Our region recently experienced icy conditions, and as the winter season goes on, we are likely to see more ice and snow.  Winter weather can be unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared to prevent serious injury.

Quincy Medical Group (QMG) Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Adam Derhake shared, “Due to the unique weather conditions during the winter, the number of orthopedic injuries that result from falls increases dramatically. A bad fall can have serious health consequences for a patient and can even require surgical orthopedic care.”

Dr. Derhake said even a seemingly insignificant snowfall can create unstable footing. He offers a few tips to help keep you safe this winter.

“I recommend to patients that they maintain a clear driveway and sidewalk, which includes not just clearing snow, but also laying down salt,” he shared. “For patients with more limited mobility, I recommend that they plan ahead if a winter storm is forecasted so that they have enough supplies to stay indoors until the conditions improve.”

Ice and snow are not the only factors to consider when heading outdoors this winter. Lighting and clothing can also contribute to injuries.

“The fewer daylight hours in the winter means that we spend a lot more time walking outside in the dark. Patients should make sure to turn on their outdoor lighting at home and park in well-lit areas of the parking lot,” explained Dr. Derhake. “Also, the cold temperatures require bulky winter clothing, which can sometimes impede mobility and/or visibility.”

He adds that even if you don’t typically use an assistive device, such as a cane, one may be necessary to help you walk safely in winter conditions. Taking your time can go a long way in preventing potential injuries.

“Overall, people just need to take a little extra time in the winter and be patient to ensure that they can get from point A to point B safely,” he said.

If you do experience an injury, the QMG Orthopedics team is here for you. QMG Ortho Now offers immediate access to expert orthopedic care. QMG Ortho Now allows you to walk-in, without an appointment, to see an orthopedic provider.

For more information, visit quincymedgroup.com/qmgorthonow or call 217-222-2663.