OSSM Elderly

Winter Tips To Prevent Falls For The Elderly

As we head into the colder months, we want to remind our elderly patients to take extra care when maneuvering the ice and snow. Studies show that when facing icy conditions, adults over the age of 65 had double the odds of having great difficulty when leaving their home[1], and fall-related fractures are statistically higher in older adults during the winter months[2].  Hip and arm fractures are more common among the elderly in cold weather due to the higher incidence of falls. Both of these breaks greatly affect quality of life, and can pose a risk for more health complications. Other serious injuries can also arise from a fall.

At OSSM, our goal is not just to help people heal, but to also set them up for a healthier life. We want our aging adult patients to have a healthy, joy filled winter, and not spend the holidays in a cast or healing after an injury. Being prepared is the key to preventing fractures, and we have some tips to help you do just that this winter:

Give Yourself Extra Time

We all know how it feels to be in a rush: it’s easier to drop things, lose something, and drive a little faster. This winter, giving yourself extra time could be the difference between getting to your destination safely or suffering an injury. Give yourself extra time to get where you are going, and take it slow when maneuvering icy or snowy terrain. Your body will thank you!

Dress For Success

Dressing for cold weather can go beyond earmuffs and a coat. Cold weather shoes or boots with good traction on snow or ice are vitally important to reducing the risk of falling in the winter. For walks, many companies make traction cleats that fit over the bottom of a shoe and provide added help for sure footing. They can be found at stores like REI, or even on amazon and can be used on pavement.  Another thing to think about when heading out in the cold: keeping your hands free. Not being weighed down or off balance by carrying heavy bags can help prevent falls, and improve balance.

Be Cautious

Winter is the season to use handrails, plan routes according to what is safest, and keep all walkways cleared. Don’t assume a sidewalk or driveway won’t be slippery just by looking at it, make sure to carefully proceed to ensure it isn’t slick. When getting out of a vehicle, plant both feet firmly on the ground before climbing out the rest of the way. This will prevent one foot from slipping out from under you. You can use the door frame of the car to steady yourself and keep your balance.

Checking the weather before you leave or plan an outing can help with preparedness as well. It is also wise to have a safety plan: inform someone before you leave to check in with when you get back home, or carry a cell phone to call for help if you need it. Being extra cautious could prevent an entire winter nursing an injury.

We Can Help

At Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, our team of board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic specialists are there for you after a fall. We help orthopedic patients every day with fracture care, joint replacement, and so much more. Each of our physicians focuses on one or more unique orthopedic specialties, so we can ensure your need will be met.  We treat each patient as an individual, whether you are being seen for a fracture or full joint replacement (and everything in between!).

Our experience doesn’t stop at just treating a fracture or injury however. We help our patients get back to thriving with a custom treatment plan from our team of physical therapists at OPTI (Orthopedic Physical Therapy Institute). Our physical therapists are not only educated and trained to handle a wide variety of orthopedic injuries, surgery recoveries, or maladies, but we also can help with many other complications that may arise from a fall. With our team of experts, we can get your whole body back to functioning, and also help prevent further injuries down the road.

To get back on your feet after surgery or an injury, schedule with our amazing team of physical therapists by calling (208) 966-4476.  

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4463400/

[2] https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/6/1/16

Drive Change

Together We Can Drive Change

Hello,

The focus across outpatient rehab over recent weeks has been on advocating against the proposed Medicare cuts to our industry. At WebPT, we’ve been working to educate as many people as possible on the consequences these cuts will have for patients who need care—people who may not know these cuts are coming, but will certainly feel the effects of them if passed.

In an effort to support you and the industry, our team has added two optional email announcements to your WebPT Reach account that you can use to inform patients of the 9% cuts and educate them on how they can help. The email links to an online form where patients can message their Congressional representatives, urging them to stop these cuts before they go into effect. If you’re interested in checking this resource out for yourself, you can do so here.

You can have the person managing your Reach account set up this email as a one-time workflow to your patients, or they can use our email as a starting point for more customized messaging before sending. Either way, you can use Reach as more than a tool for KPIs and gauging your NPS. 

If we are able to reach only a percentage of the 20 million patients in our system, our collective voices can help raise the issue appropriately and hopefully inspire our elected officials to action!

You can also add the same links to your website and to your social media accounts. 

