and shows the folded over section 120 when garment 100 is moved to its "closed" position about the body limb. It is to be understood that in various embodiments of the device, folded over section 120 may be trimmed off and removed for patient comfort. This would result in a garment operating essentially the same as a two-piece (spine and body) device as described above.

    [0048] Figs. 14A and 14B show an alternate embodiment of the garment which uses one or more guide bands 200. In Fig. 14A, a single guide band 200 is used. In Fig. 14B, a pair of parallel guide bands 220A and 200B are used.

    [0049] Guide bands 200 operate to wrap together with body portion 20 around a limb prior to bands 22 and 32 wrapping body portion 20 and spine portion 30 together around the limb.

    [0050] Preferably, bands 200 have a fixed end 202 and a free end 204. Fixed end 202 is attached (e.g.: sewn or glued) to body portion 20. Free end 204 is preferable connected to body portion 20 by hook and loop fasteners and is thus positionable on body portion 20. As a result, guide band 200 can be adjusted such that its circumference and positioning around the body limb is optimal. In operation, the guide bands 200 can be used as a guide sleeve once the garment has been sized to the user. This allows the user to slide the garment on and place it in a desired position on the limb before donning the compression bands (i.e.: tightening the garment around the limb). As such, the user need not hold the device in place by first securing the top two bands in position (and then start applying the bottom bands with compression, working their way back up to the top. Fig. 14C shows an alternate embodiment with guide band 200 being attached at one end 204 to spine 30 and the other end 202 attached to body portion 20. In this embodiment, the band 200 in Fig. 14C may be made of two pieces that can be fastened together, as shown.

    [0051] Figs. 15A to 15D show an embodiment of the invention in which the garment forms a non-planar shape when the body and spine portions are secured together (prior to the garment being wrapped around the body limb). The advantage of this particular non-planar shape is that once the two portions are fastened together, the garment forms a contoured shape that matches the shape of the user's limb. In the case of a knee (or elbow), the contouring is especially helpful in that it reduces bunching that often occurs during flexion.

    [0052] Fig. 15A shows the shapes of the body and spine portions prior to being secured together. Body portion 20 has a first side 25 (from which bands 22 extend) and an opposite second side 27. Similarly, spine portion 30 has a first side 35 (from which bands 32 extend) and an opposite second side 37. The operation of the body and spine portions and their associated bands is similar to that described above. However, what is different in the embodiment of Figs. 15A to 15D is the novel geometry of sides 27 and 37 which when attached together give the garment a non-planar shape prior to the garment being wrapped around the limb of a patient. By joining the second side 27 of the body portion 20 and the second side 37 of the spine portion 30, the garment is given its novel non-planar shape.

    [0053] In preferred aspects, at least one (or both) of the body and spine portions are dimensioned to be narrower across their mid-sections than across either or both of their top and bottom edges. Specifically, body portion 20 is narrower across its mid-section 29 than across either of its top edge 21 or bottom edge 23. Similarly, spine portion 30 is narrower across its mid-section 39 than across either its top edge 31 or its bottom edge 33. Stated another way, the second sides 27 and 37 are curved inwardly at their mid-sections and outwardly at one or both of their top and bottom edges. It is also to be understood that one or both of the body and spine portions may be curved inwardly at its mid-section. For example, edge 27 may be curved while edge 37 is straight, or vice versa; or both of edges 27 and 37 may be curved. This illustrated embodiment is particularly useful if the center of the garment is applied around a knee or elbow. Conversely, however, if the center of the garment is instead applied around a calf, then the mid-sections 29 and 39 may instead be wider than the top and bottom edges 21, 31 and 23, 33, respectively. It is to be therefore understood that the present invention encompasses embodiments with the mid-section of the garment being wider or narrower than the top and bottom edges.

    [0054] In preferred embodiments, indicia will run along not only the top and bottom edges (21,31 and 23,33 respectively) of the garment. In addition, indicia will also preferably run along the mid-sections 29,39 of the garment as well. As such, optimal sizing and placement of the body and spine portions can be achieved, and the garment will achieve its desired contoured shape.

    [0055] Figs. 15B to 15D illustrate the novel non-planar shape the garment assumes when edges 27 and 37 are connected or held together. Edges 27 and 37 may be sewn together at their edges, and/or they may be held together by connector 300. Connector 300 preferably spans across edges 27 and 37 as shown. Connector 300 may be sewn or glued directly onto body portion 20 and spine portion 30. Alternatively, connector 300 may be attached to body portion 20 and spine portion 30 by hook and loop fasteners.

    [0056] As can be seen, connector 300 may be formed from a continuous body of material with a series of notches 302 extending along one or both sides of the body, as shown. Notches 302 permit connector 300 to flex in a lateral direction (perpendicular to the central axis of connector 300). In preferred aspects, notches 302 extend across more than half the width of the connector.


