Hanging holiday lights holds hidden danger, surgeon warns

December 11, 2015
Hanging holiday lights holds hidden danger, surgeon warns
Slips and falls from ladders can result in serious foot and ankle injuries.

(HealthDay)—Putting up holiday lights can lead to serious foot injuries from slips and falls, an expert warns.

For example, a fall from a ladder can cause a broken heel, said Dr. Pedro Cosculluela, an orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital who specializes in foot and ankle problems.

"A heel fracture is a terrible, life-changing event, and I see too many of these cases around the holidays after people fall off their ladders," he said in a hospital news release.

"Heel bone fractures are commonly associated with skin and soft tissue injuries, which need immediate medical attention because they can quickly lead to infection," he explained.

Many people with broken heels require with plates and screws to put the bone back together and hold it in place.

"The biggest complication these patients face isn't the surgery, but wound , as traditional, long incisions can injure the skin's blood supply which lengthens the healing process," Cosculluela said. "When possible, I perform this surgery with minimally invasive techniques to help reduce the risk of wound healing issues."

When hanging , inspect your ladder before use, secure it to the house, and extend it at least three feet above the roof, the U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises.

Explore further: Doctors offer fall clean-up safety advice

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about winter health and safety.

Related Stories

Doctors offer fall clean-up safety advice

October 9, 2015
(HealthDay)—Fall clean-up often means it's time to drag out your ladder and rake. But what may seem like an easy task can lead to serious injury if you don't take proper precautions.

The Ilizarov method heals fractures just as well as pins and screws

October 14, 2014
The Ilizarov method is routinely used in eastern Europe in the treatment of bone fractures. Studies of Swedish patients have shown that the unorthodox steel frame has many advantages over traditional open surgery, opening ...

Smoking affects the heart, lungs ... and bones

January 3, 2014
As the new year begins, many people will resolve to quit smoking. Although most smokers realize the habit isn't good for their hearts and lungs, Washington University orthopaedic surgeons remind them that lung and heart health ...

In debated surgical procedure, technique trumps technology

March 26, 2015
A team of orthopedic surgeons from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that modern technology for healing distal femur fractures is as safe and effective as its more established alternative, ...

Combining adult stem cells with hormone may speed bone fracture healing

December 9, 2015
A combination of adult stem cells and parathyroid hormone significantly increased new bone formation in laboratory animals and may speed the healing process for human bone fractures caused by osteoporosis, a new study shows.

Avoid holiday decorating hazards

December 10, 2013
Holiday decorating is supposed to be a joyous time. But without the proper precautions, it can be dangerous—even deadly. So before you pull those light strings out of the basement and set your ladder up against the side ...

Recommended for you

India launches 'Modicare', world's biggest health scheme

September 23, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the world's biggest health insurance scheme, promising free coverage for half a billion of India's poorest citizens ahead of national elections next year.

Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

September 21, 2018
Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year—more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

Patient-centered visual aid helps physicians discuss risks, treatments with parents

September 21, 2018
A series of illustrations and charts designed as decision aids for parents of children with minor head injuries helped them communicate with emergency medicine physicians and make informed decisions about their child's care, ...

Smart pills dumb down medical care, experts warn

September 21, 2018
Enthusiasm for an emerging digital health tool, the smart pill, is on the rise but researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have published a paper in the American Journal of Bioethics that cautions health care ...

Crunched for time? High-intensity exercise = same cell benefits in fewer minutes

September 20, 2018
A few minutes of high-intensity interval or sprinting exercise may be as effective as much longer exercise sessions in spurring beneficial improvements in mitochondrial function, according to new research. The small study ...

China's doctor shortage prompts rush for AI health care

September 20, 2018
Qu Jianguo, 64, had a futuristic medical visit in Shanghai as he put his wrist through an automated pulse-taking machine and received the result within two minutes on a mobile phone—without a doctor present.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.