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    Clean up Christmas safely, injury-free

    7:02 AM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the rate of Christmas decorating injuries has been creeping up.

    Since 2009, the estimated number of holiday decoration-related injuries has increased at a rate of 1,000 per year, from 12,000 in 2009, to 13,000 in 2010, to 14,000 in 2011. Falling on stairs and off of ladders while taking down lights, ornaments and decorations often results in wrist and ankle fractures.

    Care should also be taken when carrying large boxes up and down stairs to the attic for storage to avoid back injuries. One of the physicians from Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics could offer tips on how to protect your back and how to avoid fractures - as well as how to treat them if they do occur.

    Dr. Kathryn J. McCarthy subspecializes in orthopaedic surgery of the spine. She stops by "THV 11 News This Morning" to talk about preventing cleanup injuries. 

    • The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is typically the time people choose to "clean up Christmas."

    • According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the rate of Christmas decorating injuries has been creeping up.

    o Since 2009, the estimated number of holiday decoration-related injuries has increased at a rate of 1,000 per year, from 12,000 in 2009, to 13,000 in 2010, to 14,000 in 2011.

    • The most common injuries come from people falling off ladders and cutting themselves on broken ornaments.

    • Falling on stairs and off of ladders while taking down lights, ornaments and decorations often results in wrist and ankle fractures.

    • Care should also be taken when carrying large boxes up and down stairs to the attic for storage to avoid back injuries.

    • A broken wrist usually causes immediate (acute) pain, tenderness, bruising and swelling.

    • There are different types of wrist fractures, and some symptoms resulting from a fall require immediate attention.

    • A fractured ankle can range from a simple break in one bone, which may not stop you from walking, to several fractures, which forces your ankle out of place and may require that you not put weight on it for three months.

    • Since there is such a wide range of injuries, there is also a wide range of how people heal after their injury.

    • Because a severe ankle sprain can feel the same as a broken ankle, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends every ankle injury should be evaluated by a physician.

    • Common complaints for a broken ankle include:
    • Immediate and severe pain
    • Swelling
    • Bruising
    • Tender to touch
    • Cannot put any weight on the injured foot
    • Deformity ("out of place"), particularly if the ankle joint is dislocated as well

    (Source: Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics)

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