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Dressing and undressing with ease after shoulder surgery

Having shoulder surgery?  Getting dressed & undressed after a shoulder surgery, such as a rotator cuff repair, can be challenging. You may not be able to move your shoulder while it heals. This can make simple everyday activities, like getting dressed, very difficult.

The following dressing / undressing guide and clothing recommendations, can help you make this process a lot easier for you, making your recovery better.

1. Ask for help. Right after surgery, you will have swelling. Pain and mobility will be difficult. Painkillers may also compromise your balance and mobility. Therefore, in the days following your shoulder surgery, it’s a good idea to have a friend or family member around to take care of you. They will surely be helpful with many essential tasks, including dressing and undressing yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

2. One-handed dressing techniques. Once you are ready to begin dressing yourself, follow these steps to get your upper body dressed using one hand:

  • Place the garment in your lap.
  • Using your non-injured hand, pull the sleeve over your immobilized arm.
  • If wearing a pull-over shirt, find the opening for your head and pull it over your head.
  • Push your fully mobile arm through the other sleeve.
  • Pull the shirt down over your stomach and back until you are comfortable.

Practice these techniques ahead of your surgery, to gain some experience, especially if your procedure will be done on your dominant arm.

3. Loose, oversized garments. Wearing loose-fitting clothing that is easy to put on and take off, might be a good idea. Pull-on shirts and pants with elastic waistbands are helpful so that you don’t have to bother with closures in the aftermath of your surgery.

4. Front-opening shirts. Another idea is to wear front-opening shirts & sweaters. However, the downside of these is that it can be very difficult to operate the closures with one hand, especially if the shirt has buttons. You may need to ask for help.

 5. Adaptive clothes.  Post-surgery clothing that is specifically designed for people recovering from shoulder surgery are probably the best option after surgery. Adaptive clothes are designed with limited mobility in mind.  Shirts that have full arm and side openings, easy open-close snaps and no zipper, velcro or metal trims are ideal to make you look and feel comfortable throughout your recovery.  At maiwecare.com, you may find a variety of post-surgery shirts, so that you don’t have to stress about getting dressed after surgery.

The following video can be very helpful.   It provides details about how to dress and undress safely following a shoulder surgery, replacement, or injury requiring shoulder immobilization.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptai8849h_I

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