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Winter’s Toll on Your Joints: Hands & Wrists

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With slippery conditions everywhere, falls are a common cause of wintertime injures. Our instinct is to try to stop our fall by extending our arms, which often leads to hand and wrist injuries. Individuals of the older population are especially susceptible to wrist injuries after a fall. In the younger population, most wintertime injuries result from falls during outdoor winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Wearing sturdy shoes, watching out for ice and wearing supportive gear such as wrist braces are ways to prevent falls or protect yourself during outdoor activity.

If you do fall and experience a hand or wrist injury this winter, and there is no obvious break but it still hurts, the best course of action usually involves elevating, icing and resting it for a few days. If there is an obvious break, or you are still experiencing discomfort after forty-eight hours, it is important to seek an orthopedic specialist for evaluation.

Treatment options can depend on the type of injury and the age of the patient. With children, many breaks or fractures can be set with a cast and will heal correctly as they grow. For adults, surgery is the best way to make sure the injury is set correctly, restoring normal anatomy. With surgical treatment, recovery is faster and more reliable than the use of a cast. Fortunately, our community is home to Cone Health’s Orthopedic Center of Excellence and a network of joint specialists who undergo continuous training and perform hundreds of successful procedures each year.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Matthew Weingold is an orthopedic surgeon in Greensboro and a member of the Cone Health medical staff. He received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Weingold completed medical school and served his internship at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, followed by an orthopedic residency at University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA where he was Chief Resident. He completed a hand and microvascular surgery fellowship through the University of Alabama in Birmingham, AL.

Dr. Weingold specializes in the treatment of injuries and disorders of the hand, wrist, and elbow including care and treatment for conditions affecting the hand and upper extremities related to trauma, fractures, lacerations, tendon and nerve injuries, arthritis and sports injuries.