Fractures soar on slippery sidewalks

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Orthopedic specialists have their hands full these days, as scores of Norwegians limp into emergency rooms after falling on the ice. Oslo Legevakt, the public health emergency clinic for the capital, dealt with 110 fractures by 4pm one day last week.

“We’ve had a lot to do since milder weather set in on January 10,” Dr Knut Melhuus of Oslo Legevakt told newspaper Dagsavisen. Melting snow and ice imbeds the gravel strewn on streets and sidewalks to make them less hazardous, and then it freezes at night. Some sidewalks that look like they’re covered with gravel are instead sheer ice, and extremely slippery, sending many passersby’s feet flying.

All told, Melhus’ department registered 5,000 injuries in January, with 1,250 of them caused by falls outdoors. Around half involved fractures, most of them broken legs and ankles, broken hips, arms and wrists.

Stories of falls on the ice have become a hot topic on Facebook pages in recent weeks, while sales of brodder (various forms of spikes that pedestrians can attach to their shoes) have soared. Brodder were once looked down upon, but now they’ve become fashionable and are in demand by old and young alike.

Views and News staff