A sling is a device used to support and keep still (immobilize) an injured part of the body.
Slings can be used for many different injuries. They are most often used when you have a broken (fractured) or dislocated arm or shoulder.
If an injury needs a splint, apply the splint first and then apply the sling.
Always check the person’s skin color and pulse (circulation) after the injured body part has been splinted. Loosen the splint and bandage if:
- The area becomes cool or turns pale or blue
- Numbness or tingling develops in the injured body part
Injuries to nerves or blood vessels often occur with an arm injury. The health care provider should check circulation, movement, and feeling in the injured area often.
The purpose of a splint is to prevent movement of the broken or dislocated bone. Splints reduce pain, and help prevent further damage to muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Splinting also reduces the risk of a closed injury becoming an open injury (an injury in which bone sticks through the skin).
Care for all wounds before applying a splint or sling. If you can see bone in the injured site, call your local emergency number (such as 911) or local hospital for advice.
HOW TO MAKE A SLING
- Find a piece of cloth that is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide at the base and at least 3 feetВ (1 meter)В long on the sides. (If the sling is for a child, you can use a smaller size.)
- Cut a triangle out of a piece of this cloth. If you don’t have scissors handy, fold a large square piece of cloth diagonally into a triangle.
- Place the person’s elbow at the top point of the triangle, and the wrist midway along the triangle’s bottom edge. Bring theВ two free points up around the front and back of the same (or opposite) shoulder.
- Adjust the sling so the arm rests comfortably, with the hand higher than the elbow. The elbow should be bent at a right angle.
- Tie the sling together at the side of the neck and pad the knot for comfort.
- If the sling was placed correctly, the person’s arm should rest comfortably against their chest with the fingertips exposed.
- If you do not have material or scissors to make a triangle sling, you can make one using a coat or a shirt.
- You can also make a sling using a belt, rope, vine, or sheet.
- If the injured arm should be kept still, tie the sling to the body with another piece of cloth wrapped around the chest and tied on the uninjured side.
- Occasionally check for tightness, and adjust the sling as needed.
- Remove wrist watches, rings, and other jewelry from the arm.
DO NOT try to realign an injured body part unless the skin looks pale or blue, or there is no pulse.
Proper usage improves healing and recovery time
Laura Campedelli, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist with experience in hospital-based acute care and outpatient therapy with both children and adults.
After an injury to your shoulder, elbow, or wrist, you may be required to wear a sling on your arm to help protect it while healing. Wearing a sling keeps your arm against your body and prevents you from moving your arm too much as you heal after an injury. Improperly wearing your sling may delay healing or, worse, injure your arm further.
There are many instances where you may be required to wear your arm in a sling after injury. These include:
- After a fracture: A shoulder fracture, elbow fracture, or wrist fracture may require that you wear a sling. It is important after a fracture to immobilize your arm to ensure that the bones heal properly. The sling keeps your arm still and in place to be sure this occurs.
- After shoulder surgery: You may need a sling to prevent the muscles around your shoulder from contracting too hard and disrupting the healing process. After a rotator cuff surgery, a forceful contraction of your muscles can tear the repaired muscle. The sling prevents this from occurring.
- After a stroke: A stroke is a serious injury. It may cause paralysis in your arm, leg, or both. If your shoulder is not moving properly, it may become painful as it hangs at your side. A sling helps support your arm and prevents it from pulling uncomfortably at your shoulder.
Any injury or surgical procedure to your upper extremity may require that you wear a sling as things are healing. Make sure you follow your doctor’s advice when wearing your sling.
How to Wear Your Sling
If you are required to wear a sling, it is important that you wear it properly. This helps to prevent fluid and blood from accumulating in your hand and wrist. Proper sling usage can ensure that your arm heals the right way.
To apply a shoulder sling correctly:
- Gently pull the sling over your arm and elbow. It should fit snugly around the elbow. Your hand should come to the very end of the sling. Make sure the end of the sling doesn’t cut into your wrist or hand; if your hand hangs at your wrist, your sling may be too small.
- Reach around your neck and grab the strap behind your elbow. Pull the strap around the back of your neck and feed it through the loop near your hand.
- Tighten the straps so your hand and forearm are elevated above the level of your elbow. This helps to prevent blood and fluid from pooling in your hand and wrist.
