One of the most common injuries we see in our clinic is a broken wrist (typically, a distal radius fracture). Most people injury their wrist by means of a FOOSH injury. FOOSH stands for Fall On Out-Stretched Hand. When someone is falling, the instinctual thing to do is to put out your hand to protect your face or head. Avoiding an injury to the face or head is important, but can still lead to a nasty wrist fracture, possible surgery, and weeks or months of therapy. While we are still in the winter season, we should take a moment to review the proper way to walk on ice and snow in order to avoid a possible FOOSH injury. As you can see from the awesome graphic at the end of the blog (graphic taken from Avera Dells Area Hospital and Avera Medical Group Dell Rapids’ Facebook page), when walking on ice your center of gravity should be on your front leg instead of between your two legs. Walking in this manner, allows your weight to be distributed through your flat foot and not on your heel that can slip and cause a FOOSH injury. So, remember even though walking like an Egyptian is fun, it’s always safer to walk like a Penguin when walking on ice!
Now that we have reviewed how to walk on ice to avoid a FOOSH injury, let’s explore just a little more about what occurs anatomically with a FOOSH injury. The most common type of wrist fracture is a Colles’ fracture.
This fracture occurs when one lands on the palm of the hand causing the distal portion of the radius to fracture and angulate towards the back of the hand/wrist. The radius is most commonly broken, but a FOOSH injury can also include a fracture of the ulna bone as well. We could go into great detail about wrist anatomy and other wrist fractures, but we will save that for another time.
For now, the main take away point is that when most people say they broke their wrist, they are most likely referring to a distal radius fracture. If you or someone you know has a wrist fracture, the experienced clinicians at Ascend Hand Therapy are here to help you get back out on the dance floor and start walking like an Egyptian again… or should we say, like a penguin!