How To Dress After Shoulder Surgery



Wear front-opening clothes that zip, button, or Velcro up the front. Opt for stretchy leggings or sweatpants or any pull-on elastic waist pants. Wear loose-fitting clothes for comfort. Women should consider front-closing underwire bras or camisoles with a built-in bra. Always wear slip-on shoes. Let’s delve into the details of how to dress after shoulder surgery.

Prepare Your Wardrobe Before Surgery

Preparing your wardrobe before the operation will give you peace of mind, comfort, and stress-free recovery. Your goal is to ensure your dressing is easy, simple, and seamless while you are healing after shoulder surgery. Therefore, spend some time before you undergo the surgical procedure. That way, you can prepare your wardrobe properly. Here is what you can do:

Front-Opening Clothes

Buy shirts and tops that open from the front. You can choose zip-up hoodies, button-down shirts, or clothes with Velcro fastenings.

Loose Fitting Clothes

Choose loose-fitting clothes because they are easier to put on and take off. Because your shoulder will take some time to heal the wound/incisions, putting pressure on it in any form is not good. Therefore, wearing loose-fitting clothes won’t pressurize the wound and help heal and recover.

Slip—On Shoes

Wear slip-on shoes because you can’t bend down to tie shoelaces. Once your doctor/surgeon allows you to do so, then you can wear shoes with laces. Don’t ruin the recovery process. Opt for slip-on shoes.

Prepare Layers

Your body may not regulate its temperature appropriately after the shoulder surgery. Therefore, layers are easy to put on and take off. You will remain comfortable.

Bathroom Robes

Of course, you won’t be able to go to the bathroom alone. A health provider or family member will assist you. So, a robe is a good way to maintain modesty.


Post-surgery recovery requires a patient to sleep in a semi-upright position. If you want to achieve comfort, make sure your sleepwear is according to your doctor’s instructions. Just make sure it is easy to put on!

Dressing Techniques After Shoulder Surgery

Dressing after shoulder surgery is not easy. However, you can follow the techniques below to make things easier for yourself.

  • Always dress the surgical arm first to avoid discomfort and pain
  • Use a dressing stick and hook it into the garment’s sleeve to slide your surgical arm into the sleeve
  • Use a buttonhook
  • Sit down while wearing pants
  • Use a shoehorn with a long handle to put on shoes
  • Use a bra band extension

Bear in mind that everyone has a different recovery process. So, what works for me may not work for you or vice versa. Remember, following your healthcare provider’s specific instructions regarding wound care and hygiene is important to ensure a smooth recovery. Understand the science of surgical recovery to streamline healing.

Final Words

Dressing after shoulder surgery is very challenging. However, if you prepare your wardrobe, follow the right techniques, and maintain proper hygiene, you can make the recovery process easier and quicker.

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