- Fasten the strap with the Velcro fasteners. You may wish to put a small piece of terry cloth under the strap for comfort around your neck.
- Some slings have a strap that goes around your back to keep the elbow close to the body. If it has one, reach behind and pull the strap around your back, fastening it near the hand. Make sure the strap is not too tight. You should be able to fit two or three fingers between your body and the strap of the sling.
Your sling should fit comfortably and not feel binding or tight. It should maintain your shoulder, elbow, and wrist in a relaxed position so you can go about your day-to-day activities.
There are common mistakes people make when wearing a shoulder sling. If used incorrectly, a shoulder sling can cause discomfort and delay the healing process. Your physical therapist can help you avoid these pitfalls.
Sling Is Too Loose
If it’s not supportive of your shoulder, elbow, and wrist, the sling won’t keep your arm in place, and you may place unnecessary stress and strain on the arm. Make sure the sling supports your arm and forearm, and be sure your elbow is kept at a 90-degree angle. If your elbow is too straight, the sling may be too loose.
Sling Is Too Tight
A sling that is too tight may restrict blood flow to and from your elbow and hand, depriving tissues of oxygen and damaging your arm, hand, and/or fingers. If you experience numbness, tingling, or swelling, or your hands and fingers feel cold or turn blue, see your doctor or physical therapist for an adjustment.
Arm Is Hanging Too Low
When wearing your shoulder sling, your arm should not hang too low. If it does, the weight of your arm may place increased stress and strain on your healing arm and shoulder. Plus, your arm may simply and suddenly fall out of the sling if it’s hanging too low.
Your elbow should be bent 90 degrees while you’re wearing your sling, and the sling should support your arm firmly against your body without lifting. The shoulder shouldn’t be lifted or dropped. If you aren’t sure the sling is on properly, have your physical therapist make necessary adjustments.
You Are Not Exercising Neighboring Muscles
The goal of wearing your sling is to protect your shoulder and arm as it heals. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use some of the muscles of your arm and hand during recovery. Because the sling is designed to immobilize the shoulder, it can cause a decreased range of motion (ROM) and strength of your arm unless steps are taken to avoid it.
During recovery, doctors will typically advise you to remove the sling and do no-impact pendulum circle exercises two to three times per day to maintain joint mobility. Handgrip exercises using therapy putty to create resistance can improve strength in your wrist and forearm.
A Word From Verywell
Wearing a sling can cause a bit of anxiety with all of its straps and loops. With practice, you will be able to comfortably wear it to allow your arm to properly and safely heal. If you feel like you need more help with your sling, be sure to contact a physical therapist for assistance.
Once the injury has healed, you may need to consult with a physical therapist to learn exercises to help improve the ROM and strength in your arm. Improving your mobility can help you return you the condition you were in prior to the injury.
(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosures for more information.) Last modified on October 19, 2018 by Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®
Transitioning out of a sling will depend on the type of injury or surgery you’ve experienced as well as a few other items. When my patients ask me the question ‘how long do I have to wear a sling for my shoulder’, I reflect on a few key items;
- Was the shoulder surgically repaired?
- What tissues or structures were involved?
- What are the physician’s expectations (health factors i.e. diabetes)
The purpose of wearing a sling is to support the shoulder as the internal structures heal (bones, ligaments, and tendons). The healing time for each of these types of tissues can vary significantly. Typically the healing times for these tissues are as follows:
- Bones: 6 to 8 week healing time
- Ligaments: 6 to 12+ weeks
- Tendons: 4 to 8 weeks+ (depending on severity)
Initial 4 Weeks of Wearing a Sling
The first few weeks of wearing a sling are very important as this is when the tissues are most vulnerable and actively healing. Your physician may instruct you to wear a sling in order to position the shoulder in the best possible arrangement for the structures to heal properly.
If your shoulder required surgery, you may be instructed to use the sling for 4 to 6 weeks. This is especially true if you recently had rotator cuff surgery. Not only does the sling help the shoulder to rest in a comfortable, protected position, it acts as a reminder for you not to lift with the recently repaired shoulder. It is very difficult not to use the shoulder to reach for items, especially if it’s your dominant arm!
