We recently published a post that brought some pretty staggering numbers to light regarding falls in the United States and the kind of damage they bring; both physically as well as economically. 800,000 hospitalizations are attributed to falls every year. At least 300,000 of those hospitalizations are older Americans being hospitalized for hip fractures. Tens of billions of dollars are spent each year on medical costs associated with falls, with 75% of those costs being covered by Medicare and Medicaid. And, according to CDC estimates, fatalities attributed to falls among older populations rose 30% from 2007 to 2016, and if current trends continue, we could see seven deaths every hour just from falls by 2030.
Hands and wrists are also at severe risk in the event of a fall, and the loss of function of one or both hands can be devastating to a person’s independence, mobility, and overall ability to function. The FOOSH injury is the designation given to a “fall onto an outstretched hand” and named for the reflexive response of putting one’s hands out to try to break a fall when one is detected.
A post on Healthline details the types of FOOSH injuries and the factors that can affect the severity of the injury. Included among those factors are the way in which the patient has fallen and the force with which he or she has fallen, as well as the type of ground being fallen onto. It is entirely possible for a FOOSH injury sustained in a grocery store aisle onto a solid industrial floor to cause a completely different type of injury than one sustained outside in the parking lot or on soft grass.
For obvious reasons, each type of FOOSH injury also requires proper diagnosis and a plan with which to heal the injury over time. In some cases, the patient may be able to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and deal with some discomfort for a few days. In others, the person may wind up in an operating room.
Understanding your own personal FOOSH injury is the first step in properly treating it. The Healthline post, readable here, is a great place to start.