As the first snowflakes begin to fall and slippery walkways become a common condition, we see an increase in ankle sprain injuries at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM. In many cases, the trips and stumbles that cause these injuries could have been prevented. Follow our do’s and don’ts below to help protect your ankles this winter:
Do: wear appropriate footwear if you are going to be out in snow or ice. Be sure you are wearing boots or shoes with low, sturdy heels and a patterned tread to prevent slipping. Save the high heeled fashion boots or shoes for parties only.
Don’t: carry so many bags and packages at one time that you can’t see the pavement. An obstructed view means you won’t notice that there’s a crack in the sidewalk or someone dropped a water bottle that could cause you to trip and fall.
Do: plot a course that will be the least likely to result in an ankle twist. After a storm, note where the snow has been cleared and sidewalks salted and choose those routes even if it means a few extra steps to get into your office or the store.
Do: be vigilant in entryways. Sometimes the slipperiest conditions are just inside the door where everyone enters with their wet shoes and boots.
Do: look for well lit areas when walking at night and be sure that the outdoor lighting at your home is all functioning properly. Icy patches can be particularly difficult to see when it’s dark.
Don’t: Delay seeking treatment if you’ve injured your ankle. With all there is to do during this busy holiday season, it’s tempting to put off seeking treatment for an ankle injury but this can have seriously debilitating long-term consequences. Symptoms of an ankle injury include pain, bruising and swelling. Just because you can still walk on it doesn’t mean it’s not sprained. For most patients who suffer with chronic ankle pain and weak ankles, the cause can be traced back to previous injuries that were not treated promptly or completely. Let our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, examine your ankle and prescribe the correct treatment to allow your ankle to properly heal. Call us for an appointment at our Somers Point office at: (609) 927-4894.