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Shoulder sling or vest design, abduction restrainer, with or without swathe control, prefabricated, includes fitting and adjustment

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Common name: Shoulder sling or abduction restrainer Technical term: Prefabricated shoulder sling or vest design with swathe control (HCPCS Code A4566)


A shoulder sling or abduction restrainer is a medical device used to immobilize and support the shoulder and arm. It helps manage and facilitate the healing process for shoulder injuries or surgeries by restricting movement and providing stability.


The shoulder sling or abduction restrainer is designed to:

  • Facilitate the healing of shoulder joint injuries, sprains, or fractures.
  • Support the shoulder post-surgery.
  • Restrict shoulder and arm movement to prevent further injury.
  • Provide comfort and support during the recovery phase.


Indications for using a shoulder sling or abduction restrainer include:

  • Recent shoulder surgery (e.g., rotator cuff repair, shoulder arthroplasty)
  • Shoulder dislocations or subluxations
  • Shoulder or upper arm fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries of the shoulder
  • Chronic shoulder instability


  • Patients should follow their physician’s specific instructions, which may include adjusting medications.
  • No specific fasting requirements.
  • A detailed medical evaluation is usually completed beforehand to determine the need for the device.

Procedure Description

  • The healthcare provider selects the appropriate size and type of shoulder sling or restrainer.
  • The device is placed over the injured shoulder and adjusted for a proper fit.
  • Straps and swathes are positioned to immobilize the shoulder and arm.
  • Instructions on wearing and adjustment are provided to the patient for proper use at home.


The fitting and adjustment procedure typically takes about 15-30 minutes.


This procedure is typically performed in an outpatient clinic, orthopedic office, or hospital setting.


Healthcare professionals involved in this procedure may include:

  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Physical therapists
  • Nurses or medical assistants

Risks and Complications

  • Skin irritation or pressure sores from prolonged use
  • Improper fit leading to inadequate immobilization or discomfort
  • Potential stiffness in the shoulder joint due to immobilization


  • Enhanced healing and recovery by preventing unwanted shoulder movement
  • Reduced pain and discomfort through proper support
  • Improved shoulder stability during the healing process


  • Patients should follow the wearing schedule as instructed by their healthcare provider.
  • Regular follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor recovery and adjust the device if needed.
  • Recovery time varies depending on the severity of the injury or surgery but typically ranges from a few weeks to several months.


  • Custom-fitted shoulder braces
  • Physical therapy without immobilization
  • Surgical options in cases of severe instability or structural damage

Patient Experience

  • The patient might experience initial discomfort or awkwardness as they adapt to wearing the sling or restrainer.
  • Pain management can include prescribed pain medications or over-the-counter analgesics.
  • Comfort measures such as padding and proper adjustment of straps help improve the wearing experience.

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