The video and instructions below will explain how to fit your sling correctly and a technique for getting washed and dressed.

We use different types of slings for different injuries. You may have been given one of the following slings.

The Triangle sling is used for short term use only. If you have been given one please discuss it with our Virtual Fracture Clinic team.

Fitting your broad arm sling

When fitted correctly, your sling should look like this:

Top tips for your sling:

  • Your elbow should be tucked into the corner of you sling
  • There is a loop for your thumb shown in the picture, it is up to you if you choose to use it
  • You wrist should be in line or slightly higher than your elbow
  • Your arm should feel well supported.

Applying your sling:

  1. Start in sitting with your arm supported on a pillow
  2. Slide the sling over your wrist and thumb into the thumb-loop
  3. Slide the sling over your forearm so that your elbow fits snuggly into the corner of the sling
  4. Take the shoulder strap across your back and over your injured shoulder
  5. Feed the strap through the ring and attach it back to itself with the Velcro


All patients with shoulder and elbow injuries can do gentle exercises of the wrist and hand. Please do not exercise or put any weight through your shoulder or elbow until you have been advise to do so.

Washing and Dressing

You are allowed to remove your sling to wash and dress. At first you may find this difficult or painful to do yourself, you may need help from family or friends. We recommend that a strip wash is safest and most comfortable initially. If you are showering, allow your injured arm to hang by your side whilst you use your good arm to wash.

Top tips for dressing:

  • Always dress your injured arm first and take it out of cloths last
  • Sit on the edge of a chair or stand with your arm hanging by your side to start
  • Slide your injured arm into the garment first using your good arm. Do not assist with your injured arm, just let it hang by your side.
  • Once this arm is fully in the sleeve bring the garment around your back and put the other arm in.
  • Once you have dressed your upper body, place your arm back in the sling.
  • Front opening clothes e.g. shirts with zips / button are the easiest


For some injuries your sling should be kept on while you are in bed at night, our Virtual Fracture Clinic team will advise you.

You may find it more comfortable to sleep on your back initially with a pillow under your injured arm for support. You may also find it more comfortable to sleep in a semi-sitting position.

Please note the information above is for guidance only. If you have any concerns or additional queries please contact the Virtual Fracture Clinic.