Reducing Winter Fall Risk

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Baby it’s cold outside! At Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS, we know that means snow, sleet, ice, and a greater chance for our patients to take a spill. A misstep in slippery conditions can mean an ankle sprain, fracture or other injury. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your risk.

Be aware. Many falls are caused by simply not paying attention. It starts from the moment you put your car in park. Before you get out of the car, survey your options to get where you are going and choose the best cleared path. Just because you can’t see ice doesn’t mean it’s not there. Be extra careful of dark patches which may be ice.

Make smart footwear choices. Most people know to wear boots or shoes with a slip resistant tread and low or no heels when there is winter precipitation in the forecast. However, it’s those split-second decisions to “just run into the store to pick up crackers” on your way to a party where accidents occur. Always pack the party shoes and change once you arrive at your destination.

Watch your step. It’s essential to see the path in front of you. Don’t wear scarves or hoods that obscure your peripheral vision. Keep your arms free. Too many packages block your view and prevent you from using your arms to help maintain balance.

If, even with taking extra precautions, you fall or wrench your ankle, be alert to signs of a sprain or break which may include:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • Tenderness

The initial treatment should follow the RICE method:

  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Compression

  • Elevation

The next step is to contact at our Wayne, NJ office by calling: (973) 595-1555 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, will examine your foot or ankle and order the necessary x-rays or other imaging studies to determine if you have an injury that requires further treatment.