Ice heightens injury risk

Icy Conditions

BRISTOL, Va. - Major Sean Carrigan has worked in the Bristol, Virginia police department for 17 years, but two winters ago he thought his career in law enforcement was over.

While going out to clean snow off of his car Carrigan slipped and fell in his driveway. "The leg that broke was the one firmly planted on asphalt. When my other foot went out from under me on the patch of ice it snapped," he told us.

Cases like Carrigan's are something Dr. Eric pParks sees often at Watauga Orthopedics. "After the storm last weekend, Monday we had a ton of folks coming in just falling on the ice. Some of them can be treated without surgery, but a lot need surgery," he said.

Dr. Parks says wrist injuries are the most common as people brace themselves when they fall but other common weather related injuries include fractured or broken ankles and hips.

If it is icy outside it's best to stay indoors if possible, but if you have to go out Dr. Parks say use extreme caution. "Especially in areas where you're not going to have assistance, whether its rails or anyone to walk along side," he said. "It doesn't take much to slip and fall."

That's a lesson Major Carrigan says he learned all too well, and even after two surgeries and extensive physical therapy he is still feeling the lingering effects of it two years later.    

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