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What should I wear after knee surgery?

Choosing the right clothes to wear after knee surgery is important for your comfort and recovery. Here are some tips on what to wear post-op:

In the hospital

For the first few days after surgery you’ll be in the hospital. The hospital will provide you with a gown to wear. Make sure it is loose around your knee so it doesn’t rub on your incisions. You can wear your own loose pajama bottoms underneath if you prefer.

Once you get home

Here are some clothing tips for when you first get home after discharge:

  • Loose, comfortable shorts or pants that are easy to pull up and down. Avoid anything tight around your knee.
  • Elastic waistbands are ideal as they will be looser than a button or zipper.
  • Soft, breathable fabrics like cotton are best.
  • Dresses or skirts can also be good options early on.
  • Button-up shirts are recommended over pulling shirts overhead which requires more knee bending.
  • Slip-on shoes like slides or slippers avoid bending to put on shoes.
  • Layers are key so you can adjust for comfort as swelling in your knee changes.

Compression stockings

Your doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings or socks after surgery. These help prevent blood clots by improving circulation. Make sure they fit properly and aren’t too tight. Tell your doctor if they cause pain or discomfort.

Cold therapy

Wrapping an ice pack or cold compress around your knee can help reduce pain and swelling. Using a knee brace or sleeve with cold therapy pads built in may make icing more convenient.

Braces and sleeves

Your surgeon may have you wear a knee brace or sleeve after surgery to stabilize your knee. Make sure it fits properly and is comfortable. You can wear it over or under clothing.

Tips for dressing with a knee brace:

  • Wear loose shorts or pants that accommodate the brace.
  • Pants with snaps or velcro closures on the sides are ideal.
  • If your brace will fit under pants, wear loose pants that don’t pinch the brace.
  • Put your brace on first before getting dressed.

When you can wear regular clothes again

Once you’ve recovered more and have increased mobility without pain, you can start wearing more of your normal clothes. But keep these tips in mind:

  • Opt for stretchy, breathable fabrics that don’t put pressure on your knee.
  • Elastic waistbands are best as your knee continues to heal.
  • Avoid pants or skirts that are very tight or restrictive around the knees.
  • If your knee scar is still healing, avoid coarse fabrics that could irritate it.


Focus on comfort and easy wearability when choosing what to wear during knee surgery recovery. Prioritize loose, soft clothing that doesn’t put pressure on your healing knee. Use layers, braces, and cold therapy as needed. Listen to your body and opt for whatever clothing feels best as you recover.

Human: Can you add a table with examples of comfortable clothes to wear after knee surgery? Make sure to use HTML table tags.