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1. WO2003017884 - TRAITEMENT NON INVASIF DU SYNDROME DU TUNNEL CARPIEN, ET APPAREIL A CET EFFET

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

CLAIMS
We Claim:
1. An apparatus for treating carpal tunnel syndrome in a person's hand, the hand having a longitudinal axis, a palmar aspect with thenar and hypothenar regions, and a dorsal region opposed to the palmar aspect, the apparatus comprising:

a housing having a first side wall, a second side wall, an open top portion for receiving the hand, and a first open side portion, substantially perpendicular to said first and second side walls, for receiving the wrist;

first support means, disposed within said housing along the longitudinal axis of the hand, for contacting and retaining the thenar region of the hand;
second support means, disposed within said housing substantially parallel to said first support means, for contacting and retaining the hypothenar region of the hand;

a cover having a bottom portion, a first edge and a second opposing edge, said first edge being pivotably attached to a top portion of said first side wall, said cover being operable to close over said open top portion into a closed position; and

an elongated pressure element disposed on said bottom portion of said cover along the longitudinal axis and positioned and configured to contact and exert pressure along the dorsal region of the hand when said cover is pushed downward toward said open top portion, such that a first force formed by said pressure is balanced and opposed by a second force formed by retaining action of said first and said second support means exerted on the respective thenar and hypothenar regions of the hand, wherein said first and said second forces cause carpal bones of the hand to separate to stretch a carpal ligament and a flexor retinaculum of the hand.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a first resilient pad disposed along said first support means, and a second resilient pad disposed along said second support means.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first support means comprises a first plurality of independent resilient support elements, and wherein said second support means comprises a second plurality of independent resilient support elements.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein said first support means comprises a first mobile generally cylindrical elongated element positioned and configured to initially contact a first region of the hand between the thenar region and a central portion of the palmar aspect of the hand, wherein said second support means comprises a second mobile generally cylindrical elongated element positioned and configured to initially contact a second region of the hand between the hypothenar region and the central portion of the palmar aspect of the hand, wherein when said cover is moved towards said closed position and said elongated member exerts pressure on the dorsal region of the hand, said first mobile element moves from said first region to the thenar region of the hand, and said second mobile element moves from said second region to the hypothenar region of the hand, such that dynamically adjustable support to the thenar and the hypothenar regions of the hand irrespective of the hand's size is thereby provided.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein said first and said second support means comprise said first and said second side walls, respectively.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein said cover is composed of at least one of: a rigid material and a flexible material.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a releasable retaining means positioned on said second edge of said cover and on an outer portion of said second side wall for maintaining said cover in said closed position during treatment and for releasing said cover into an open position after treatment.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising adjustment means for selectively moving said elongated pressure element substantially between said first and said second edges of said cover.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the adjustment means further comprises means for measuring the amount of pressure exerted by the elongated pressure element on the dorsal region of the hand.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the housing has a generally semi-circular cross-section having an internal concave region, the first support means is disposed along one side of the internal concave region of the housing, and the second support means is disposed along the other side of the concave region of the housing.

11. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an electronic device comprising a laser adapted to denature proteins forming the flexor retinaculum and the carpal ligament.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the electronic device further comprises a sensor to measure the amount that the flexor retinaculum stretches.

13. An apparatus for treating carpal tunnel syndrome in a person's hand, the hand having a longitudinal axis, a palmar aspect with thenar and hypothenar regions, and a dorsal region opposed to the palmar aspect, the apparatus comprising: a housing having a first side wall, a second side wall, an open top portion for receiving the hand, and a first open side portion, substantially perpendicular to said first and second side walls, for receiving the wrist;

a first support element disposed within said housing along the longitudinal axis of the hand, for contacting and retaining the thenar region of the hand;

a second support element disposed within said housing substantially parallel to said first support element for contacting and retaining the hypothenar region of the hand;

a cover having a bottom portion, a first edge and a second opposing edge, said first edge being pivotably attached to a top portion of said first side wall, said cover being operable to close over said open top portion into a closed position; and

an elongated pressure element disposed on said bottom portion of said cover along the longitudinal axis and positioned and configured to contact and exert pressure along the dorsal region of the hand when said cover is pushed downward toward said open top portion, such that a first force formed by said pressure is balanced and opposed by a second force formed by retaining action of said first and said second support elements exerted on the respective thenar and hypothenar regions of the hand, wherein said first and said second forces cause carpal bones of the hand to separate to stretch a carpal ligament and a flexor retinaculum of the hand.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising a first resilient pad disposed along said first support element, and a second resilient pad disposed along said second support element.

15. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said first support element comprises a first plurality of independent resilient support elements, and wherein said second support element comprises a second plurality of independent resilient support elements.

16. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said first support element comprises a first mobile generally cylindrical elongated element positioned and configured to initially contact a first region of the hand between the thenar region and a central portion of the palmar aspect of the hand, wherein said second support element comprises a second mobile generally cylindrical elongated element positioned and configured to initially contact a second region of the hand between the hypothenar region and the central portion of the palmar aspect of the hand, wherein when said cover is moved towards said closed position and said elongated member exerts pressure on the dorsal region of the hand, said first mobile element moves from said first region to the thenar region of the hand, and said second mobile element moves from said second region to the hypothenar region of the hand, such that dynamically adjustable support to the thenar and the hypothenar regions of the hand irrespective of the hand's size is thereby provided.

17. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said first and said second support element comprise said first and said second side walls, respectively.

18. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said cover is composed of at least one of: a rigid material and a flexible material.

19. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising a releasable retaining means positioned on said second edge of said cover and on an outer portion of said second side wall for maintaining said cover in said closed position during treatment and for releasing said cover into an open position after treatment.

20. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising adjustment means for selectively moving said elongated pressure element substantially between said first and said second edges of said cover.

21. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the adjustment means further comprises means for measuring the amount of pressure exerted by the elongated pressure element on the dorsal region of the hand.

22. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the housing has a generally semi-circular cross-section having an internal concave region, the first support means is disposed along one side of the internal concave region of the housing, and the second support means is disposed along the other side of the concave region of the housing.

23. The apparatus of claim 13 further comprising an electronic device comprising a laser adapted to denature proteins forming the flexor retinaculum and the carpal ligament.

24. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the electronic device further comprises a sensor to measure the amount that the flexor retinaculum stretches.