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Knee injuries among the most common problems after falls

When people fall, the greatest fear they may have is hitting their heads or breaking bones. Death also remains a very real danger, especially from great heights. The older someone is, the greater the concerns he or she may have about making a full recovery.

One 2016 study found that when people suffer falls, ankles suffered the greatest risk of injury at 23%. Knee injuries were next in line at 17%. Back injuries accounted for 16% of injuries.

Causes of slips, trips and falls

The study also tried to identify the main reasons that cause individuals to fall. These are the biomechanical reasons provided:

  • Slippery floors
  • Losing balance or stability
  • Carrying heavy loads
  • Wearing inappropriate footwear
  • Getting older

Identifying knee injuries

People commonly hurt their knees, but how does someone know when injuries are bad enough to warrant medical attention? WebMD states that swelling, tenderness and numbness provide three main signs to look for. In worst-case scenarios, individuals may notice that the knee looks deformed. Pain and an inability to put weight on the leg are also indicators of the need for medical attention. As a general rule, most doctors recommend seeking medical attention after a fall, especially for older people.

In some instances, individuals may not have immediate access to medical attention. Paramedics often take some time to respond or the individual may return home without realizing the extent of the injuries. Some people get by on controlling the swelling and taking over-the-counter medication. However, if symptoms worsen, are unbearable or persist for two weeks or more, WebMD recommends returning to a doctor.