Doctors share tips on how to stay safe in the snow to avoid long-term injuries

Doctors share what you need to know to stay safe in the snow

PHILADLEPHIA (CBS) -- The snow has many folks slipping and sliding no doubt causing injuries. A simple walk to his car got dicey for Marc DeSouza, who lives in Wayne.

"I hit a little patch of ice and slipped, didn't fall down but my knee twisted and I felt something odd," DeSouza said.

DeSouza was diagnosed with an MCL sprain at Rothman Orthopedics. 

"The MCL is a ligament on the inner aspect of the knee that provides stability," said Dr. Stephen Stache, who works at Rothman Orthopedics. 

Dr. Stache is expecting to see more weather-related injuries like what happened to DeSouza.

"Knee injuries, ankle injuries are very common. Hand and wrist injuries are common when people fall and go to brace themselves," Dr. Stache said.

The slip and fall accidents are piling up around the region.

"Sometimes that thin layer of ice, with snow on top so people don't see it. People think they're walking safely, then they end up falling," Dr. Rashida Mengi said.

Dr. Mengi with Virtua Health's Urgent Care in Mount Holly said in addition to injuries falling, they're starting to see patients complaining of back pain related to shoveling.

"You want to make sure you have a good posture when shoveling," Dr. Mengi said.

Dr. Mengi said it's important to keep your back straight, don't twist when shoveling and it's best to do it in spurts taking your time.

"That's a lot safer than it is to wait and let it all fall, then go out and then you have a whole lot of snow," Dr. Mengi said.

Doctors have said heart attacks are the biggest risk linked to shoveling. Stop if you're short of breath or have chest pain. Be sure to dress warmly with the upcoming frigid weather to avoid hypothermia.

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