How To Adapt Recliner For Right Arm Surgery

How to Adapt a Recliner for Right Arm Surgery


Undergoing right arm surgery can be a challenging experience, especially when it comes to finding a comfortable seating arrangement during the recovery period. A recliner can provide excellent support and relaxation, but it may need some modifications to ensure optimal comfort and accessibility. In this article, we will guide you through the process of adapting your recliner to suit your specific needs after right arm surgery.

Choosing the Right Recliner

Before making any modifications, it’s important to select a recliner that suits your body shape and meets your comfort requirements. Look for a chair with adjustable positions, solid armrests, and firm lumbar support. Additionally, consider the material of the recliner, as some fabrics may cause discomfort or irritation to your healing arm. Opt for a smooth and breathable upholstery, such as leather or microfiber, to promote better airflow and minimize perspiration.

Modifying the Recliner

1. Armrest Alternatives:

Since your right arm will be in a vulnerable state post-surgery, it’s essential to adapt the recliner’s armrests to avoid pressure and discomfort. One option is to remove the armrest on the side where the surgery took place, ensuring you have enough space and freedom of movement. If completely removing the armrest is not feasible, consider using a soft cushion or pillow to cover the armrest and provide extra padding.

2. Utilizing Pillows for Support:

To ensure proper alignment and reduce strain on the surgical arm, use pillows strategically to support your body while sitting in the recliner. Place a pillow on your lap to support the weight of your arm and keep it elevated. This will help reduce swelling and minimize discomfort. Additionally, use a small pillow or rolled towel to support your lower back and maintain a neutral spine position.

3. Remote and Side Table Accessibility:

During the recovery period, it’s crucial to have easy access to essential items such as the TV remote, books, medications, or a water bottle. Use a small table positioned within arm’s reach on the unaffected side of the recliner. This will allow you to access your belongings without straining or reaching with your operated arm. Organize the items you may need in advance, ensuring everything is within your reach to avoid unnecessary movements.

Ensuring Safety and Comfort

1. Movement and Transfers:

Moving in and out of a recliner after arm surgery can be challenging. To ensure your safety and minimize strain on your operated arm, utilize the assistance of another individual whenever possible. They can provide support and stability during transfers. If you need to perform a transfer independently, practice in a controlled environment beforehand and take your time to avoid sudden movements or accidents.

2. Applying Ice or Heat Therapy:

If your doctor recommends applying ice or heat therapy to the surgical area, make sure you have easy access to the necessary supplies. Keep ice packs or heating pads nearby, either on the side table or in a cooler bag within reach. Remember to follow your healthcare professional’s instructions regarding duration and frequency of therapy.

Recovery Tips

1. Follow Your Physical Therapy Routine:

Adapting your recliner is just one aspect of your recovery journey. It’s essential to follow your physical therapy routine diligently. Perform any prescribed exercises or stretches to ensure a proper recovery and regain your arm’s functionality effectively.

2. Prioritize Rest and Sleep:

Rest and sleep play a vital role in the healing process. Ensure your recliner provides adequate support for your body and allows you to get comfortable sleep. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and optimize your surroundings for sleep hygiene, such as adjusting lighting and keeping electronic devices away before bedtime.


Adapting your recliner for right arm surgery can significantly enhance your comfort during the recovery period. By modifying the armrests, utilizing pillows for support, and ensuring easy access to essentials, you can create a more accessible and relaxing environment. Remember to prioritize safety, follow your healthcare professional’s guidelines, and allow yourself ample time to heal. With the right adaptations and a positive mindset, you’ll be on the path to a speedy recovery.

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