Winter is here and while the snowiest of seasons sets the scene for magical wonderlands and holidays of joy, it also brings with it hazardous ice and injuries. Not only can cold weather cause arthritis flares, dangerous slips and falls can result in numerous orthopaedic injuries.
Ice is the number one culprit for these falls, greatly raising the risk of injury in the wintertime. A slip on slick ice can cause injuries that include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Concussion: An injury in which the brain is rattled in the head and hits against the skull.
- Sprains and strains: Caused by stretching and tearing of tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
- Back, neck and shoulder injuries: Most commonly joint dislocations and fractures.
- Broken bones
The best approach to winter injuries is to focus on prevention. Here are some winter safety tips to help you avoid a bad slip this season:
- Shovel: Be sure to stay on top of shovelling your walkways. Ice from previous snowfall can lurk beneath fresh powder when not shoveled in a timely manner. If you need help with your shovelling, enlist a family member, a friend, or support a neighborhood child’s shoveling business.
- Proper footwear: The best place to start is with proper gear. Invest in winter footwear with strong tread to give your feet a better grip on the slick ground.
- Take it slow: You may be in a hurry, but your health and safety should always be top priority. When walking across slick, snowy walkways, go slow, take your time, and focus on each step.
- Salt your walk: For your own safety — and the safety of others that may walk on your sidewalk — invest in some de-icing salt and sand.
In the event of a bad slip, the first measure to take is to rest. Implement the PRICE method of at-home treatment (protect, rest, ice, compress, elevate) and if your injury worsens or does not improve, it’s time to see a professional. The orthopaedic specialists at MidAmerica Orthopaedics’ Total Joint Clinic will get you back to your pre-slip life as soon as possible with the least invasive treatment possible.
Among our Orthopaedic specialists, who can help treat injuries from a winter fall are hand and upper extremity specialist Dr. Anton J. Fakhouri, orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Sarkis M. Bedikian, and foot and ankle specialist Dr. Svetlana Zats. To learn more about MidAmerica Orthopaedics’ Total Joint Clinic and the different treatment options available to you, visit our website.
To schedule an appointment with MidAmerica Orthopedics specialists Dr. Anton J. Fakhouri, Dr. Svetlana Zats, or to find the right specialist for your injury, call (708) 237-7200. You can also request an appointment online.