After having major shoulder surgery such as rotator cuff surgery, you may not be able to move your shoulder during the healing process. Shoulder surgery can make simple everyday activities like dressing difficult for you. Fortunately, however, there are certain items of clothing you can wear and steps you can take to make it easier for you to dress.
Method 1 of 4: choose clothes
Step 1. Select items of clothing that can be opened from the front
Shirts, jackets and other items of clothing are much easier to put on with just one arm if they can be fully opened at the front. Reach for clothing that has buttons, zippers, or hook and loop fasteners so you can put them on as quickly and easily as possible.
Step 2. Wear pants with an elastic waistband
It's much easier to put on or take off loose-fitting jogging pants or sagging leggings than tight jeans or suit pants. During the healing process, you should use pants that are made of stretchy materials to make it easier for you to dress.
When you wear pants like this, you don't have to button or zip up your lower body
Step 3. Choose loose fitting clothing
It's much easier to put on loose-fitting clothing when you can only use one arm. Choose clothes that are a few sizes too big so that you can slip into them easily.
For example, if you usually wear size M T-shirts, then wear size XL T-shirts after your surgery
Step 4. Wear women's shirts with a built-in bra
It's difficult to put on and take off a bra every day after having shoulder surgery. If you can, you shouldn't wear a regular bra, but a woman's shirt with a built-in bra. Alternatively, you can wear a tight tank top under your t-shirt.
If women's undershirts and tank tops do not provide you with adequate support, you can either wear underwire bras that can be opened at the front or wear regular underwire bras that can be closed at the back and ask someone to help you put the bra on to help
Step 5. Wear shoes that you just need to slip into
It is difficult or almost impossible to tie your shoes when you are only allowed to use one hand. To make things easier for you, you should choose shoes that you can easily slip into. Such shoes are suitable, for example, after shoulder surgery:
- Flip flops
- Velcro sneakers
Method 2 of 4: Wear tops that can be opened at the front
Step 1. Place the top in your lap and tuck the affected arm into your sleeve
Sit down and make sure your top is fully open. Lay it on your lap with the inside facing up. Let the sleeve for the operated side hang down between your legs. Now pull the sleeve on the operated side with the non-operated arm.
Just let your operated arm hang down and don't use it
Step 2. Use the non-operated arm to pull on the sleeve on the operated side
You can stand up to pull on the sleeve on the operated side. Be very careful when pulling on the sleeve on the arm with the operated shoulder.
Step 3. Pull the top over your back with your good arm
Hold the shirt with your good arm while doing this. Carefully pull the top with your good arm behind your back so that the other sleeve is next to your good arm at the end.
Step 4. Put your sound arm in the other sleeve
Put your good arm through the other sleeve so that it comes out at the other end.
Step 5. Adjust and button the top
Use your good arm to adjust the shirt against your body until it fits properly. Then take your good arm again to close the shirt at the front and button it up.
If you have difficulty buttoning the buttons, grasp the buttons on the side with your ring finger and pinky finger. Use your thumb, index, and ring fingers to grab the other side of the shirt and push the buttons through the holes
Step 6. Repeat the process in reverse order to take off the top again
If you want to take the shirt off again, use the fingers of your good arm to button it up again. Take off the sleeve in which the sound arm is tucked off with your sound arm and pull it through behind your back. Now take your sound arm to carefully remove the sleeve from your operated arm.
Method 3 of 4: Put on clothes upside down
Step 1. Bend forward and take the garment
Lean forward and passively let your operated arm hang down. Now take the garment with the hand of your good arm and pull it together from the hem to the neckline.
Step 2. Take your sound arm and put the sleeve on your operated arm
Do not use your operated arm for this at all. Only use your sound arm to pull on the sleeve on the side that you operated on. Pull the sleeve up to your shoulder.
Step 3. Pull the top over your head and stand up
It is usually easier to pull your shirt over your head when you are standing. Take your good arm and pull the garment over your head while you are standing.
Step 4. Slip your good arm into the other sleeve
Put your good arm through the other sleeve until it pokes out at the other end.
Step 5. Use your good arm to pull the garment down
By now you've probably got the garment on properly, but it may be hanging at your stomach level. With your good arm, grab the lower hem of the shirt and pull it down so that it fits correctly.
Step 6. Repeat this process in reverse order to take the garment off again
To take the garment off again, grab the lower hem of the top and pull it up into Right Chin. Then bring your sound arm inward to slip out of the sleeve. Now bend forward and pull the shirt off your head with your good arm. Finally, all you have to do is remove the sleeve on your operated side with your sound arm.
Method 4 of 4: put on your splint
Step 1. Get dressed
It is much easier to get dressed first and then put on the splint than the other way around. You should at least put on a shirt before putting on the splint, as the splint is worn over the top, but probably not over other items of clothing such as pants.
Do not put on heavy jackets until after you have put on your splint and don't worry about tucking your operated arm up your sleeve. Simply let the operated arm hang down
Step 2. Put the splint on the table
Place your splint or sling on a table that goes up to about your thighs. Make sure that the cushion is attached to the rail and that the clips or straps are open.
Step 3. Bend forward and place your operated arm in the splint
Take the sound arm and position the operated arm at a 90-degree angle. Your arm should be in a natural position in front of your body, a little below your chest. Bend down to place your operated arm in the splint.
Step 4. Tighten the forearm straps
Your splint should have straps or buckles that support your splint on your wrist or forearm. Use your good arm to tighten these straps or buckles.
Step 5. Use your good arm to attach the shoulder strap
Grab the shoulder strap with your sound arm and guide it behind the operated shoulder and around your neck. Attach the shoulder strap to the rail.
Step 6. Support your operated arm with your sound arm when you stand up
Put the hand of your good arm under the splint when you get up. Use your good arm to keep the operated arm in place when you get up.
Step 7. Use your good arm to tighten the waist strap
When you stand, reach behind you with your good arm and grab the waist strap. Pull it forward in front of your body and pull it tight.
- Ask someone for help if you need it.
- Always dress on the side on which you had your surgery first.
- Always get dressed first before putting on your splint.
- To make it easier for you to get dressed, you should buy a few items of clothing online that are specifically made for people who have recently had shoulder surgery.