    Claims

    1. A therapeutic compression garment, comprising:

    (a) a body portion (20) having a first side (25) and a second side (27), with a plurality of bands (22) extending from the first side (20); and

    (b) a spine portion (30) having a first side (35) and a second side (37), with a plurality of bands (32) extending from the first side (35);
    wherein the bands (22) extending from the first side (25) of the body portion (20) and the bands (32) extending from the first side (35) of the spine portion (30) attach the body and spine portions (20, 30) together when the body and spine portions (20, 30) are wrapped around a body limb,
    wherein the second sides (27, 37) of the body and spine portions (20, 30) are attached together, and
    wherein both of the body and spine portions (20, 30) are narrower or wider across their mid-sections (29, 39) than at either or both of their top and bottom edges (21, 31; 23, 33) such that the garment assumes a non-planar shape when the body and spine portions (20, 30) are attached together, wherein the second sides (27, 37) of both of the body and spine portions (20, 30) are curved inwardly or outwardly at their mid-sections (29, 39) and outwardly or inwardly at their top and bottom edges (21, 31; 23, 33),
    wherein the second sides (27, 37) of the body and spine portions (20, 30) are secured together by a connector (300) spanning the second side edges of the body and spine portions (20, 30), wherein the connector (300) comprises a body having a series of spaced apart notches (302) running along at least one side of the body to permit the connector (300) to flex in a lateral direction perpendicular to the central axis of the connector (300).


     
    2. The garment of claim 1, further comprising measurement indicia running along the top edges (21, 31), mid-sections (29, 39) and bottom edges (23, 33) of the body and spine portions (30).
     
    3. The garment of claim 1, wherein the second sides (27, 37) of the body and spine portions (20, 30) are connected together edge to edge along their second sides (27, 37).
     
    4. The garment of claim 1, wherein the notches (302) extend across more than half the width of the connector (300).
     
    5. The garment of claim 1, wherein the connector (300) is attached to each of the body and spine portions (20, 30) by hook and loop fasteners.
     
    6. The garment of claim 1, wherein the bands (22) extending from the body portion (20) are juxtaposed between the bands (32) extending from the spine portion (30) when the body and spine portions (20, 30) are wrapped together around a body limb.
     
    7. The garment of claim 1, wherein the bands (22) extending from the body portion (20) are attached onto the spine portion (30) and the bands (32) extending from the spine portion (30) are attached onto the body portion (20) when the body and spine portions (20, 30) are wrapped together around a body limb.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Therapeutisches Kompressionskleidungsstück, das Folgendes umfasst:

    (a) einen Körperteil (20), eine erste Seite (25) und eine zweite Seite (27) aufweisend, mit mehreren Bändern (22), die sich von der ersten Seite (20) erstrecken; und

    (b) einen Wirbelsäulenteil (30), eine erste Seite (35) und eine zweite Seite (37) aufweisend, mit mehreren Bändern (32), die sich von der ersten Seite (35) erstrecken;
    wobei die Bänder (22), die sich von der ersten Seite (25) des Körperteils (20) erstrecken, und die Bänder (32), die sich von der ersten Seite (35) des Wirbelsäulenteils (30) erstrecken, den Körper- und Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) miteinander befestigen, wenn der Körper- und der Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) um ein Körperglied geschlagen sind,
    wobei die zweiten Seiten (27, 37) des Körper- und des Wirbelsäulenteils (20, 30) miteinander befestigt sind,
    und
    wobei sowohl der Körper- als auch der Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) schmaler oder breiter über ihren mittleren Abschnitten (29, 39) sind als eine oder beide aus ihren oberen und unteren Kanten (21, 31; 23, 33), sodass das Kleidungsstück eine nicht-planare Form annimmt, wenn der Körper- und der Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) miteinander verbunden sind, wobei die zweiten Seiten (27, 37) von sowohl dem Körper- als auch dem Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) an ihren mittleren Abschnitten (29, 39) einwärts oder auswärts und an ihren oberen und unteren Kanten (21, 31; 23, 33) auswärts oder einwärts gekrümmt sind,
    wobei die zweiten Seiten (27, 37) des Körper- und des Wirbelsäulenteils (20, 30) miteinander durch einen Verbinder (300) gesichert sind, der die zweiten Seitenkanten des Körper- und des Wirbelsäulenteils (20, 30) überspannt, wobei der Verbinder (300) einen Körper umfasst, der eine Reihe von voneinander beabstandeten Kerben (302) aufweist, die entlang zumindest einer Seite des Körpers laufen, um dem Verbinder (300) zu ermöglichen, sich in einer lateralen Richtung senkrecht zur mittleren Achse des Verbinders (300) durchzubiegen.


