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Straight, No Chaser: Orthopedics Quick Tips – Learn How to Fall – The FOOSH injury

By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 21, 2018

colles1
We use a lot a acronyms in the Emergency Room, many of which can’t be repeated in polite company.  Orthopedics and Trauma seem to lend themselves to a few.  There’s GTSBOOM (got the stuff beat out of me, which is an all too common occurrence) and there’s FOOSH.  FOOSH stands for ‘fell on outstretched hand’.
I bring this up because you need to learn how to fall.  FOOSH injuries predictably cause fractures of the distal radius and ulnar (the two bones of the forearm), usually down by the wrist.  These injuries are incredibly common and avoidable.  The most notable injury is the Colles fracture, which is a distal radius fracture.  You’ll know you have it after a fall when your wrist assumes the typical ‘dinner-fork deformity’.
colles-fracture1
So next time you fall, try to make it a glancing blow and avoid placing the full weight of your body on those wrists.  Try to land and roll when you hit – but be extra careful to avoid bumping your head by doing this.  If you get this right, it could save you 6 weeks in a splint, cast or in some cases a trip to the operating room.

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