Winter can be a daunting time of year for the thousands of Americans who have suffered serious injury from slips or falls due to icy weather. Unfortunately, even a small slip on a patch of ice can result in an injury that can cause chronic pain or other musculoskeletal issues for a lifetime. At NY Bone and Joint, we see far too many seasonal injuries that can be avoided. Many of the most common injuries that occur due to accidents from icy conditions include:
- Muscle strains
- Ligament or tendon tears
- Fractures and broken bones
- Spinal injuries, such as herniated discs, vertebral fractures, pulled muscles and nerve compression
- Knee injuries such as ACL or meniscal tears and patella dislocation
- Elbow injuries
- Wrist breaks and fractures
- Ankle sprains
- Hip dislocations and labral tears
Elderly patients are especially susceptible to injuries that cause serious damage and disability as our bones become more brittle and our tissues less able to heal as we age. Many elderly patients will have a hard time recovering from a slip or fall, so it is extremely important to avoid these accidents in the first place.
To prevent injury you can:
- Lay down salt for deicing before and after snowfall
- Mix sand with salt to provide more traction should you need to walk over snow or ice
- Avoid holding any packages while walking through icy conditions
- Always send the money to shovel if you can’t do it yourself
- Don’t forget to hold on when entering or exiting a car, walking on stairs, and walking on slippery floors when entering a building
- Be careful when decorating or doing housework, as this is the most common cause of accidents
- Remember that activities like ice skating or sledding can also be dangerous
Treating injuries from slip or falls vary just as much as the severity of possible injuries does. Physical therapy is often enough to help younger patients overcome sprains, strains, or broken bones. However, elderly patients often require knee, hip, or shoulder joint replacement surgery after falls. Trauma can be rather significant for elderly patients, and the likelihood of a fall being fatal triples for individual over 70 years of age. Following prevention, seeing an orthopedic specialist is the most important step to take when it comes to winter time injuries. While injuries like tears may not cause severe pain at first, they can develop into a chronic issue that will cause more pain and injury in the future.
Dr. Leon E. Popovitz and his team of top rated orthopedic and pain management specialists are experts at evaluating and treating an injury quickly and effectively. Stop at any NY Bone and Joint Specialists location for the best orthopedic care at your convenience. Our orthopedic surgeons and physiatrists treat all musculoskeletal and neuromuscular injuries with our in-office physical therapy programs, minimally invasive pain management techniques, and exceptional surgical treatments.