Black ice tripping up Chicago-area residents

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012616-wls-blackice-vid2 (WLS)

Hockey players know how to keep their balance on the ice in skates. But not in shoes.

Right after Keith Dolph finished his hockey game Sunday, he took a tumble in the parking lot of the ice rink on black ice.

"Wasn't really paying attention and just slipped and reached out, braced my fall, and the rest is history," Dolph said.

He went to the emergency room that night. Now, he's meeting with a doctor at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in Oak Park. He has a fractured collar bone.

Dolph is one of many patients who can't seem to stay on their feet this winter. Doctors are seeing more black ice-related injuries. The slip and fall injuries can be as minor as a bruised ego to as severe as a broken bone.

"It happens really fast because of the unexpected nature. You can fall in any direction. We see elbow fractures, shoulder fractures, wrist fractures - because they try to get their arm out," said Greg Nicholson, orthopedic surgeon.

So what can you do to stay upright when the weather conditions can literally bring you down?

"Look at where you're walking. You have to look down and look at that surface. Number 2, wear sensible shoes. Use banisters and railings on stairs," Nicholson said.

No surgery is needed for Dolph's injury, but it will be several weeks before he's back on the ice in skates

"I think it can be more dangerous being in shoes on ice, especially if you are not suspecting," Dolph said.

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