Hand and wrist injuries are common in Winter
Winter weather conditions bring with them a variety of potential risks for injury. One of the most common winter incidents that lead to an injury is a fall on the ice and snow. Slipping and falling on ice can be a scary experience. Ice can be difficult to see both at night and during the day. What looks like water pooled on the pavement can actually be a sheet of ice. You could step off the curb and right onto a slippery ice patch. You may be able to recover and only skid briefly, but severe injury can occur if you fall to the ground.
Here are some steps to take to avoid falling on ice:
- Allow more time for travel, don’t rush on ice.
- If walking on ice is unavoidable, bend your knees slightly and take shorter steps.
- If you are falling, don’t put all the pressure on your wrists to break your fall. Putting too much pressure on your wrists can result in wrist breaks and fractures.
- Use shoes or other footwear that have good traction.
- Keep your arms free and avoid carrying heavy objects when walking on ice.
A fall on the icy pavement can cause wrist injuries such as fractures and strains. When you take a fall, your natural instinct is to extend your arms and brace your fall with your hands. The impact of the fall on your hands can cause a severe wrist or hand strain or even fracture. The result can be a serious injury if not treated properly. Your wrist may heal improperly, which could lead to chronic pain later in life. So please remember to use exercise caution when walking outside during this time of year; and have an orthopedist evaluate the injury if you do fall and have wrist pain as a result of the fall.
Tedd Weisman, MD, FAAOS