There are many instances where you may be required to wear your arm in a sling after injury. These include:
1. 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.
2. After shoulder surgery: If you have had a surgical procedure on your shoulder, 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.
3. 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.