Slip and fall injuries aren’t always minor nuisances. Sometimes, they involve serious orthopedic problems that can cause chronic pain and that may require orthopedic surgery. You can reduce your risk of suffering a slip and fall injury by keeping your walkways and driveway clear of snow and by regularly scattering rock salt. When walking around town, orthopedic surgeons recommend taking the following precautions.

Modify Your Footwear If you’re a New Yorker, you probably dig out the snow boots from your closet shortly after Thanksgiving. If the tread has worn down; however, consider purchasing new snow boots with a deep tread. Additionally, you can make your footwear even safer by slipping on a pair of over-the-shoe ice cleats. If you’re heading to work, you can stash a pair of stylish shoes in your bag; just remember to wear your snow boots again when you head out.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time Estimate the time it’ll take to reach your destination and then add at least five to 10 minutes. Giving yourself plenty of time allows you to walk slowly to avoid orthopedic injuries.

Plan Your Route Always choose to walk on cleared, salted sidewalks whenever possible, even if this means taking a longer route. Avoid walking along the street because you could easily get hurt if a car spins out of control.

Keep Your Hands Free Use a bag with a shoulder strap to keep your hands free while walking. It’s also a good idea to wear gloves instead of putting your hands in your pockets for warmth. This way, if you lose your balance, you can grab onto something to  avoid falling and sustaining an orthopedic injury .

Be Aware of the Ground Scan the ground ahead of you as you walk and be on the lookout for black ice. If you aren’t sure if an area has black ice, test it with your shoe before placing your weight on it. Remember to take short steps.

Dr. Manouel of  Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine  has extensive experience in treating slip and fall injuries. If you fall this winter, contact us right away at (347) 537-2404. Our orthopedic surgery practice in Forest Hills offers convenient evening hours to accommodate untimely injuries.

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