Do I have to wear a sling at night?
Finding a comfortable position to sleep at night is very challenging after a rotator cuff repair or other shoulder surgery. You are also at greater risk of accidentally injuring yourself by moving your arm quickly or pulling up heavy blankets with the recently repaired shoulder.
It’s generally recommended that you sleep with a sling initially for the first two or three weeks. Using a wedge pillow to prop your back up slightly can make sleeping with s sling more comfortable.
When Can I Stop Wearing a Sling?
This is an excellent question to ask during your pre-surgical consult with the doctor. The answer, however, may vary especially if the injured shoulder required more significant repair than expected.
With most shoulder surgeries, it’s common to follow up with the physician in 4 weeks. During this initial 4 weeks, your movement may be restricted per the surgeon’s orders. After your follow up, you may be given the green light to get rid of the sling. However, it’s wise to keep the sling in case you need to travel soon. Wearing a sling is a good ‘sign’ to others to keep their distance and avoid crowding or bumping your shoulder.
Best Pillows for Shoulder Surgery
This standard wedge pillow is great for propping yourself up into a more comfortable position. Back sleepers will find this position to feel natural, however, side and stomach sleepers may be challenged to find a comfortable position at night. The wedge pillow can make sleeping on your back more bearable, especially in the first few weeks after shoulder surgery.
A wedge pillow with arm cutout can be ideal for side and stomach sleepers, but may not be appropriate initially after surgery. Ask your doctor or physical therapist if this modified wedge pillow is ok to use as it positions the arm into more abduction.
What advice do you have for managing shoulder pain while wearing a sling or sleeping at night?
About Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®
Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.
Shoulder and arm injuries a relatively common occurrence – hundreds of thousands of Americans every year require surgery for rotator cuff or other injuries.
And an integral part of the healing process involves wearing a shoulder sling which helps to restrict movement and protect the shoulder from re-injury.
However, many people aren’t clear about how to wear a sling or when a sling for shoulder injuries is required.
So, to put all these questions to bed, let’s go through everything you need to know about shoulder slings including how to put on an arm sling, how to wear an arm sling, and the common mistakes to avoid.
Common Injuries That Require an Arm Sling
If you’re having shoulder surgery, you will need to figure out how to wear a sling because otherwise, you will put your shoulder at high risk of becoming injured again.
But what types of injuries require to wear a sling in the first place?
Well, there are a few of the most common types of surgeries that require them. While a sling may seem uncomfortable, it’s absolutely essential in a few situations that require healing to take place in a completely fixed shoulder position.
One of the most common uses for slings is after a fracture. If you fracture your shoulder, your elbow, or even your wrist, your doctor is likely to insist on you wearing a broken shoulder sling to immobilize your hand and allow the bones to heal properly.
Another common situation that requires a sling is shoulder surgery. Since the shoulder muscles will be very delicate after the surgery, you will need to use shoulder surgery slings to minimize the movements and ensure that a sudden contraction of the muscles doesn’t undo the work that was done.
For instance, if you’ve had rotator cuff surgery, wearing a rotator cuff sling is absolutely essential, as the rotator cuff needs time to heal and become strong enough to withstand movements.
Finally, one of the lesser-known reasons for wearing an arm sling is after a stroke. Since a stroke can sometimes cause paralysis of your limbs, allowing them to hang can become painful, which is why a sling can be useful to stabilize the arm and ensure that it doesn’t suffer damage.
How to Wear an Arm Sling
In order to make sure that the sling serves its purpose and keeps your arm and shoulder protected, it’s essential to figure out how to wear a sling in a safe and comfortable way.
If you put on your sling incorrectly, the blood flow in your arm can get disrupted, and fluids may start building up if you are recovering after surgery.
Luckily, putting on shoulder surgery slings doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated if you know a few simple steps to follow.
First, pull the sling for shoulder pain over your arm and elbow, allowing it to fit comfortably around your arm. If you put it on correctly, you should see your hand coming out at the end of the sling and hanging freely.
However, you must ensure that the sling doesn’t cut into your wrist, as that can cause pain when wearing the sling for extended periods.
Once you secure the sling for shoulder injury on your arm, you should grab the strap behind your elbow and pull it around your neck, feeding it through the loop near your hand.
