Dressing After Surgery: Looking Good, Recovering Better

physical therapy

If you attended a pre-op joint replacement surgery workshop, physical and occupational therapy were likely two important topics covered. The workshop facilitators may also suggested specific clothing and shoes you needed for therapy sessions.

We’re not going to be our optimum selves immediately following surgery; the last thing on our minds is the hideous hospital gown we’re wearing. However, attire will become somewhat important as we transition into the rehabilitation stages.

Dressing each morning will not only help prepare for therapy, but also boost one’s morale. How many of you felt tired and depressed wearing hospital gowns only to have an improved mood after a shower, dressed in favorite outfits brought from home, and hair combed? I can certainly vouch for the latter; as a matter of fact, many doctors and therapists agree that patients who dress in street clothing and shoes than remain in hospital-issue gowns and slippers progress further in recovery. I’ve kept up the habit of getting out of night clothes and dressing in favorite outfits for in-home physical therapy, and agree making the extra effort has played a role in my current stage of recovery.

Therapy involves a lot of movement and bending, so non-confining and comfortable things should top the list. A few favorite pieces of clothing may also bolster one’s spirits. I packed a favorite pair of sweat pants, loose pull-up jeans, and a pair of stretch pants I like to wear around home, along with three hockey jerseys, a gauze top, and a silky caftan for bedtime that could easily be lifted when I needed to use bathroom facilities during the night.

I also invested a bit more money in a pair of sturdy New Balance shoes in a slightly larger size to accommodate any potential foot swelling (which did happen after surgery). Since most hospitals tend to be cold year round, include a light sweater that can be put on and removed with ease.

Many joint replacement patients also offered additional suggestions:

Shorts and T-shirts
Loose sweat pants and tee shirts.
Loose fitting pajamas
Men’s boxer shorts
Soft pull on pants
Loose capri pants

What kind of clothing did you take to the hospital for your surgery? Did you feel a difference between staying in a hospital gown and finally being able to dress in regular clothes? I’d like to hear your thoughts.


One thought on “Dressing After Surgery: Looking Good, Recovering Better

  1. While in rehab I had loose shorts, baggy tops, great pair of comfortable sneakers. At night I wore the hospital gown. Great to be in street clothes during the day especially going for PT.


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