     
    2. Kleidungsstück nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend Messzeichen, die entlang der oberen Kanten (21, 31), mittleren Abschnitte (29, 39) und unteren Kanten (23, 33) des Körper- und des Wirbelsäulenteils (30) laufen.
     
    3. Kleidungsstück nach Anspruch 1, wobei die zweiten Seiten (27, 37) des Körper- und des Wirbelsäulenteils (20, 30) Seite an Seite entlang ihrer zweiten Seiten (27, 37) miteinander verbunden sind.
     
    4. Kleidungsstück nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die Kerben (302) über mehr als die Hälfte der Breite des Verbinders (300) erstrecken.
     
    5. Kleidungsstück nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Verbinder (300) sowohl am Körper- als auch am Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) durch Haken- und Ösenbefestigungselemente befestigt ist.
     
    6. Kleidungsstück nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Bänder (22), die sich vom Körperteil (20) erstrecken, zwischen den Bändern (32), die sich vom Wirbelsäulenteil (30) erstrecken, positioniert sind, wenn der Körper- und der Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) zusammen um ein Körperglied geschlagen sind.
     
    7. Kleidungsstück nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Bänder (22), die sich vom Körperteil (20) erstrecken, am Wirbelsäulenteil (30) befestigt sind und die Bänder (32), die sich vom Wirbelsäulenteil (30) erstrecken, am Körperteil (20) befestigt sind, wenn der Körper- und der Wirbelsäulenteil (20, 30) zusammen um ein Körperglied geschlagen sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Vêtement de compression thérapeutique, comprenant :

    (a) une portion de corps (20) ayant un premier côté (25) et un deuxième côté (27), avec une pluralité de bandes (22) s'étendant depuis le premier côté (20) ; et

    (b) une portion de crête (30) ayant un premier côté (35) et un deuxième côté (37), avec une pluralité de bandes (32) s'étendant depuis le premier côté (35) ;
    les bandes (22) s'étendant depuis le premier côté (25) de la portion de corps (20) et les bandes (32) s'étendant depuis le premier côté (35) de la portion de crête (30) attachant le corps et les portions de crête (20, 30) les uns aux autres lorsque le corps et les portions de crête (20, 30) sont enveloppés autour d'un membre du corps,
    les deuxièmes côtés (27, 37) du corps et des portions de crête (20, 30) étant attachés ensemble, et
    à la fois le corps et les portions de crête (20, 30) étant plus étroits ou plus larges au niveau de leurs sections centrales (29, 39) qu'au niveau de leurs bords supérieurs et/ou inférieurs (21, 31 ; 23, 33) de telle sorte que le vêtement prenne une forme non plane lorsque le corps et les portions de crête (20, 30) sont attachés ensemble, les deuxièmes côtés (27, 37) à la fois du corps et des portions de crête (20, 30) étant courbés vers l'intérieur ou vers l'extérieur au niveau de leurs sections centrales (29, 39) et vers l'extérieur ou vers l'intérieur au niveau de leurs bords supérieurs et inférieurs (21, 31 ; 23, 33), les deuxièmes côtés (27, 37) du corps et des portions de crête (20, 30) étant fixés ensemble par un connecteur (300) couvrant les deuxièmes bords latéraux du corps et des portions de crête (20, 30), le connecteur (300) comprenant un corps ayant une série d'encoches espacées (302) s'étendant le long d'au moins un côté du corps pour permettre au connecteur (300) de fléchir dans une direction latérale perpendiculairement à l'axe central du connecteur (300).


     
    2. Vêtement selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre des inscriptions de mesure s'étendant le long des bords supérieurs (21, 31), des sections centrales (29, 39) et des bords inférieurs (23, 33) du corps et des portions de crête (30).
     
    3. Vêtement selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les deuxièmes côtés (27, 37) du corps et des portions de crête (20, 30) sont connectés ensemble bord à bord le long de leurs deuxièmes côtés (27, 37).
     
    4. Vêtement selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les encoches (302) s'étendent sur plus de la moitié de la largeur du connecteur (300).
     
    5. Vêtement selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le connecteur (300) est attaché à chacun parmi le corps et les portions de crête (20, 30) par des attaches à boucles et crochets.
     
    6. Vêtement selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les bandes (22) s'étendant depuis la portion de corps (20) sont juxtaposées entre les bandes (32) s'étendant depuis la portion de crête (30), lorsque le corps et les portions de crête (20, 30) sont enveloppés ensemble autour d'un membre du corps.
     
    7. Vêtement selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les bandes (22) s'étendant depuis la portion de corps (20) sont attachées sur la portion de crête (30) et les bandes (32) s'étendant depuis la portion de crête (30) sont attachées sur la portion de corps (20) lorsque le corps et les portions de crête (20, 30) sont enveloppés ensemble autour d'un membre du corps.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description