Skip to Content

What to Wear the Day of Rotator Cuff Surgery

What to Wear the Day of Rotator Cuff Surgery

Rotator cuff surgery is a daunting prospect that requires adequate preparation and unshakable courage. The journey towards getting a quicker recovery after the surgery deserves significant attention.

Therefore, you ought to know the clothing type to wear as you get into the theatre for the therapeutic repair of torn rotator cuff muscles.

Before the rotator cuff surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will discuss the perioperative journey and the recovery instructions with you. For example, before you even get into the operation room, you should be well hydrated and, most importantly, be dressed in the attire that allows easy access to the shoulder region.

Typically in rotator cuff surgery, you’re starved for a minimum of 6 hours before the procedure. Besides dietary control, you need to have clothes that encourage good blood flow and nourishment to the cuff muscles.

Which type of clothing should you wear during the day of rotator cuff surgery? According to experts, you’re required to wear stretchy and loose-fitting clothes that will make the operation flow seamlessly.

In addition, wearing loose and stretchy clothes will make it easy for the operator to drop them down when all are down. Loose and stretchy clothes are easy to drape over the shoulders.

During the day of rotator cuff surgery, you should avoid tight clothes. Tight cloth is the one that you will find a lot of difficulties trying to wear. On the day of rotator cuff surgery, be sure to wear elastic-waist pants, sweatpants, lose T-shirts, or button-up shirts.

When it comes to footwear, try to find slip-on shoes or the variety with Velcro closures since you won’t be able to tie the laces with a weaker upper limb.

Avoid wearing makeup or any other foreign face and hair product for general appearance.  It’s also advisable that you remove all the jewelry on the day of rotator cuff surgery.  The makeup, face, and hair products, including perfume, affect how the attendants monitor your progress.  Attention might shift from time to time. In addition, the items can be the primary sources of infection that complicate post-surgical healing.

Please try clearing the hairs around the shoulder joint and wear a clean and loose vest if you’re a man.  Hair harbors a lot of disease-causing microorganisms that you can’t see with a naked eye.

A Loose vest prevents your body from sweating and offers adequate exposure to the cuff muscles area.  When you clear the hair, the operation field is clean and does not pose risks of infections to the surgical site.


What to Wear During the Rotator Cuff Surgery

During your rotator cuff surgery, it’s recommended that you dress in loose, comfortable clothing.  Consider where the surgery is being performed to determine the garments that would work best for easy access to the incision site.

The dressing should also be able to cover the site during recovery.  Wear clothing with broad arm and leg openings to prevent the material from rubbing against the incision site.  For surgical wear, the following loose-fitting garments are acceptable on the day of rotator cuff surgery:

  • Sweatpants: Loose pants or sweatpants with an elastic band improve your comfort and recovery after the surgery by putting less strain on your abdominal region.
  • Short-sleeved shirts; Wearing short-sleeved shirts on the day of rotator cuff surgery reduces the pain and discomfort aroused when the piece of cloth rubs rightly against the wound dressing.
  • Button-down shirt: It’s easy to wear and remove the button-down shirt when called upon to change into the hospital gown, and you’ve no one to help you support the straining shoulder joint.
  • Slip-on shoes:  When going for rotator cuff surgery and even after the repair, you’re unlikely to tie knots of the laced shoes.  The alternative is to wear shoes that are easy to remove and put on.
  • Hair tie or elastic band: Before surgery, you’ve to tie the long hair into a ponytail and secure it with an elastic band that holds it still from touching around.

What Not To Wear On the Day of Rotator Cuff Surgery

  • Body piercings and jewelry: All jewelry should be left at home, including a wedding ring.  If you can’t remove the jewelry, it’s covered plaster or tape to prevent it from contaminating the operated area.
  • Shoes that need tying: Wear shoes that are easy to slide on and off.  Also called surgery shoes.
  • High heels: Even when undergoing shoulder surgery, you should avoid wearing high heels.  Something can triple you down, and you will injure the same joint.  High heels also make you struggle to maintain equilibrium following rotator cuff surgery.
  • Mouth prosthetics: To avoid injuries during the surgery, remove dentures, retainers, or elastic bands.
  • Makeup should be avoided throughout the treatment so that your doctor can precisely inspect your skin and ensure that your circulation is healthy.  When under anesthesia and don’t have a blink reflex, makeup can cause eye damage.
  • Deodorant and other skin products might leave a residue on your skin, which can irritate the incision site following shoulder surgery.


Rotator cuff surgery is a major operation that involves the re-attachment of the muscle tendons back to the head of the homers.  It’s believed that rotator cuff surgery is among the most painful operations in which the patient is stable only with very high doses of analgesics.

What you wear on the day of rotator cuff surgery typically determines how the procedure will flow and how fast you will recover.  As stated above, it’s crucial to wear loose and stretchable clothes that allow easy access to the shoulder region and won’t compress the joint to compromise on blood supply.

When dressing on the day of rotator cuff surgery, consider starting with the surgical arm first.  You should try by all means to avoid the attires that elicit unnecessary movement and cause discomfort.

Button-down, post-surgical and oversized shirts, plus the front-closure bras, are the post-surgery clothes that have shown to be very helpful after rotator cuff surgery.