3 Wasy to Avoid Winter Falls
Winter is coming, with its blowing winds, cold temperatures, and snowy, icy conditions, which can lead to unexpected trips to your Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) reports falls on icy surfaces are a major cause of ankle and wrist sprains and fractures, exactly what you want to avoid in the winter! Learn some ways to avoid winter falls: 1. Remove your shoes/boots as soon as you get inside. Ice and snow often remains on the soles and can be extremely slippery on tile or wood floors. Set them on an absorbent rug or in a boot tray to dry off. Trade them for a pair of non-slip, warm slippers. 2. Winter is a time to put safety first, fashion second. If you have to wear high heels or shoes with no grip, carry them in a tote until you reach your destination. Wear low-heeled boots with good traction to travel; you’ll have more stability and better results when walking through slush, snow and ice. After you arrive to your indoor destination, change into your fashionable footwear and stash your boots under a coatrack or under your desk. Some may argue this, but at the Idaho Hand Institute, we believe function before fashion goes a long way in your safety and well-being. 3. Pay attention! Winter is a beautiful time of the year, but it’s got hidden dangers that can bring you crashing to your knees if you’re not careful. Ice is often hidden under light layers of snow. Use caution when you’re walking or exercising outside. Use handrails on outside steps. Slipping on ice accelerates the fall and can cause severe injury to all extremities. If you do fall and have a sore or tender joint, please get it checked out or call the Idaho Hand Institute for instructions. Maintaining the ability to walk doesn’t mean your ankle isn’t badly sprained or broken, and continued weight-bearing activities on it could lead to chronic joint pain, instability and arthritis. If you have any doubts, after a winter spill, please get evaluated by a specialist as soon as possible. In the meantime, be sure to practice R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) to control swelling and reduce pain. Falls typically happen from start to finish, within 2 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to plan a safe landing. Pay attention to your footwear and surroundings, but if you do fall and injure yourself, we advise you to seek medical attention to get an early diagnosis from your local Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and begin proper treatments. For more information, please contact the Idaho Hand Institute at (208) 235-HAND (4263) or at any of our three locations: Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Soda Springs.