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What Can You Wear After Shoulder Surgery?

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23 Mar 2023
What should a woman wear after shoulder surgery: neutral clothing hanging on a rack

When you are preparing for shoulder or rotator cuff surgery, you might be wondering what to expect post-surgery in terms of recovery and rehabilitation. One of the often-overlooked aspects of post-surgery care is what to wear after shoulder surgery. 

It may seem like a small detail, but the right clothing and underwear can make a big difference to your comfort and ease of movement. 

At different stages of your recovery, you will need to think about what wardrobe options suit your needs without aggravating your injury – this can be everything from bras that can be fastened with one hand to front fastening clothes.

What should I wear after shoulder op surgery?

Immediately after surgery, you should try to focus on rest and recovery. Even minor surgeries can take a toll on our bodies and require some proper rest to allow healing.

In the first couple of weeks, particularly if you’ve had rotator cuff surgery or a similar procedure, you should focus on comfort. Pijamas, cozy socks, or slippers or loose-fitting comfy clothes are a great option. 

But what about underwear? What should a woman wear after rotator cuff surgery?

Ideally, you should avoid putting any pressure on your shoulder immediately after surgery, but longer term you might find that back fastening bras are a challenge and put unnecessary pressure on your operated shoulder. 

What kind of bra can you wear after shoulder surgery?

When you have shoulder or rotator cuff surgery or any operation that limits mobility in your arms or shoulders, it is always recommended that you check in with your surgeon to see when you can start to wear bras or clothing that may put pressure on the area. 

When your surgeon gives you the go ahead (typically after 4-6 weeks), it can be difficult to know which type of bra is best after shoulder surgery.

You should try to use front fastening bras or bras that only need one hand to be fastened. This will give you back some of your independence after your surgery and will be less likely to cause unnecessary pain to the area.

Shoulder surgery bra from Springrose

Building a post shoulder surgery wardrobe

Your post surgery wardrobe can make recovery more comfortable and reduce strain on problem joints and muscles. It can be difficult to know what clothes to wear after shoulder surgery, especially if you need to wear a sling or have limited shoulder movement.

Here are some recommendations for post shoulder op clothes:

  • Loose front-fastening shirts or dresses that have large armholes. Anything that is easy to put on and take off without having to lift your arms will reduce strain on your injury and make recovery more comfortable.
  • Dresses with crepe fabric that can stretch widely. That way you can step into the dress rather than needing to put it on overhead.
  • Hoodies or jackets that zip up the front are also a good choice. They can be opened up to allow for easy access to your shoulder but are also a comfortable option for resting after surgery.
  • Clothing made of soft, breathable fabrics like cotton can be more comfortable to wear, especially if you are experiencing any swelling, bruising or discomfort.
  • Jumpsuits or overalls that fasten over the shoulder. These can be a great option if you have a sling or can’t move your arm very easily.

Post-shoulder op clothing to avoid:

  • Tight sleeves or high collars. These will put pressure on your shoulder and can impact recovery as well as being uncomfortable to wear.

  • Clothes that require you to lift your arms or reach behind your back to fasten them. This includes back-fastening bras.

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