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Preventing the First Fall | Dr. Leipzig on WDBJ7

By James M. Leipzig, M.D., F.A.C.S. on
preventing-falls

Dr. Leipzig returned to WDBJ7 to speak with Caitlin Francis to discuss how to prevent the fall that could lead to a fracture. Dr. Leipzig, who appeared on WDBJ7 a few weeks ago to talk about the American Orthopedic Association’s Own the Bone initiative, focused on the importance of taking precautions in wintry weather.

“Most fractures are the result of a fall, so if we can prevent a fall, we can prevent most of the fractures,” Dr. Leipzig said in the interview.

Dr. Leipzig initiated Own the Bone at Lewis-Gale Medical Center. The national program aims to educate and facilitate communication between patients and medical practitioners about osteoporosis and the underlying causes, as only 20% of people with the bone condition are appropriately treated.  Now, over 43,000 patients are in their national registry, helping people prevent and protect against potential fractures.

Seniors and people with osteoporosis are most at risk, but getting a referral to a physical therapist to learn about fall prevention exercises can be a helpful method of prevention, as can fall-proofing your home. Dr. Elise Manning, Manager of Therapy Services at Lewis-Gale, recommends removing any potential hazards like throw rugs or extension cords and making sure all interior walkways are well-lit to minimize risk of tripping. Taking off your socks can also be an additional safety measure. When outside, keep an eye out for ice or other hazardous conditions, and make sure to salt your sidewalk or driveway.

Lewis-Gale, a medical center with which Virginia Spine Care is affiliated, saw 10 people come in after incurring injuries from weather-related falls. Unfortunately, having to visit a doctor’s office or emergency room for that kind of injury isn’t uncommon: Emergency Departments treat, on average, 2.5 million people for injuries from falling.

But the best way to prevent a fall? According to Dr. Leipzig, avoid putting yourself at risk altogether. When weather conditions look too hazardous, it’s best to stay inside.

Watch the full interview here.

Dr. Leipzig is a Virginia spine surgeon specializing in procedures including minimally-invasive spine surgery and disc arthroplasty. To learn more about Own the Bone and fall prevention or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Leipzig, contact his office at (540) 725-9771.

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"I enjoy interacting with patients and helping them understand their condition and treatment options. Spine problems and spinal surgery can be stressful. It’s an honor to be able to treat patients and guide them toward recovery."
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