You might associate falls with people in their 70s, 80s, and above, but in reality, of the over 9 million falls that take place in the United States annually, the victims of nearly 70% of them are folks age 65 and under.
No matter what your age, and even if you don’t have a condition that puts you at a particular risk for falls, like osteoporosis, the consequences of a fall can be severe and lead to long-term pain.
You can injure many parts of your body during a fall, but what puzzles most people about these mishaps — especially minor ones — is if and when they should seek care from a doctor.
Tri-State Orthopaedics’ Dr. Apurva Dalal doesn’t only have many years of experience behind him in treating diverse injuries, he approaches your care with sensitivity and will always create a treatment plan based on your needs, pain alleviation goals, and personality.
Before you get up from a fall…think twice
When you experience a fall, you’re usually stunned and didn’t expect it to happen. Whether you trip over something, lose your balance on a wet floor, or slip on the proverbial banana peel, once you get over the shock, there are steps you should take — in a very specific sequence — to ensure that you don’t do further damage.
It’s best not to force anything. If you fall and suddenly feel like you can’t move your leg a certain way, for example, don’t try to get up. Attempt to determine what damage has been done as best you can. If you move an injured part of our body too soon or improperly after you hit the ground, you risk making your injuries worse.
If you can get up slowly, do so, but start by getting on your side, then on your knees, and then into a chair.
Next, it’s important to call for help, either from someone near you if you’re in a public place or at home with a friend or family member, or dial 911 if you’re home alone. Your next call should be to Dr. Dalal so you can determine together whether you’re “good to go” or sustained an injury that requires further attention.
What parts of my body am I likely to hurt if I fall?
The most common fall-related orthopedic injuries mirror the most likely places you impact when you fall:
If you’re running and you trip, you could dislocate your shoulder or sprain your wrist. A slip in the kitchen might result in a sprained ankle or a biceps tendon tear caused by trying to use your arm to soften your fall.
If you’re elderly, a fall can mean hip injury that necessitates a hip replacement, a procedure where your damaged hip is swapped out for a prosthetic hip. This surgery alleviates your pain, and it’s a long-term solution, not a band-aid.
Peripheral neuropathy injury — pain, tingling, and numbness in the arms, legs, hands, and feet — can also occur as the result of a fall.
An array of treatment options for fall-related injuries
Dr. Dalal offers a broad range of services to help you recover from your fall. He creates your care plan by talking to you about your fall and injuries, he may take imaging tests, and discusses your treatment options, which include:
- The RICE approach: rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the injured part of our body
- Over-the-counter and safe prescription pain relievers
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Casting or splints
- Two types of traction for fractures: skin or skeletal
- Surgical solutions, including the insertion of internal screws or wires
- External stabilization techniques
- Immobilization methods like splints and casts
- Stem cell treatment, a type of regenerative therapy that enlists your own body to help with healing
Dr. Dalal often starts with conservative treatments, but is versed in the latest surgical techniques and advanced approaches when it comes to freeing you from pain.
Don’t let your injury fall by the wayside
It’s always best to make sure you don’t have an undetected injury and to get advice about your accident and how to proceed. Call our Germantown or Memphis office today, or simply book an appointment online at our website.