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Surgeons Offer Tips to Avoid Flood and Storm Cleanup Foot Injuries

Summer storms and flooding can be horrendous at times, often leaving massive cleanup efforts from the devastation and damage left behind.

After a storm has passed or flooding has occurred, one of the first things residents want to do is clear away debris and return to their normal lives. What people don't always realize are the dangers still lying beneath the water and rubble that can cause serious injury to feet and ankles.

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons suggest taking some simple precautions to protect feet from injury and to help make the storm and flood cleanup go more quickly and safely.

  • Watch where you walk. Debris and murky floodwaters can conceal sharp objects like nails and broken glass. Be careful when standing on unstable surfaces and piles of debris that can throw you off balance, causing ankle sprains or fractures.
  • Wear appropriate shoe gear. Sturdy work boots are preferred. Avoid going barefoot or wearing open-toed footwear like sandals to prevent injury and puncture wounds.
  • Take precautions when cutting down tree limbs. Heavy tree limbs can fall with enough force to break bones in the feet and ankles.
  • Immediately treat cuts and puncture wounds. To help prevent infections, including bone infections, wash cuts and puncture wounds with clean water then apply a topical antibiotic and a clean bandage. Puncture wounds require medical treatment within 24 hours to avoid infection and other complications from embedded contaminated, foreign objects. Foot and ankle surgeons can help treat puncture wounds and other traumatic injuries of the foot and ankle.