- A sling acts as an immobilization device.
- A fracture cannot heal unless it is prevented from moving.
- Immobilization also helps the bone fragments fuse together by keeping them in the correct position.
- Slings should be worn at all times, including in bed. If allowed by your doctor, they may be taken off for exercises and self-care (e.g., dressing & bathing).
Typical Sling Wearing Durations
- Always follow your orthopedic surgeon’s recommendations for sling wearing durations.
- Fractured proximal humerus: up to 2 weeks
- Fractured clavicle: 4 to 6 weeks
- Fractured scapula: 2 to 4 weeks, or typically worn until you can move your shoulder without pain
Why should I move it? It is broken!
- While the injured location should remain immobilized during the crucial healing period…
- Movement of neighboring joints is often encouraged to preserve ROM and strength.
- Small movements such as in the hand help to increase blood flow, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the injured parts to help heal more quickly.