Orthopedic injuries can happen easily in the cold weather months, simply because ice and snow create a hazardous environment that makes it easy to slip or fall. Simple activities like walking to your car or driving to work become far more hazardous once winter conditions are involved.
What Are the Most Common Winter Injuries?
Winter weather contributes to slips and falls, and a tumble on steps, the sidewalk or the street can lead to hip, knee or back pain that lasts far past the spring thaw. Snow poses another seasonal hazard; the repetitive motion of shoveling can lead to back or shoulder injuries. Even your vehicle poses a risk, lowered visibility, snow and ice increase your risk of accident. Luckily for those of us living in Florida, we do not have to worry about the snow. But if you are traveling North or have families living in the Northern part of the United States, here are some things to look out for:
Snow Related Injuries
Snow is dangerous stuff. A recent research study found that there are about 11.500 visits to the emergency room each year just from snow shoveling. Most of these injuries were to the back and shoulder; this does not include the heart attacks that result from sedentary folks who take to the driveway to vigorously clear things off.
Weather related risks rise during the cold winter months; snow, ice and sleet make roads less safe for everyone who has to venture out. About 445,000 people had weather related injuries while driving over a 10-year period, according to a recent study. Auto injuries can leave patients suffering from next, back and limb injuries that need surgery to truly improve.
Slips and Falls
Salt, sand and de-icer only do so much. Winter weather can still make the pavement and all surfaces hazardous. Even if you do not experience icy weather – Florida is not likely to see much snow – heavy fall rains can lead to slippery conditions and unexpected falls. Simply walking through a wet parking lot and then into a store can cause a fall, because the store floor will be wet and slippery.
Fall and winter pose more hazards than spring and summer, because of increased precipitation and depending on where you live, snow and ice. Taking extra precautions can help you avoid any injuries, including the lasting types that could need orthopedic specialist attention.
For those of you on Florida – the threats you may see are hazards from rain. We hope you don’t need us because of a seasonal fall or injury, but if you do, we can help. Contact the Southeast Orthopedic Specialist team to learn more about your options and to get releif after an injury.Return to Blog