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Thursday, April 19 News

The Running Doctor: Winter mishaps

With winter upon us serious injuries from ice-related falls can occur.

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Fact box

When an individual falls on icy surfaces, there are major causes of foot and ankle sprains and fractures, and it's critical to seek prompt treatment to prevent further damage that can prolong healing.

Foot and ankle joints are vulnerable to serious injury, particularly any hard fall on the ice. The mechanism of the fall on ice accentuates the fall and often causes more severe trauma because the foot can go in any direction after slipping.

It is not uncommon to fall on your hand and fracture your wrist, or worse, a hip.

Runners should use critical thinking before running on icy or snow-covered roads.

In cases of less severe fractures and sprains, it is possible to walk and mistakenly believe the injury doesn't require medical treatment. "Never assume the ability to walk means your ankle isn't broken or badly sprained."

If you are weight-bearing on the injured area, it can worsen the problem and lead to chronic instability, joint pain and arthritis later in life. Early diagnosis and proper treatment of the injured area reduces the risk of further damage to oneself.

Dr. Robert Weiss, a sports podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and the 1988 Olympic Trials and is a veteran of 30 Marathon. Weiss is a Fairfield native and has a practice in Darien. For information, visit www.therunningdoctor.net.