What to Wear After Shoulder Replacement Surgery

After undergoing shoulder replacement surgery, dressing comfortably and safely is a top priority. In this post, I will guide you on exactly what to wear after shoulder replacement surgery to promote healing and provide maximum comfort without sacrificing ease of use. From shirts that accommodate your sling to shoes that slide on with minimal effort, find out how to dress with limited arm mobility and keep your recovery on track.

Key Takeaways

  • Adaptive clothing, including front-opening shirts, Velcro closures, and one-handed dressing options, enhances comfort and eases the process of dressing after shoulder surgery.
  • Proper footwear like slip-on shoes or those with Velcro closures can help maintain stability and prevent falls, while comfortable sleepwear and positioning supports such as extra pillows contribute to a better sleep and recovery environment.
  • Preparing the home environment, including reorganizing living spaces for easy item access, and preparing meals in advance, is crucial in minimizing strain and facilitating a smoother recovery process after shoulder surgery.

Adaptive Clothing for Shoulder Surgery Recovery

Recovering from shoulder surgery typically involves managing limited mobility and some discomfort. It’s advisable to consult your orthopedic shoulder surgeon for tailored guidance during this time. One effective way to navigate this challenging period is by using adaptive clothing. This specialized attire is crafted to make dressing easier during recovery from shoulder surgery, helping to avoid stress on the sensitive shoulder area. Adaptive clothing offers both comfort and convenience, making it an excellent choice for your recovery period.

Whether it’s open-shoulder designs, front-open shirts, or adaptive t shirt options, adaptive clothing accommodates your needs, offering ease of dressing without the need to lift your dominant arm.

Front-Opening Shirts

Think about your typical shirt or blouse – you have to pull it over your head and then maneuver your arms into the sleeves. Imagine doing this with a recovering shoulder! This is where front-opening shirts come into play. These shirts allow for easy dressing, eliminating the need to lift the upper body and arm above the head, a key factor in avoiding discomfort and strain during your recovery period.

Velcro Closures

Fastening buttons or zippers can be quite a struggle when you’re dealing with limited arm mobility after shoulder surgery. So, how about skipping the traditional fasteners and opting for Velcro closures? This simple adaptation to your clothing can make dressing and undressing a breeze, reducing the need for extensive arm movement, which is crucial during recovery.

One-Handed Dressing Options

When one hand is occupied with a shoulder sling, dressing can become a daunting task. However, with the right clothing choices, such as garments with elastic waistbands and oversized clothing, dressing with one hand becomes much easier. Additionally, tools like one-handed buttoning tools and dressing sticks can be a godsend, helping you manage buttons and extend your reach without straining your recovering shoulder.

Comfortable & Supportive Footwear

Footwear might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about post-shoulder surgery wear, but it’s more important than you might realize. Wearing the right shoes can provide stability, prevent falls, and make your recovery a little more comfortable.

Shoes that are easy to slip on and off, such as wear slip on shoes and shoes with Velcro closures, are a must in your post-surgery wardrobe.

Slip-On Shoes

Tying shoelaces can be a tricky task when you’re dealing with arm and shoulder immobilization post-surgery. This is where slip-on shoes step in to simplify your life. These shoes are not just easy to wear but also provide the necessary support and comfort, ensuring that you maintain your posture and stability during recovery.

Shoes with Velcro Closures

Another footwear option to consider is shoes with Velcro closures. Much like slip-on shoes, these are easy to wear and take off even with limited use of one arm. Moreover, the design of Velcro shoes provides the necessary stability for patients during recovery, ensuring safety and comfort at every step.

Loose-Fitting & Stretchy Apparel

Loose-fitting and stretchy apparel is another key element of a comfortable and convenient post-surgery wardrobe. Such garments offer:

  • Comfort
  • Ease of movement
  • Elastic waistbands
  • Oversized designs

These features ensure ease of movement during your recovery, making them ideal for use under the guidance of a physical therapist.

Elastic Waistbands

The beauty of elastic waistbands is the ease they bring to the dressing process, especially for individuals recovering from shoulder surgery. Pants with elastic waistbands can be:

  • Pulled up or down using just one hand
  • Adjusted for comfort throughout the day
  • Easily worn with different tops and shoes
  • Convenient for bathroom breaks

This makes dressing and undressing a breeze for those with limited mobility or dexterity, especially when using a shower chair.