Then, tighten the straps in a way that position your hand above your elbow, and fasten it with the Velcro straps that should be available.
The critical thing to remember when putting on your arm sling for shoulder pain is that it should feel comfortable without being loose, but at the same time not be too tight to constrict blood flow.
You will likely need to wear the sling for extended periods, so you must find a position that feels comfortable.
To ensure that you’re wearing the sling correctly, there are a few mistakes that you should avoid when putting it on.
First off, make sure that the sling is not too loose, as it needs to be able to provide enough support for your shoulder or elbow at all times, even when you are walking or moving. If your shoulder is wiggly and unstable during movements, even a slight turn could re-injure your shoulder or elbow and cause serious damage that might need to be fixed with another surgery.
However, even though a loose shoulder sling isn’t good, that doesn’t mean that you should tighten it up as much as possible either.
An arm sling for shoulder that’s too tight can restrict blood flow, impede the healing process, and even cause further damage to your shoulder or elbow, so make sure that your arm is firmly locked in the sling but isn’t too constricted and still feels comfortable resting there for hours at a time.
Finally, you must consider the height at which your hand is hanging – you should try to position your elbow at a 90-degree angle and ensure that it’s not hanging too low, as that can cause severe strain on your shoulder muscles.
You will be moving a lot throughout the day, and even simple tasks like going for a walk can become very strenuous if your arm is hanging too low and straining your shoulder with every step or movement.
When recovering after shoulder or elbow surgery, it’s essential to be extra cautious about protecting your arm to allow it to heal correctly. Your shoulder or elbow can be very vulnerable after surgery, so a properly-fitted sling is the only way to ensure that it remains protected and has time to heal.
Dr. Schwartz at ShoulderMD can help you figure out the best treatment and recovery plan for your shoulder or elbow injury. You can call 206-860-5578 to schedule an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you.
What is a humerus fracture?
The humerus — also known as the upper arm bone — is a long bone that runs from the shoulder and scapula (shoulder blade) to the elbow. Fractures of the humerus are classified in one of two ways: proximal humerus fracture or humerus shaft fracture.
A proximal humerus fracture usually occurs close to the shoulder joint and can be located at different levels with different fracture patterns: simple or comminuted. A humerus shaft fracture, on the other hand, is one that is localized at the mid portion of the upper arm.
What causes a humerus fracture?
A broken arm is a common injury and is usually a consequence of a fall with an outstretched hand, a car crash or some other type of accident.
What are the symptoms of a humerus fracture?
Symptoms vary depending on the specific type of fracture but may include:
Swelling and bruising
Inability to move the shoulder
A grinding sensation when the shoulder is moved
Deformity — “It does not look right.”
Occasionally bleeding (open fracture)
Loss of normal use of the arm if a nerve injury occurs
What is the treatment for a humerus fracture?
Proximal Humeral Fracture
Most fractures of the proximal humerus can be treated without surgery if the bone fragments are not shifted out of position (displaced). If the fragments are shifted out of position, surgery is often performed to allow earlier mobility. However, other factors are also considered when deciding between surgical fixation or nonoperative treatment.
Nonoperative treatment is usually with a sling or shoulder immobilizer with no shoulder mobility for the first two weeks. Thereafter, the patient will be given weekly exercises to slowly increase the shoulder’s range of motion. An X-ray of the shoulder will be taken on a weekly or biweekly (every two weeks) basis to confirm the fracture is healing properly.
Surgery usually involves fixation of the fracture fragments with plates, screws or pins. Severe fractures with previous arthroscopy (joint degeneration) may require shoulder replacement. Mobilization with physical therapy is begun immediately following surgery.
Humerus Shaft Fracture
A humerus shaft fracture may be treated with or without surgery, depending on the fracture pattern and associated injuries (i.e., nerve injury or open fracture). A temporary splint extending from the shoulder to the forearm and holding the elbow bent at 90 degrees can be used for initial management of the fracture.
Nonoperative treatment usually includes the placement of fracture bracing that will be replaced by a cylindrical brace (Sarmiento brace) three to four weeks later that fits the upper arm while leaving the elbow free. The doctor will tell you how long to wear the cast or splint and will remove it at the right time. It may take several weeks to several months for the broken arm to heal completely.
