Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Preventing and Treating Winter Slip and Fall Injuries

Did you know that 64% of accidents in winter time are related to slips and falls? Winter weather can bring wet, slick, slipper conditions to normally secure footings, and when a slip or fall happens it’s often joints that take the brunt of the damage.

Preventing Slips and Falls

You can help protect yourself from injury in the winter by following a few basic guidelines. These aren’t foolproof, but they can help minimize your risks:

  • Wear footwear with a good ridged sole for traction. Smooth soled shoes are a recipe for a slip and fall if the sidewalk, steps, or streets are wet with rain or frozen over with sleet or ice.
  • Walk with a friend so you can look out for each other. However, if both you and your friend are feeling unsteady, don’t hang on to each other because if one person goes down, you both will.
  • Keep rock salt in hand to melt ice away from porches and stoops, to make simple tasks like retrieving the mail or feeding a pet safer. You can also spread sand on problem areas before a storm to provide grit and keep ice from creating a glass-like surface.

If you do suffer a slip and fall, seeing a doctor as soon as possible should be your first move, especially if you impacted hard on a joint such as an elbow, wrist, knee, or hip. Dr. Strasburger can evaluate your injury and recommend a course of treatment to help you recover quickly.

There are many non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments available, including PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections to help speed healing, and iovera cold therapy to help “freeze away” pain and make you more comfortable while you heal and rehabilitate.

If you need a brace to help stabilize a joint after an injury, you can also turn to ARYSE:

  • Wrist braces can help in the case of mild sprains or strains by providing stability and support and immobilizing small bones while the tissues heal.
  • Knee braces can provide support while preventing further injury via over-extension or flexion during healing.
  • Shoulder braces can mimic the shoulder’s natural correct position and allow range of motion that is carefully guided during the healing process.
  • Elbow braces can partially immobilize the elbow and be set to allow only as much motion as is possible without triggering pain reactions.

Ask Dr. Strasburger for a consultation if you have suffered a slip and fall, or if you notice your joints are painful or swollen during the winter. He can help design a treatment plan to get you back to a healthy, pain-free existence.