Oversized Garments

Oversized garments offer another comfortable option during your recovery period. These garments provide additional comfort, facilitate airflow, and can accommodate any swelling that may occur post-surgery. From loose-fitting T-shirts to oversized cardigans, these garments allow for easy movement and make dressing less of a chore.

Sleepwear Solutions for Shoulder Surgery Recovery

A good night’s sleep is crucial to any recovery process, and the right sleepwear can make all the difference. Soft, breathable sleepwear ensures a comfortable rest and simplifies dressing over the sling.

Front-Fastening Pajamas

Front-fastening pajamas are a game-changer in the world of recovery sleepwear. These pajamas allow for easy dressing and undressing without the need to raise the arm over the head, reducing discomfort and simplifying the dressing process.

Breathable Fabrics

The fabric of your sleepwear matters too. Opting for breathable fabrics like cotton can help maintain a comfortable body temperature and reduce sweating, which is beneficial for wound healing and overall comfort.

Stylish & Functional Accessories

While comfort and convenience are key, there’s no reason why you can’t be stylish during your recovery period. Accessories like scarves and simple jewelry can not only help conceal your shoulder sling but also boost your spirits and keep you looking your best.


Scarves are a versatile accessory that can be used to add a touch of style to your outfit while also serving a practical purpose. They can be draped over the shoulder to conceal the surgical sling, adding to your comfort and style without compromising on functionality.

Simple Jewelry

Jewelry with magnetic clasps is a great way to add some sparkle to your wardrobe while keeping ease of use in mind. Not only do these pieces look good, but they can also be easily fastened with one hand, making them a practical choice during your recovery period.

Post-Surgery Sleep Positions & Support

Just as your clothing and accessories matter, so does your sleep position and the support you use. Proper sleep positions and suitable support, like using extra pillows and specific sleep aids, can alleviate discomfort and promote healing during your shoulder surgery recovery.

Extra Pillows

Extra pillows can be your best friend during the recovery period. They can provide necessary support, prevent you from rolling onto the injured shoulder, and ensure proper alignment, reducing any discomfort you might experience during sleep.

Sleep Aids

Sleep aids like reclining chairs and bed wedges can help you maintain a comfortable sleeping position, reducing discomfort and promoting healing. Not only do these aids provide relief, but they also aid in proper circulation, which is essential for healing.

Preparing Your Home for Shoulder Surgery Recovery

Your home environment plays a significant role in your healing process. By reorganizing your living spaces for easy access to essential items and preparing meals in advance, you can minimize strain and ensure a smoother recovery journey.

Reorganizing Living Spaces

Your living spaces should be organized to minimize the need for straining your affected shoulder. Items that you frequently use should be placed in locations that can be easily reached without stressing the recovering shoulder joint.

Preparing Meals in Advance

Meal preparation can be a daunting task during recovery. But with a bit of planning, you can simplify this process. Consider cooking extra meals before your surgery or opt for easy-to-prepare foods. This will reduce the strain involved in meal preparation during the recovery period.


Choosing the right clothing, footwear, and accessories, and arranging your living environment to accommodate your recovery needs can significantly ease your journey through shoulder surgery recovery. It’s important to talk through these choices with your orthopedic shoulder surgeon to ensure they align with your specific medical advice. By incorporating these practical tips, you’ll be able to focus on healing and gradually regaining your strength and mobility. Remember, every small step you take towards optimizing your comfort and convenience during recovery is a step closer to a healthier, pain-free you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is adaptive clothing beneficial after shoulder surgery?

Adaptive clothing is beneficial after shoulder surgery because it simplifies the dressing process and prevents strain on the sensitive shoulder area during recovery.

What kind of footwear is recommended after shoulder surgery?

After shoulder surgery, it’s recommended to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, such as slip-on shoes and those with Velcro closures. This can make it easier to dress without needing to lift the affected arm too much.

How can I ensure a good night’s sleep during my recovery period?

To ensure a good night’s sleep during your recovery period, use soft, breathable sleepwear and consider the right sleep positions with the help of extra pillows, reclining chairs, and bed wedges for added comfort and support.

How can I prepare my home for my recovery period?

Prepare your living spaces for easy access and pre-make meals to minimize strain during your recovery period. This will help you feel more comfortable and supported.

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Orthopedic surgeon near Folsom, CA

Dr. Kyle McClintock

Dr. Kyle McClintock, an Orthopedic Surgeon with practices in Roseville and Folsom, specializes in the shoulder and elbow, aiding patients in resuming their daily activities.

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