#TogetherWeCanDriveChange

Nancy Ham

CEO

P 623-522-5673

C 978-697-9932

E nancy.ham@webpt.com

Avoiding Work Related Injuries

How to Avoid Work Related Injuries

Work related injuries can happen suddenly and at any time. Work environments can be rough. It’s important to take care of your health and try and always report a work injury. Far too many people never report their accidents and never receive the medical treatment they need to fully recover. In 2018 alone, there were roughly 5,250 fatal work injuries ad 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses reported. Accidents happen, but a job-related injury should not result in a financial strain for you and your family. To avoid work related injuries it is critical to understand what it means to be safe, not exposed to danger or risk, and the possibility of harm will be lowered. Follow these tips to lower your chances of an unfortunate work accident.

Wear Slip Resistant Shoes– Worn out shoes are known to contribute to slip-and-fall risk, a common cause of workplace injuries.

Proper Housecleaning- Controlling fall- related injuries comes down to conducting regular risk assessments and eliminating all hazards that can increase your risk of slipping, tripping, and falls.

Listen to Your Body- Fatigue, discomfort and pain can be clear indicators that a workplace injury could be on the horizon.

Wear Protecting Gear- If you’re required to work at dangerous heights and jobs, wear the proper gear to ensure your safety.

Check In- Dangerous jobs that have you working alone can increase the level of severe injury. Conduct regular check ins with your company or use proactive monitory incase you suffer an injury or fall when no one is around.

The most-common workplace injuries correlate to some of the most-common workplace accidents. According to the NSC, the three most-common accident types resulting in time missed from work are:

  • Overexertion – This includes lifting, lowering, bending, and repetitive stress.
  • Contact with objects and equipment – This includes being struct by, caught or compressed between, or crushed by machinery, falling objects, and collapsing structures and equipment.
  • Slips, trips, and falls – Falls can cause a variety of types of traumatic injuries, whether they involve slipping on a wet floor or falling from height due to a ladder failure or faulty handrail.

The more distracted, social environment a worker is in, the more likely one is inclined to disregard safe behavior. Be aware of your surroundings and the risk of operating or conducting a job. Sometimes being familiar with a job and action can cause one to increase their carelessness, increasing the likelihood of a work-related injury. Stay aware and safe. Take precautions to ensure your health stays intact.

Injured on the Job? Know your Legal Rights

If you have suffered any type of job-related injury, it is important to know your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, missed time from work, and other losses, and an experienced work injury lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve. Seek a lawyer to learn about your rights and make sure you maximize your financial and physical recovery.

Plantar Fasciitis

Finding the source of pain in your heel

Plantar fasciitis presents itself in the form of pain in the heal, the thick tissue that connects your heel to your toes is called plantar fascia. Plantar Fasciitis is commonly caused by strain injury causing micro-tears to the ligament as it attaches to the heel bone or other areas of tightness on the sole of the foot. Plantar fasciitis often presents itself with stabbing pain in the first steps after you wake up or have been immobile for an extended amount of time, It can also manifest after prolonged amounts of standing. 

Facts:

  • Roughly about 10% of the population will suffer from Plantar Fasciitis
  • Age: range effected are those between 40-60 years of age
  • Weight: obesity plays a factor in 70% of plantar fasciitis cases
  • Heel spurs are often found in roughly 50% of plantar fasciitis cases

Treatment:

Physical therapy: This will help to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles. Often athletic taping is also demonstrated by a therapist to help support the bottom of your foot.

Splint: A splint, often worn at night that stretches your calf and the arch of your foot while you sleep. This helps to keep your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in an extended potion to stretch them while you rest.

Arch supports: arch supports often referred to as orthotics are often used to help evenly distribute the weight more evenly.

Surgery: Surgery is generally only an option after several other failed treatments. 

Prevention:

Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight will alleviate un-needed strain on your plantar fascia

Shoes: Wear shoes with lots of support and cushioning, and when your running shoes start to wear out, replace them. 

Stretch: Stretching helps the flexibility and range of motion within your plantar fascia and Achilles tension cutting down on the potential for strain or injury.

Covid-19 Outbreak Update

Covid-19 Outbreak – A Special Message To Our Patients

To Our Patients:

Due to the latest events of the Covid-19 outbreak, we want to ensure you of our commitment to your health and safety.  At this time we are open and taking extra precautions to ensure cleanliness in our clinics.  We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our staff protected and our patients.

Please do not come into the clinics if you are sick or showing symptoms.  As we monitor the situation we are limiting visitors, and ask that patient’s escorts wait in their vehicles, limiting the amount of people in our waiting areas.  We ask that only patient’s come into the office unless a caregiver is medically necessary.

If you are currently scheduled for a routine follow up visit or elective surgery we may be calling to discuss rescheduling or you may call us at (208) 966-4476.

SI Joint Repair

Relief of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is the joint between the sacrum and the ilium bones. This joint is similar to the shocks on the car, it is meant to absorb and transfer force between the body and legs. We have a right and left SI joint.