Winter Means Broken Ankles and Wrists

Winter might be a time for ice skating, sled riding, skiing and other sports, but it can also lead to wrist and ankle fractures from falling on icy surfaces.

Property owners are responsible for repairing cracked and broken sidewalks-even public sidewalks that abut property in some cases. These walkways can become hazardous once snow or freezing rain falls. Unfortunately, many property owners fail to either make necessary repairs or take measures that to minimize the risk of slip and falls from ice and snow on sidewalks.

Once snow falls, the property owner should immediately sweep the area and keep snow away from the sidewalk to prevent it from melting on the walk and freezing. Salting the area is an inexpensive way of melting ice, but its corrosiveness can break up cement. Sand provides traction but fails to melt ice and can be messy and unattractive. As the ice melts, the property owner should sweep away the water to prevent it from freezing again. One alternative is spreading salt and sand over the sidewalk in the appropriate amounts as indicated in instructions on containers holding these materials.

Anyone can sustain a fractured wrist or ankle from falling onto a hard surface. Individuals with osteoporosis and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Wrists are reportedly the most commonly broken bone in individuals over 65. Common symptoms of a wrist fracture are wrist pain, swelling and deformity of the injured area.

When the fracture involves cartilage in the wrist joint, surgery could be necessary if the cartilage surface doesn't sufficiently align during a resetting. With a severe fracture, surgical repositioning of the bones helps prevent future problems. In elderly persons or those with osteoporosis, surgery might not be appropriate because a perfect restoration of the broken bones might not be necessary. This is because individuals in this age group may not have heavy demands on their wrists as younger people, especially younger laborers.

Ankle fractures are tender to touch and involve swelling, bruising and immediate pain. If the fracture is barely out of place, a short leg cast or high-top shoe might suffice for around six weeks. If the bone is out of place or unstable, however, a plate and screws on the side of or inside it might be surgically implanted to realign bone fragments.

Contact Smiley Law

If you've been injured from a slip and fall on a sidewalk, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Smiley & Smiley, LLP today.