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How To Prevent Slips & Falls This Winter

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How To Prevent Slips & Falls This Winter

In Texas we hardly get bad winter weather, but lately we have had some cold days and nights. We even saw a bit of snow and ice in North Texas over this weekend. Looking out and seeing a dusting of white snow is pretty, but it can be dangerous! Sidewalks and parking lots can become very icy and hazardous to people of all ages.

Injuries Caused by Slips & Falls

According to National Floor Safety Institute, “fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall”. Slippery conditions increase the risk of slips and falls, which means people can suffer from moderate to severe injuries, including:

  • Soft tissue injuries: This type of injury often involves tears, sprains or damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments. You’ll normally see some swelling or bruising with this type of injury. If left untreated, soft tissue injuries can lead to chronic pain.
  • Spinal cord injuries: When your fall impacts your back, you may suffer the risk of seriously injuring your spinal cord.
  • Sprains and fractures: Sprains and fractures are the most common injuries from slips and falls. At Total Orthopedics Sports & Spine, we often see fractures of the:
    • Hip
    • Spine
    • Forearm
    • Leg
    • Ankle
    • Pelvis
    • Upper Arm
    • Hand/Wrist

Preventing Slips & Falls

Slipping and falling is not uncommon for people of any age. It can be hard to prevent such an occurrence from happening. Below are some tips that could help prevent slips and falls:

  • Footwear that is flat and sturdy with tread is best for preventing slips and falls
  • When the sidewalks or parking lots are slippery, it is important to walk slowly and use handrails when possible
  • Concentrate on walking safely and avoid distractions (i.e. talking on your cell phone)

Treating Injuries Caused by Slips & Falls
The treatment plan is dependent on the injury resulting from a slip and fall. However, it is recommended that you treat the injured area with ice (in 15-minute increments) in order to decrease swelling and bruising. Minor injuries may heal on their own with icing and rest; however, more serious injuries may require an orthopedic surgeon and/or a physical therapist. We can do our best to avoid slips and falls, accidents do happen and that means you will want to be prepared with a highly experienced and professional orthopedic surgeon. At Total Orthopedics & Spine, we have six orthopedic physicians and on-site physical therapists who can help. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.