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What Is A FOOSH Injury? A Common Winter Injury

This post is written by Joshua Weber, PT, DPT, CKTP, Physical Therapist at Riser Physical Medicine.

It's winter time in NYC! The city is all lit up with holiday colors and cheer. If we're lucky we might even get some snow fall soon blanketing the city in white.

While this time of year is always beautiful in our wonderful city, dropping temperatures, rain, and snow can lead to hazardous conditions on the sidewalks.

Formation of ice patches and black ice can lead unsuspecting residents or tourists stumbling to catch their balance, or even fall.

What is a FOOSH injury?

One of the most common injuries following a fall is called a FOOSH injury. This stands for Falling On an OutStretched Hand and it can happen when our body tries to protect ourselves when we fall by stretching out your arm to prevent yourself from hitting your head.

While this is a great protective response, it can lead to injuries in the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.

Common injuries following a FOOSH incident include shoulder fractures, elbow fracture or dislocation, Colles or Smith fractures to the wrist, or Boxers fracture.

How to prevent a FOOSH injury

So how does one prevent a FOOSH injury? The best way to protect yourself is to watch where you're walking in icy conditions. Try to keep your phone away and pay attention to your surroundings.

Wear proper footwear when going out in icy/snowy conditions and walk slowly. Try performing some simple balance and leg strengthening exercises at home regularly to decrease your risk of falls.

What to do if you fall

If you happen to have a fall on the streets of NYC, try to get yourself to a quiet area to assess your injury.

If possible, utilize the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Elevation, Compression).

Seek medical attention if the injury seems severe.

Once the initial injury has quieted down, you can feel free to book an appointment with us at Riser Physical Medicine to help deal with any residual pain and stiffness you might be feeling.

Our trained therapists will design a plan of care tailored specifically to your needs to help you back to your full active lifestyle!

We can help

At Riser, we’re committed to helping you achieve a healthier, happier, pain-free, and more active You.

Come to Riser Physical Medicine in NYC and let our expertly trained clinicians assess your pain and get you started on the right treatment plan.

Patients travel from all over New York City to visit one of our state-of-the-art offices in Union Square, Hudson Yards, or Murray Hill.

Our certified therapists bring their clinical expertise to create a unique program designed specifically for your areas of concern.

Let us be your one stop shop for all your wellness needs.

Book an appointment

If you’d like to get in touch with us for an appointment, please call us at 646-661-2181, email us at, or click the button below to book an appointment online.


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