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Sling And Swathe Splint

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Other Names

Illustration of the sling (A) and with the swathe added (B)
Illustration of the sling and swathe[1]
Prefabricated sling and swathe
  • Shoulder Sling and Swathe
  • Prefabricated sling and swathe


  • This page describes how to make the sling and swathe
  • It is used to both support the arm and immobilize the shoulder
  • This is an alternative to a shoulder immobilizer
  • Commercial or prefabricated versions exist



  • None



  • Shoulder Sling
    • Can improvise with a cravat, sheet, etc
  • Elastic wrap (4 inch)

Ultrasound Findings Technique

  • Patient Position
    • Maintain the elbow at 90° flexion
    • The wrist in neutral position
    • Palm facing the trunk
  • Sling
    • Place the olecranon into the corner of the sling.
    • Wrap the strap across the neck on the opposite side and attach to the front of the sling.
    • Adjust the length of the strap to support the arm in order to maintain the elbow at 90° flexion.
  • Elastic Wrap (Swathe)
    • Wrap the elastic wrap horizontally around the outside of the sling
    • Around the trunk under the unaffected arm to secure the arm to the trunk
  • Check distal neurovascular status

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Make sure the sling is long enough to support the wrist


  • Depends largely on the pathology being treated
  • Arrange appropriate follow up


See Also


  1. Image courtesy of https://www.merckmanuals.com/, "How To Apply a Shoulder Sling and Swathe"
Created by:
John Kiel on 17 June 2023 13:59:55
Last edited:
18 June 2023 13:24:37