Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 13:26 EDT

Avoid Falls on the Ice This Winter

December 9, 2013

CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Winter is here, with its frigid temperatures, howling winds and snowy, icy conditions. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) reports falls on icy surfaces are a major cause of ankle sprains and fractures and offers these tips to keep you safe this winter season.

    1. Wear low-heeled boots or overshoes with good traction.  High-heeled boots
       may be in style, but for walking on snow and ice it's best to forego
       fashion in favor of safety.
    2. Watch for ice and snow--Holiday winter wonderlands can be beautiful but
       also dangerous - watch for ice or snow patches along your trail. The
       ankle joint can be more vulnerable to serious injury from falling on ice
       as it accelerates the fall and often causes more severe trauma since the
       foot can move in any direction after it slips.
    3. As soon as you get inside, remove your boots or dry them well. Snow and
       ice can remain on shoes, leading to falls indoors.
    4. Never assume the ability to walk means your ankle isn't broken or badly
       sprained. Putting weight on the injured joint can worsen the problem and
       lead to chronic instability, joint pain and arthritis later in life. It
       is also possible to have both a fractured and sprained ankle at the same
       time, and a bad sprain can mask a fracture. It's best to have an injured
       ankle evaluated as soon as possible by a foot and ankle surgeon for
       proper diagnosis and treatment.
    5. If you do experience a fall or injury, call a foot and ankle surgeon for
       prompt evaluation and treatment. Use R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice,
       Compression, and Elevation) to help reduce the pain and control swelling
       around the injury in the meantime.

Falls happen quickly. On average less than two seconds elapse between the beginning and end of a fall, so be aware of what you can do to protect yourself in that time. If you fall on an icy spot and hurt your ankle, the best advice is to seek medical attention immediately to aid in early diagnosis and proper treatment and reduce the risk of further damage.

To learn more about foot and ankle health topics, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon’s website, FootHealthFacts.org.

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society of over 7,000 foot and ankle surgeons. Founded in 1942, the College’s mission is to promote research and provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its consumer website, FootHealthFacts.org.

SOURCE American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

Source: PR Newswire