Five Common Slip-and-Fall Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Five Common Slip-and-Fall Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Falls aren’t just something you need to worry about as you get older; in fact, you can slip and fall at any point in your life. While a fall might just be an embarrassing accident, if your injuries are severe, it could alter your entire life. You can avoid injuries by learning how you can make your house more “fall proof” to avoid being injured.

Our team at Mehling Orthopedics specializes in all kinds of orthopedic injuries, including those sustained from a slip or fall. Our orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit are experts in traumatic injuries. We can help you get the treatment you need, as well as give you some tips to prevent falls in the future.

What are fall injuries

Falls can happen at any point in your life; sometimes they’re just a mishap, while other times it’s a sign of a bigger problem. You may not always suffer an injury when you fall, but falls can also result in very serious injuries that affect the rest of your life. 

The following are five of the most common injuries sustained when you fall:

1. Broken bones

Fractures, which are broken bones, are a common injury sustained in falls. If you break a bone, you need prompt treatment, because the bone needs to be set so it can heal properly. You may notice bruising and swelling around the injury, which makes it much harder to treat if you don’t seek treatment quickly.

2. Head trauma

Head injuries, no matter how minor they seem, are a reason for concern. If you happen to slip and hit your head, it’s imperative that you get treatment right away. Even if you don’t seem to have many symptoms, there could be more going on inside of your head that you can’t see.

Concussions are a common form of head injury sustained in a fall. Minor concussions may go away on their own, while more serious concussions could lead to memory loss and other complications.

3. Soft tissue injuries

Underneath your skin you have a number of connective tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When you fall, there’s a chance that you could damage or tear one of these tissues. The problem is, soft tissue injuries can take days or weeks to become apparent.

Without proper care, these injuries could lead to chronic pain or other problems down the road.

4. Abrasions or cuts

While cuts and abrasions may be the least significant type of injury you may suffer in a fall, they can sometimes be a sign of a bigger problem underneath, such as damage to an organ. Cuts and scrapes often only need minor treatment.

5. Spinal cord trauma

Injuries to your spinal cord are life-altering, so immediate treatment should be a priority. These injuries happen when your spinal cord is either compressed or severed in a trauma, such as a fall. Your spinal cord is needed to sustain life, so if you think you’ve injured it, make sure to seek help immediately.

Tips on avoiding falls

Many falls happen simply because you don’t notice something in your surroundings. You might step forward, not realizing the curb is right in front of you. Keeping alert to what’s around you can significantly decrease your chances of a slip or fall. 

Other precautions you can take to avoid slip-and-fall injuries include:

If you can avoid getting on a step stool or ladder to reach something, you should. This can avoid unnecessary falls due to tripping or slipping on the ladder. 

Stairs are another area where falls frequently occur. Many of these mishaps can be avoided by simply holding onto the side rail on the wall. If you don’t have a handrail by your stairway, it’s a good idea to have one installed.

Lights are another tool that can help prevent accidents. Don’t try to navigate your home in the dark. Even if you think you know where everything is, there’s bound to be something in the way to trip you. Turn on the lights and make sure the switches are easily accessible to make it easier for you to see.

Not every accident can be prevented, but if you take these steps to make your environment a little safer, it’s less likely you’ll suffer a fall from tripping or slipping.

If you’ve sustained an injury due to a fall, call one of our offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, or West Islip, New York, to make an appointment with our team.

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