Background

  • 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.

Sources:

https://nyulangone.org/conditions/shoulder-elbow-fractures/treatments/nonsurgical-treatment-for-shoulder-elbow-fractures

https://www.fracturecare.co.uk