Rehabilitation involves gradually increasing activities to restore muscle strength, joint motion and flexibility. The patient’s cooperation is essential to the rehabilitation process. The patient must complete range of motion, strengthening and other exercises prescribed by the doctor on a daily basis. Rehabilitation will continue until the muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues perform normally.
Surgery usually involves internal fixation of the fragments with plates, screws or a nail. The rehabilitation differs slightly from nonoperative treatment, with no splints or cast. The patient is usually given a sling for comfort and arm support. Elbow exercises may be started immediately after surgery, while shoulder exercises may be delayed for a few weeks based on the fracture pattern.
What is the Proper way to Wear a Shoulder Sling?
The quick answer, after having surgery on your shoulder, you may be asked to wear a sling for anywhere from 6-10 weeks. You may wonder how to use an arm sling or how to properly wear an arm sling. Most slings will have a strap going around your neck, a strap going around your abdomen, and an abductor pillow to keep your arm in a neutral position at your side. When slings are worn improperly they place the shoulder in an unnatural position and force it to carry the load of the arm. This can have many negative effects on your recovery including increased pain, difficulty regaining range of motion, and adding strain on the repair that was done on your shoulder. Proper sling use can be a vital part of the recovery process following a shoulder injury. Following these tips can help you wear your sling correctly and prevent complications while recovering from your shoulder surgery.
How to Put on a Sling for the Shoulder
Quick answer, one of the most important aspects of proper sling use is to ensure that the sling is holding the entire weight of your arm. You should never raise your shoulder to move your arm while wearing the sling as the muscles and tendons of the shoulder will be very sensitive following your procedure. Make sure your forearm is flat in the sling and parallel with the ground. Also, keep the elbow positioned as far back as it will go in the sling to make sure the whole sling is carrying the load of your arm. A good check for this to make sure that the end of the sling goes up to the edge of your hand so that only your fingers are exposed.
Another important aspect of proper sling use is to make sure your arm is in a neutral position at your side. Your upper arm should remain directly to your side and in line with the rest of your body. At the same time, it is important to keep your forearm at a 45° angle in relation to your hip. Ensuring that your arm is not positioned too far in front of or behind can help reduce the strain on your shoulder, resulting in less pain overall.
Bad Arm in Sling Positioning
In this picture the patient’s over arm strap is too loose resulting in the forearm not being parallel to the ground. This results in the shoulder carrying some of the weight of the arm. Also, the patient’s arm is too far back resulting in an unnatural position of the shoulder.
Image of improper sling use
Bad Sling for Arm Positioning
In this picture, the patient does not demonstrate proper sling use as the patient’s arm is not all the way into the sling, as noted by the elbow not being located at the back of the sling. The patient’s arm is also located too far in front of his body, leaving it in an unnatural position.
Image of man in sling
Proper Arm in a Sling
In this picture the patient is demonstrating proper sling use. It is at his side with his forearm parallel with the ground. Also, his elbow positioned all the way into the sling with just his fingers exposed.
Image of proper sling use
The Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute has many other articles about the shoulder which may be interesting to you. Here is a link to one of them. https://www.joionline.net/trending/content/5-shoulder-symptoms-you-cannot-ignore or about our new waterproof cast or splint. To schedule for physical therapy, please call 904-858-7045.
JOI Fracture and Injury Care
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JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP fracture and injury care. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000, schedule online or click below.
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Posted on February 12 2019
How to Wear an Arm Sling?
No matter where it happened, injuries are very painful. The pain will be unbearable when the injury is a broken bone. Those who have experienced one or are experiencing will agree with me.
If you are suffering from an injury or a fracture on your shoulder, wrist, or elbow, you will be advised to wear an arm sling to help protect the affected region while it heals. As such, an arm sling will keep your arm against your body and keep you from moving it too much as you heal from the injury. While wearing an arm sling is very important during the healing process, it’s equally important to wear it properly.
Wearing an arm sling improperly will delay the healing process, or worsen your injury. In the following article, let’s see how to wear an arm sling properly.
When Should You Use an Arm Sling?
There are several instances where you have to use an arm sling. They are:
Fractures in the shoulders, elbow, or wrist regions will require you to wear an arm sling. After having a fracture, it’s highly essential that you immobilize the arm to make sure that the bones get healed properly. An arm sling will help keep the arm still to be sure that this happens.
