It’s now officially winter, which means freezing temperatures are due. Because of the winter weather, even the simplest of things can now become a hazard, such as a simple walk on a pavement.
During this time, we see more injuries relating to the wintery weather, especially if you are elderly or suffering from conditions, such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. We see more sprains and strains, as well as fractures – it’s a busy time of year for us.
Like all health issues, prevention is better than a cure – so it is best to be prepared for an injury during the winter weather. Ice and snow are the biggest cause for concern, due to the increased slip risk on any surface. To reduce the risk of a slip, follow these rules:
Even after you have taken all the possible precautions, the most prepared of us may still fall and possibly become injured. The most common injuries are:
Ankle sprains: If you slip on ice, it can make you roll your ankle, applying a large amount of pressure to the edges of your foot, twisting it beyond its normal motions. This injures one or more ligaments that support the joint.
Wrist Sprain: If you happen to slip, you may put your hands out to soften your impact. However, by doing this, you could apply a large amount of pressure to the joint in your wrist and twist it beyond its normal capabilities.
Fractures of the ankle and wrist: This occurs due to the pressure of an impact that causes the bone to break. There are many different types of fractures, but they all have similar symptoms – including swelling, deformation of the area, pain in the area when moved or pressure is applied or, in severe cases, the bone has penetrated the skin.
Good news is that most sprains and strains do not require attention. Using PRICE therapy for a few days will return the sprain to normal. PRICE therapy is an acronym for Protect, Rest, Ice (funnily enough), Compression and Elevation. Also, using NSAID painkillers, such as ibuprofen, should help reduce inflammation and help with the pain.
If you still have pain or cannot apply pressure to the area at all, you should seek medical attention. If you think you have a fracture you should seek medical attention immediately.
We cover all the subspecialty areas of orthopaedics
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