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Adjustable bone plate




Title: Adjustable bone plate.
Abstract: The invention pertains to adjustable bone plates which comprise one or more sets of first members and second members. The first members and second members are releasably secured to each other by attachment means and locking means, and two or more set of first members and second members are connected by bridging means. The longitudinal and lateral dimensions of the bone plates may be adjustable. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20100152737
Inventors: James D. Ralph, Stephen L. Tatar, Thomas N. Troxell


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20100152737, Adjustable bone plate.

BACKGROUND

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OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention pertains to adjustable bone plates which comprise one or more sets of first and second members releasably secured to each other. The members are capable of sliding thereby allowing the surgeon to adjust the longitudinal length of the bone plate and also to move pieces of broken bone closer to each other prior to setting the longitudinal length of the bone plate. The invention also pertains to bone plates that may be adjusted in both a longitudinal and lateral dimension.

2. The Relevant Art

Conventional bone plates have fixed dimensions and multiple holes for accommodating bone screws. Surgeons generally use bone plates to join sections of fractured bone by placing the bone plate atop the fracture, inserting bone screws through the holes in the plate which overlie the healthy part of the bone and securing the bone about the fracture. Bone plates of many sizes are provided for the surgeon, each having a number of holes so that the surgeon can arrange the plate over the fracture and have bone screw holes available above the healthy bone.

Direct Compression Plates (“DCP”) are also available to stabilize fractured bone. DCP generally have angulated openings, through which screws are “toed” into the bone with the tightening of the toed screws operating to move the bone, slightly, under the DCP. DCP have been used to move bone pieces on either side of the fracture closer together. However, with a DCP, only slight and not easily controllable movements occur. Generally, the underlying bone is pulled into place by the threads of a screw, providing no control over the twisting or turning of the bone, and the bending of the plate. In addition, the bone is pulled at an angle to the attached plates, which can result in a cocked bone or at an angle to the longitudinal direction of the bone. This angulation, together with the micromotion in the bone, has led to backing out of the screws after the bone plate is secured to the bone.

Thus, there is a need for bone plates which are adjustable that allow the surgeon to move the broken pieces of bone while inhibiting or preventing the bone from twisting or cocking either during the process of applying the bone plate to the fractured bone or afterwards.

SUMMARY

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OF THE INVENTION

The bone plate, or bone plate assembly, of the invention comprises one or more sets of first member and second member. In each set, a first member and a second member are releasably secured to each other through attachment means. The attachment means provides each first member and second member with the capability of being releasably secured in a manner which allows longitudinal adjustment of the location of the first member and second member with relation to each other thereby allowing the bone plate assembly to have an adjustable longitudinal length or dimension. The attachment means generally functions with a locking means which restricts or inhibits the longitudinal movement of the members thereby setting the longitudinal length of the bone plate assembly. For example, in use, the surgeon may secure a first member to one side of a break in a broken bone and secure the second member to another side of the break of the broken bone and then can move one or both members to bring the pieces of broken bone together. Once the surgeon has moved the pieces of bone as desired for healing, the surgeon may then apply the locking means to set the longitudinal length of the bone plate assembly. In embodiments of the invention, more than one set of first member and second member can be applied to broken bones with the set of first member or second member connected to each other, such as through bridging means, to provide adjustment to the lateral dimension of the bone plate assembly.

The attachment means for example may comprise a flange in one member and corresponding recess in another member. The flange is capable of sliding within the recess thus providing the bone plate with adjustability. Another example of an attachment means is a one or more connecting rods which are capable of translating within rod bores in the first member and/or second member.

The locking means may be any mechanical device that can prevent the first member and second member from physically moving in relation to each other. In general, the locking means may be one or more of the following: heat shrinking, glue, molding of the first member and second member together, screws, pins or anchors, and combinations of these.

For example, the locking means may be a large head screw which engages a slot in the flange of one member and a screw bore at the recess of a second member which, upon tightening, locks the flange within the recess thereby preventing the first member and second member from moving in relation to each other. Another example of a locking means is a set screw which engages a locking means bore on the first member and/or second member effectively crushing elements of the first member and second member over the attachment means creating frictional forces that preclude movement of the first member and second member with respect to each other. In an embodiment of the invention, the attachment means is one or more connecting rods which translate within rod bores on the first member and/or second member and a set screw applied within the locking means bore of the first member and/or second member forces the walls of the rod bores against the connecting rods creating frictional forces between the outer surfaces of the connecting rods and the rod bore walls which preclude movement. Other locking means include physical bonding such as a biocompatible adhesive or heat which forms a physical bond between the first member and second member, such as between surfaces of the flange and recess. For example, once the first member and second member are set in place the surgeon can apply an adhesive or other bonding agent which secures the first member and second member in a fixed relationship to each other or can apply heat which effectively melts the surfaces of the first member or second member that are aligned and in contact with each other causing the melted material of each plate to mix together thereby physically connecting the two members when the heat source is removed and the first member and second member cool.

