In Fairfield County, we’re beginning to get our first taste of winter with some freezing rain and snow starting to fall. At Patrick Fettinger, DPM we know this makes ankle sprains far more likely. We want to take this opportunity to offer our patients some tips on preventing this common winter injury.
Show Good Shoe Sense
One of the best ways to avoid ankle twisting injuries is by wearing appropriate shoes. Ice and slippery conditions create natural instability—you don’t need spiky heels or fashion boots with no tread making it worse. Wide, chunky heels are best. If that doesn’t accessorize well with your holiday look, pack your party shoes and plan to change when you arrive at your destination.
Watch Your Step
When it’s cold, it’s natural to bundle up but be sure that scarves and hats are not limiting your peripheral vision. Plot your course on snowy days by looking for the best-cleared path or walkway to your destination.
Make Two Trips
Avoid carrying so many packages that you can’t see the ground in front of you to detect icy patches and changes in surface elevations that could cause a fall. You’ll also want to keep your arms free to help maintain your balance or break a fall if you do go down.
Not leaving enough time between tasks or running behind for a holiday event can leave you racing and more likely to trip or not see an object in front of you. It also results in risky choices—like running into the florist to pick up flowers for your host while wearing your stiletto-heeled boots.
Know What to Do
If you do slip and fall, recognize the signs of an ankle injury and take immediate action. Pain, swelling and bruising are all indicators of a potential sprain. Start the RICE regimen—rest, ice, compression, and elevation—right away. Don’t delay seeking treatment. In some cases, it may be difficult to tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture. Contact our New Fairfield (203-746-9660) or Middlebury (203-598-0357) office for an appointment as soon as possible so that our podiatrist, Dr. Patrick Fettinger, can examine your ankle and determine the extent of the injury and the proper treatment.