Winter is finally here, and the temperatures are dropping fast. With it comes snow, ice, and freezing rain. That makes for slippery conditions and time to be especially mindful of injuries. It’s common for podiatrists to see several injuries associated with this season. Let’s take a moment to look at the most common injuries that can happen when the cold begins.
Whenever outdoor temperatures drop to near or below freezing, frostbite can occur. It can happen when you expose your skin for extended periods. The elderly and diabetics are especially vulnerable as they have poorer circulation. Outdoor workers are also at risk. Frostbite is most likely to occur at the extremities, fingers, toes, ears, or nose. To prevent frostbite, try to minimize the time you spend outdoors. It’s a good idea to wear heavy wool socks, two pairs if necessary.
It’s easy to slip and fall between the ice, snow, and freezing rain. The ligaments might tear when the ankle twists or receives too much force. If the damage is bad enough, it may become permanent. The symptoms of a sprained ankle are pain, swelling, or a bruise in the ankle area. The best way to prevent one is to wear proper supportive footwear. Applying ice to the site, keeping your ankle rested, and wrapping it in compression bandages can all help a sprained ankle. Ankle braces can also help. Finally, regularly stretching can help keep your ankle limber.
General fractures can occur whenever you trip or slip and put excessive pressure or strain on your foot or ankle. Almost 25% of all the body’s bones are in the foot, many of them tiny. Stress fractures are quite common. If you experience any pain, bruising, tenderness, sensitivity to touch, difficulty walking, or putting pressure on your foot, you may have suffered a fracture.
As always, if you do find an issue or are experiencing any pain or discomfort, contact a specialist right away.
Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Riane Teagarden, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York, for more tips and expert advice. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.