The adjustable bone plate may further comprise bridging means which allows two or more sets of adjustable first member and second member to be connected to each other to form a bone plate assembly that has adjustability with respect to both the longitudinal and lateral dimensions. In this embodiment of the invention, the adjustable bone plate comprises one or more windows to allow the surgeon to observe broken pieces of bone coming together while the longitudinal and/or lateral dimensions of the bone plate are being adjusted. For example, each the adjustable bone plate assembly may comprise one or more bridging rods which are capable of translating within one or more bridging rod bores in the first member and/or second member. The bridging means may also have the same or similar structure as the attachment means discussed above.

The adjustable bone plate assemblies may further comprise a bridge locking means for use in conjunction with the bridging means to inhibit or restrict movement of one set of first member and second member in relation to an adjoined set of first member and second member thereby setting the lateral dimension of the adjustable bone plate assembly. For example, the bridge locking means may be screw member, such as a set screw, which is screwed into a bore on a first member and/or second member and directly interfaces a surface of the bridging means thereby inhibiting or preventing the movement of one set of first and second member in relation to an adjoined set of first and second members by preventing or inhibiting the translation of the bridging means within the bridging means bores. In addition to a set screw or other screw member, the bridge locking means also be any of the locking means discussed above.

The bone plates may be made by a biologically acceptable material. Combinations of materials can be used.

The invention further pertains to the methods for applying the bone plate assembly for healing broken bones of a patient. For example, in one method only one set of first member and second member is used. In this method, the first member or second member is placed over a bone on one side of the break and the first member or second member is placed over the bone on the other side of the break and the first member and second member are then releasably secured to each other with the attachment means and/or locking means. The bone screws or other bone attachment means may be applied to secure the first member and second member to the bone of a patient by translating bone screws or other bone attachment means through bone screw holes in the first member and second member and into the bone after the attachment means is engaged, such as being partially or loosely engaged to allow for movement. In an embodiment of the invention, the bone attachment means may be applied prior to engagement of the attachment means. As such, the first member and second member may be releasably secured to each other either prior to the bone plate being secured to the bone of a patient or after the bone plate is secured to the bone of a patient. Bone attachment means are bone screws, surgical fasteners or any other device capable of securing the bone plates, or any component of the bone plate, to the bone of a patient. Also, the first member and second member may first be releasably secured and then placed over the broken bone with one member on one side and another member on another side and then the bone screws are applied to secure the bone plate assembly to the broken bone. In any event, once the first member and second member are secured to the bone, the surgeon may then move the first member or second member to bring the pieces of the broken bone together and then further apply or tighten the attachment means and/or locking means to prevent further movement of the first member and second member to fix the longitudinal dimension of bone plate assembly and set the bone in a place for healing.

In a further embodiment, the method comprises applying one or more additional sets of first member and second member. In this embodiment a first member and second member set are applied to the broken bone of a patient, generally as discussed above, and then the bridging means is applied and next a second first member and second member set is applied. Further, first member and second member sets may be applied with the bridging means between each additional set and the prior set of first member and second member. Each set of first member and second member may be adjusted with respect to the longitudinal dimension of each, as discussed above, and the lateral dimension may be adjusted by moving sets of the first member and second member in conjunction with the bridging means. Once the pieces of broken bone have been moved to the desired location, the longitudinal and lateral dimension of the bone plate assembly can be fixed by applying and/or tightening the attachment means and/or locking means (for the longitudinal direction) and the bridge locking means (for the lateral direction). Also, in an embodiment of the invention, the method comprises having the longitudinal and/or lateral dimensions of the bone plate fixed prior to applying the bone plate to the bone of a patient by securing the bone plate to the bone of a patient. The location of each first member and second member with respect to various sides of the break will depend on the nature of the broken bone. For example, a bone may have bisecting breaks in which case each separate first member and second member in the bone plate assembly, such as one having two sets of first member and second member connected by bridging means, may be secured in different sections of the broken bone.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the first member and second member of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the first member and second member of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is an end view of a first member of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is an end view of a second member of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is an end view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a side view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a front view of a locking means in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a top view of a locking means in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 11 is a top view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 12 is a bottom view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 13 is a side view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 14 is an end view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 15 is a side view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 16 is an exploded perspective view of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of first member of an adjustable bone plate in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20100152737 A1
Publish Date
06/17/2010
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0




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Surgery   Instruments   Orthopedic Instrumentation   Internal Fixation Means   Cortical Plate   Multi-element Or Coated Plate   Having Separable And Distinct Plate Elements  

Browse patents:
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20100617|20100152737|adjustable bone plate|The invention pertains to adjustable bone plates which comprise one or more sets of first members and second members. The first members and second members are releasably secured to each other by attachment means and locking means, and two or more set of first members and second members are connected |
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