BROKEN & DISLOCATED BONES
Fractures are most common in the leg, ankle, or wrist after a fall (symptoms are similar to those of sprains and strains, but more severe). For dislocations, which usually affect the shoulder, you’ll feel
pain and restricted range of motion (most common cause: pushing past a planted ski or trekking pole or levering your arm while paddling). È Pack SAM splint; elastic bandage.
È Prevent Use trekking poles and exercise caution when scrambling. Leave your hands out of the wrist straps on poles.
È Treat Immobilize the injury (don’t try to pop a dislocation back in place). For a leg injury, follow these steps:
1. Place a foam or uninflated sleeping pad under the leg. Pad the area under the leg with clothing; place a rolled-up item of clothing under the knee to keep it from locking out.
2. Tie the pad around the leg with at least two strips of cloth—one above and one below the knee.
3. Tie the pad’s extra length around the foot like a boot (the wrap should support the ankle and keep it at as close to a right angle as possible to limit movement). Inflate the pad, if using a blow-up. Loosen if circulation is impaired. Evacuate any break or dislocation. If the victim can walk out, great. But call for help if you see bone break through skin or a limb at an odd angle, or if there’s no sensation or pulse below the injury.