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How To Put On A Bra After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Springrose makes adaptive intimates for unstoppable women. Learn more >
03 Oct 2023

Surgery scar

Rotator cuff injuries can be both painful and debilitating. Whether they’re the result of an accident or more general wear and tear, when serious, these injuries often require surgical intervention to restore full function and reduce daily pain. 

While the surgery is a crucial step toward healing, it comes with its own set of challenges, one of those being the simple act of getting dressed. 

The After Effects of Surgery: Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuff injuries are surprisingly common, and can affect people of all ages with varying severity. They happen when the group of tendons and muscles that help to stabilize the shoulder joint are damaged or torn. This leads to pain, weakness, and a limited range of motion.

The recovery period for this type of injury can be long and frustrating, we often underestimate just how much we rely on these joints, and when recovery is ongoing, it’s very common to have to learn to do most things one-handed.

Recovery time for a rotator cuff injury can vary depending on the size of the tear, but you can expect to resume most activities at around the 3-month mark whilst more strenuous activities may require a bit more time. 

For some patients, less demanding activities such as driving may be feasible within a couple of weeks, at this point you’ll probably want to be able to dress independently, which can prove to be difficult without the right tools.

We recommend reading Tips for Rotator Cuff Surgery Recovery to learn more.

Can I Wear A Bra After Shoulder Surgery?

Beautiful mature woman wearing a Springrose bra for rotator cuff surgery while looking at the camera with a smile and playing with her hair, laying on a bed

The prospect of dressing after shoulder surgery can be daunting, especially when it comes to essential items like bras where independence is key. The limited range of motion in the affected shoulder can make the process seem almost impossible. 

You should always follow the advice of your healthcare team after a surgery, and most will advise that you don’t wear a traditional back-fastening bra at all for at least 2 weeks after surgery.

To learn more specifics, we recommend reading Can You Wear a Bra After Shoulder Replacement Surgery? But what about when you’ve got the all clear?

What Bra Is Good After Shoulder Surgery?

Even if you’ve been given the go-ahead from your surgeon, you’re probably still going to be faced with limited mobility and discomfort in your shoulder for at least the first few weeks. 

So, what are the options?

When selecting a bra for post-shoulder surgery, consider the challenges you may face during your recovery, specifically one-handed fastening and the difficulties associated with reaching to fasten and unfasten traditional back clasps. 

Front-closure bras are highly recommended because they eliminate the need to reach behind your back, reducing strain on your healing shoulder. Sports bras with front zippers can be an option but the zipper may be difficult to use in the first few weeks following surgery, so we always recommend Velcro front closing bras.

Our Favorite: The Springrose Adaptive Bra

Beautiful mature woman wearing the Springrose bra for rotator cuff surgery while smizing at the camera

Our absolute favorite bra for after rotator cuff surgery is the Springrose Adaptive Plunge Bra

It’s been designed with limited mobility and one-handed use in mind with the help and input of over 500 women. There was also plenty of insight from PTs and OTs during the design process to make sure it wasn’t just comfortable, it was also functional.

The bra’s Velcro fasten makes it really simple to secure in place and the many ways that it can be put on make it ideal for a number of conditions, including rotator cuff surgery.

The best thing about the Springrose Adaptive Bra is that it doesn’t look like an adaptive bra. It’s sexy and stylish and feels really comfortable – there’s a reason why people continue to wear it after recovery is done.

Learn more about the innovative Springrose adaptive bra.

How To Put On A Bra After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Before attempting to put on your bra, ensure you have a suitable environment where you can keep your affected arm close to your body, either by your side or gently supported. This will help you to maintain balance and reduce the risk of injury. You might even want to dress sitting down if balance is a concern, this is no problem with an adaptive bra.

There are a few ways you can put on a Springrose Adaptive Bra, depending on comfort and general mobility. If you have undergone shoulder surgery, fastening a bra one-handed is much more simple with front fastens.

Young woman with a limb difference shows how to put on the Springrose bra for rotator cuff surgery with one hand

  1. To avoid straining your shoulder, you should be aiming to put the bra on like you might put on a jacket. Keep the Velcro fastenings attached on your operated side and unfasten the Velcro under the cup on the opposite side to allow for easy front access.
  2. Begin by pulling the shoulder strap over your operated shoulder. Starting with this side should give you more flexibility in movement and put less pressure on the operated area. There’s also no need to move this arm or shoulder during this step.
  3. Next, use your stronger arm to reach the other shoulder strap and pull that on. You should now have both arms in your bra.
  4. Using your stronger arm again, guide the Velcro strip from the loose cup through the loop on the operated side and pull it back towards your stronger side to secure it under the cup.
  5. You can now use your stronger arm to readjust the Velcro fastens under both cups and the front-adjusting shoulder straps without adding unnecessary pressure to your other shoulder.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to wear this single-handed adaptive bra.

What Other Adaptive Clothes Should I Wear After Rotator Cuff Surgery?

Adaptive clothing goes beyond rotator cuff surgery bras. 

Consider incorporating other adaptive items into your wardrobe to make dressing and daily activities more manageable. Look for loose-fitting clothing, front-closure shirts, and items with Velcro fastenings to simplify the dressing process during your recovery. If you want a bit more guidance, we recommend What Can You Wear After Shoulder Surgery?

Recovering from rotator cuff surgery is a tricky and sometimes long journey that requires patience, dedication, and adaptability.

While challenges may arise, the right choices and resources can significantly help your path to recovery. Remember, it's essential to prioritize safety and follow your healthcare provider's guidance throughout your rehabilitation process

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