Falling on Ice: Orthopaedic Injuries and Prevention

When the peak of winter hits, temperatures become frigid and weather conditions can become dangerous. As sidewalks, driveways and steps become coated with ice, even stepping outside can be a scary situation. Falling on ice is one of the top orthopaedic injuries physicians seen in the office during the winter months.

How can you protect yourself from a serious orthopaedic injury during icy conditions? There are a few things that are within your control even when the weather makes for some treacherous situations.

Tips for preventing falls

  1. Avoid going outside unless absolutely necessary if you know surfaces will be ice covered.
  2. Wear proper footwear such as snow boots with good traction.
  3. Watch your step. Such a simple and obvious suggestion can mean the difference between a nasty fall and safely making it to your destination. Even a path that seems to be clear can have small patches of ice or even black ice. Take precaution when walking and look carefully with each step.
  4. Take small steps and try to shuffle your feet as much as possible.
  5. If you do start to fall, try to control how you land. Prevent injury to your arm, wrist and hand by resisting the instinct to break your fall by reaching out. Trying to bend your knees and falling to the side is your best bet for avoiding injury. If possible, it is also beneficial to tuck your head.

What are the most common types of orthopaedic injuries that result from falling? There are a number of common injuries that orthopaedic surgeons see in the winter as a result of a fall on ice.

Common injuries resulting from falling on ice

  1. Wrist sprains and fractures
  2. Hip fractures
  3. Torn meniscus
  4. Head injury
  5. Dislocated shoulder
  6. Torn or strained anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  7. Lower back pain
  8. Rotator cuff injury
  9. Bruised or fractured coccyx

The best advice to take when winter weather hits…stay inside and stay warm as much as possible! If you do suffer an injury from a fall on ice, be sure to consult your orthopaedic surgeon.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection: Is it Right For You?

When it comes to the latest and greatest health trends, platelet-rich plasma (PRP),has created a significant amount of buzz. PRP is a type of injection that has been known to accelerate the body’s natural healing process using platelets from the patient’s own body. This non-surgical procedure targets the injured area, bringing about relief and healing with little downtime.

How Does PRP Work?

The non-invasive nature of platelet-rich plasma injections makes this procedure a desirable option for many patients. The process begins with drawing blood from the patient’s body and then running it through through a centrifuge. What results is a concentration of platelets that is injected directly into the patient’s injured area. The platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors that stimulate reparative cells for healing. Therefore, the healing process is accelerated by using a more concentrated amount of platelets from the patient’s own blood.

When is PRP Used?

PRP can be used in a variety of ways including a number of orthopaedic issues. Orthopaedic surgeons commonly find success treating the following injuries:

  • Tendonitis
  • Partial tendon tears
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Muscle and ligament injuries
  • Back and spine conditions including herniated discs
  • Nerve damage including sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome

Is PRP Right For You?

When it comes to treating an injury, patients are often looking for the quickest path to relief with minimal downtime. PRP can be a good option for patients that wish to avoid a surgical intervention.

One patient at Agility Orthopaedics recently had a great experience with PRP.

“As an avid distance runner, I was devastated when I found out that I had a tear in my Achilles’ tendon.  I feared I might never run again.  After seeing Dr. Nadaud and discussing my options, we decided that a PRP injection would best help my recovery.  I knew that I wanted a strong, but speedy recovery.  The platelet rich plasma injection helped to do just that.  After much hard work with physical therapy, I am back to running pain free just 4 months after my injection.  Dr. Nadaud made me feel comfortable with the procedure and answered any questions I had along the way.  I have been able to return to my normal life thanks to Dr. Nadaud and his team. “

If you have been suffering from an orthopaedic injury and want to explore non-surgical options, talk to your surgeon about platelet-rich plasma injections as a possible intervention. This type of treatment will not be applicable for all injuries but could be beneficial for a variety of orthopaedic conditions.