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How to Use A Sling

AMBULATORY CARE:

A sling

is a strong fabric loop that hangs from your neck to support your arm. Your arm, bent at the elbow, rests in the sling. Some slings have a strap that goes down your back to take the weight off your neck. This strap is connected to the elbow side of the sling. Your healthcare provider will help you decide which sling is best for you and where you can get one.

Shoulder Sling

Why you might need a sling:

You may need a sling because of an injury or surgery to your hand, wrist, arm, or shoulder. A sling helps prevent your hand, arm, and shoulder from moving so your injury can heal. A sling can also help if you have a heavy cast on your arm.

Call your doctor or orthopedist if:

  • Your arm, hand, or fingers become swollen, numb, painful, or pale.
  • You have questions about how to use the sling.

How to use a sling:

Your healthcare provider will teach you how to put on your sling. The following are general guidelines to help you remember what your provider teaches you:

  • Gently bend your injured arm and hold it in front of you, across your body. Your thumb should be pointing up.
  • Put the strap around your neck. The strap usually has an adhesive fabric to make it easy for you to fasten.
  • Put your arm in the sling so your elbow is in the closed end. Your hand will be at the open end.
  • Put the edge of the sling so it covers the first fold of the little finger.
  • Wiggle your fingers as directed to prevent hand stiffness.

Follow up with your doctor or orthopedist as directed:

You may need tests to check how your arm is healing. You may need to have the sling adjusted, or change to a different kind of sling. If your injury has healed, you may not need to keep using the sling. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.