Tips and ways to live with shoulder sling

If you find yourself needing to wear a sling for 3 to 6 weeks post your shoulder operation, it is crucial to adhere to the following precautions to safeguard your shoulder:

Note: Regularly loosen or release the sling to exercise and move your elbow, wrist, and hand to prevent stiffness of these joints. Aim for at least 4 times per day.

Getting Washed:

Assistance may be necessary for washing your un-operated arm during the initial 3 weeks, as the operated arm won’t be usable for this task.
Consider using a cubicle shower or an overbath shower, ensuring surgical wounds remain dry and protected.
Waterproof dressings, either provided by the hospital or purchased from a chemist, can be worn during washing.
To dry yourself, a toweling bathrobe can be convenient, assisting in drying the un-operated arm.

Getting Dressed:

Opt for front-opening clothes for ease.
Dress your operated arm first while sitting on the edge of a chair or standing with your arm hanging by your side.
Slide your operated arm into the garment using your un-operated arm, allowing the operated arm to hang loose.
Fasten any closures only with your un-operated arm.
Once dressed, return your arm to the sling.

For the initial 3 weeks post-operation, feed yourself with your un-operated hand.
After this period, return to feeding yourself in a regular manner using both hands.

During the first 6 weeks, only push up from the bed, chair, toilet, and bath using your un-operated arm.
After 6 weeks, return to using both arms as pain allows.



Keep the sling on while in bed for the first 6 weeks.
Initially, sleeping on your back with a pillow under the operated arm for support may be more comfortable.
A semi-sitting position may also enhance comfort.
Kitchen Activities:

Utilize your un-operated arm for making meals, snacks, and drinks during the first 6 weeks.
After this period, you may resume using both arms, but avoid lifting anything heavy for 3 months. Light lifting is permissible at 6 weeks post-surgery.

Light housework can resume after 6 weeks, while more strenuous activities should be avoided until 3 months post-operation.



When climbing/descending stairs, hold the banister with your un-operated arm during the initial period. After 6 weeks, you may hold the banister with either arm.

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