Collapsible Lightweight Portable Leg Holder for Ultrasound Guided Lateral Popliteal Block Procedures


A Vanderbilt team led by anesthesiologist Dr. Rajnish Gupta has developed a collapsible, lightweight and portable patient leg positioner for secure and stable leg positioning support during ultrasound guided nerve block anesthetic procedures.

Addressed Clinical Need

Ultrasound guided approaches to block the sciatic nerve through the popliteal fossa for providing anesthesia and postoperative analgesia for lower extremity surgical procedures are of increased interest and gaining popularity. Ultrasound guided lateral popliteal block procedures are often performed with the patient in a supine position, especially in cases with severe trauma or other conditions when it is not feasible to have the patient lie prone. In such cases, the patient's leg is elevated and the knee is bent in order to reach the popliteal space with the ultrasound probe. Currently this is achieved by propping the leg either on blankets or pillows, a bedside table, or with a few currently available commercial leg holders. Using pillows and blankets often results in unstable leg positioning, and unwanted movements, resulting in poor ultrasound visualization and longer procedure time. Currently available leg holders are bulky and heavy, limiting the transportability and storage of these leg holders in a clinical setting.

Technology Description

The Vanderbilt collapsible Lightweight Leg Holder facilitates the secure positioning and  stabilization of the leg during popliteal anesthetic procedures. This results in increased patient comfort and yields increased flexibility for the anesthesiologist. This leg holder collapses to a flat (approximately 2" in height) and portable configuration with a handle that facilitates storage and transportation. In addition, the materials and design used in this leg holder result in reduction in weight compared to existing devices.

Technology Features

• Lightweight, Portable, Storable, Sterilizable and Inexpensive

• Locks into open or closed position with snap action

• Built in securing mechanisms for use with a wide range of leg sizes; works with external fixation hardware and large casts

• Large spatial area for sterile access for anesthesiologist holding the ultrasound probe built into design

• Designed for enhanced stability on patient bed

• Bi-directional leg positioning design provides additional flexibility for a wide range of angular leg positioning

Technology Development Status

Working prototypes have been built and are in current use. Additional design refinements and testing are being performed

Intellectual Property Status

A U.S. Patent Application has been filed

Rajnish GuptaRay LathropHarold WattsRandall Malchow
Licensing manager: 
Taylor Jordan

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