The frequency depends on what type of surgery you have had. In general, if you have had a repair such as a rotator cuff repair, labral repair, or instability repair, then the sling is worn for 3 to 6 weeks. During this time, you should wear your sling 100% of the time (including sleeping) unless you are doing your exercises, taking a shower, or sitting comfortably. For example, if you are sitting comfortably watching TV, you may take your sling off and rest your arm in a comfortable position.
If you wish to type on a computer or write, you may sit at a desk, take your sling off, rest your arm on the desk or a pillow, and type or write. When you are up and walking, even if in the house, it is safest to use your sling to avoid any inadvertent injury such as a fall or sudden motion.
Suppose you have had only a decompression type procedure (i.e., subacromial decompression, acromioplasty, distal clavicle excision), or a procedure to gain motion (i.e., capsular release for frozen shoulder). In that case, your sling is for comfort only. You may take your sling off as soon as possible and begin moving your shoulder. If you are having trouble wearing your sling, please contact Dr. Lo.