After a shoulder surgery, you will have to wear an arm sling in order to prevent the muscles surrounding the shoulder from contracting too much, which will interrupt the healing process. For instance, after undergoing a cuff surgery, a hard contraction of the muscles around the shoulders will tear the affected muscle. In this situation, an arm sling would be of help.
As everyone knows, a stroke is one of the most serious injuries one can experience. It may lead to paralysis in the arm and if the shoulder is not moving around properly, it can become very painful. An arm sling can be helpful here by supporting the arm and preventing it from pulling uncomfortably at the shoulder.
As a general rule, any injury or surgery to the upper extremity would require you wear an arm sling as you heal.
While doing so, follow the below guidelines on how to wear an arm sling:
Properly Wearing an Arm Sling
As mentioned earlier, properly wearing an arm sling is important in order to prevent fluid and/or blood accumulation in your hands and wrist.
So, how to wear a sling properly?
- Slowly pull your sling the arm and elbow so that it’s fitting snugly around your elbow. In this position, your hand will come to the very end of your arm sling. Ensure that the sling is not cutting in the wrist or hand.
- Go around the neck and grab your sling’s strap behind the elbow. Now, pull the strap around the neck back and insert it in the loop near the hand.
- Tighten the strap in such a way that the hand and forearm are raised above the elbow level. This will help prevent fluid and/or blood from accumulating in your hands or wrist.
- Fasten the sling’s strap with the provided Velcro fasteners.
- If your arm sling has a strap that goes around the back in order to keep your elbow closer to the body, you must reach behind and pull that strap around the back and fasten it near your hand. Ensure that it’s not too tight. You must be able to let two or three fingers between the strap and the body.
The sling must fit comfortably on your body and you should not feel tight or binding. Also, the sling should keep your shoulder, elbow, as well as the wrist in a relaxed position in such a way that you can continue your daily activities.
Avoid Bad Positioning of the Arm Sling
While wearing an arm sling, you must make sure that the shoulder sling is not too loose or too tight. Also, you must ensure that your arm is not hanging too low. While wearing an arm sling, you should not be exercising your neighboring muscles.
Where to Buy an Arm Sling?
Buy the superior quality, adjustable arm sling by following this link here.
- How to Care for a Dislocated Shoulder
- How Long Does Therapy for a Broken Elbow and Humerus Take?
- Causes of Wrist and Elbow Joint Pain
- How to Make a Shoulder Ice Pack
- Numbness in Fingers After a Fracture of the Neck in the Humerus
It is rare to sustain a broken shoulder blade without severe trauma; however, the clavicle and the proximal humerus are bones that are considered part of the shoulder, and these bones are more commonly fractured. Your doctor will want to immobilize the shoulder by placing your arm in a sling until the bones heal. If you have a fractured shoulder, follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Shoulder fractures account for one percent of all broken bones, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 14. Symptoms of a shoulder fracture include extreme pain when the arm is moved, swelling around the back of the shoulder and skin abrasions. Different parts of the scapula can also become fractured. Your doctor will take an X-ray to determine the extent of your fracture and the proper treatment. In the majority of cases, the scapular body is fractured.
- Shoulder fractures account for one percent of all broken bones, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 1.
- Different parts of the scapula can also become fractured.
How to Care for a Dislocated Shoulder
In some cases, your fractured shoulder will require surgical intervention. However, the majority of the time, shoulder fractures heal on their own when immobilized. A simple sling often works to keep your shoulder in place. Your doctor will recommend physical therapy to begin range-of-motion exercises within two to four weeks. Complete range of motion can take up to a year to return. Passive stretching and other shoulder exercises can help your shoulder return to full function.
- In some cases, your fractured shoulder will require surgical intervention.
- A simple sling often works to keep your shoulder in place.
In many cases, the hospital will provide an arm sling for your shoulder. Keep your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle across your waist. Fasten the strap of the sling behind your neck and gently place your arm in the sling. The elbow should rest comfortably inside the closed end of the sling. Adjust the strap as needed so that you don’t experience unnecessary pain, and make sure your arm remains at a 90-degree angle.