How to Adapt a Recliner for Right Arm Surgery?

I have to spend a lot of time confined to bed due to my recent right arm surgery. Thus, I needed to adjust my recliner chair to my new needs. It was vital for me to change the seat height between standard and elevated positions depending on my convenience and removable support at the back.

The ordinary furniture wouldn’t meet my needs, and a specialized recliner costs a lot of money. So, I decided to transform an old recliner chair into a more comfortable temporary substitute. According to instructions from my article, you can do something similar and adapt your recliner for right arm surgery.

I find it uncomfortable to do this whole procedure when you have only one hand. Thus, I recommend you ask your friend or relative to help you with the entire transformation process.

STEP #1: Remove the Reclining Mechanism

Take the seat pan cover off and start by removing the screw attached to the reclining mechanism. Once you take it out, remove all the other screws holding the recliner together at both sides. After that, detach the back of the chair from its base. Now slide out all internal mechanisms to clear space for your body.

STEP #2: Installation of Permanent Back Support

You can install a back support post for your best recliner to prevent slouching and maintain an ergonomic posture. These come with special kits, and all you have to do is attach them according to the instructions provided by your manufacturer or supplier. You can easily find these kits by looking on the internet, and I recommend checking out the manufacturer’s website or an online marketplace like Amazon. Besides, you may use a headrest or a rolled-up towel if nothing is available in stores that meet your needs.

STEP #3: Seat Height Adjustment

You have to adjust the seat height according to the elevated position you will sit on the chair. Remove the foldable leg stand from beneath the seat pan and place it underneath or against the front edge of the chair frame, depending on your convenience.

STEP #4: Installing Armrests and Removable Back Support

Your armrests may be attached to the chair for stability, and it is easy to remove them when you don’t need them anymore. To remove them easily without causing any damage, screw through removable pins using a drill. Make sure that there’s no gap between armrests and seat pan so they can slide in perfectly during use.

Place the back support on the uppermost position of a chair according to your needs and preferences before securing them with hook-on strap loops. At this point, you can also install a headrest by adjusting its height accordingly before attaching it securely onto the top of the post with Velcro straps. They should be provided by your supplier.

STEP #5: Making Final Adjustments

The last step is to ensure that your recliner has successfully adapted for right arm surgery. Ensure that the front edge of the seat pan doesn’t cause any discomfort by running your fingers along the surface at both sides, and make sure that the chair provides you with sufficient support when it’s in an elevated position because this should be its average level.

If you find something uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to adjust it accordingly. For instance, if the chair’s back is too reclined, you can place a rolled-up towel in the lower part of the frame against the tip of a post, which will make it more upright.


This section will answer some most frequently asked questions about adjusting your armchair after hand surgery.

How long will the armchair adaptation for right-hand surgery last?

It depends on your situation and whether you started physiotherapy or not. If your hand therapy goes well, you’ll notice some improvement every day, which is why it’s essential to adapt a recliner as soon as possible so you can return home as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if therapy doesn’t go well and you’re still experiencing problems after six weeks, I recommend visiting a doctor to see what can be done because there may be something else that requires attention.

Can these measures harm me in any way?

This kind of armchair adaptation won’t cause any damage unless implemented incorrectly or used for an extended time. Although you can adjust armchair without assistance from other people, I recommend consulting a professional to ensure that the operation has been done correctly.

What materials should be used for armchair adaptations?

This depends on what your caregiver recommends and what you have at home because there’s no universal solution in this case. In my experience, however, these measures have been applied successfully regardless of the type of material involved, so it shouldn’t cause any problems if you follow instructions carefully.

How much does an armchair adaptation cost?

The price varies depending on where you purchase a hand-operated recliner and whether modifications are required or not before applying these measures. Therefore, I recommend asking about costs when buying an armchair because prices can be significantly reduced if you wait until modifications are complete.

Is a recliner good after surgery?

There is no definitive answer to this question since it depends on each individual’s recovery process and comfort level. However, many people find that recliners are helpful in the early stages of recovery as they provide support and elevation for the legs. You should always consult with your doctor before using a recliner after surgery.

Should you sleep in a recliner after shoulder surgery?

For the first 1-2 weeks after your surgery, it might be best to sleep on an incline, making a recliner an ideal option. It will be more comfortable for you to maintain an upright, supported position as you heal. You can also use recliners to prop up your arm while doing range-of-motion exercises prescribed by your doctor or physical therapist.

How do you sleep in a recliner after shoulder surgery?

There’s no one specific way to sleep in a recliner after shoulder surgery. Some people find it helpful to sleep with their arm propped up on a pillow, while others may prefer to sleep with their arm down by their side. Ultimately, it’s important to find a position that is comfortable for you and will allow you to get some good rest. I’d advise you to keep your head and neck supported by a pillow for extra comfort.

How to fix a loose recliner arm?

The best way to fix a loose recliner arm is to first identify the problem. Is the arm sagging? If so, you may need to add some extra support. One way to do this is to place a pillow under your arm while you’re reclining. Another option is to use a small piece of furniture, like a stack of books, to prop up the arm. If the arm is wobbling, you may need to tighten the screws that hold it in place. Once you identify the problem, it should be relatively easy to find a solution.


Now that your recliner has been adapted for your successful recovery, sitting on your armchair has to be rather enjoyable. If you feel like something still doesn’t meet your needs, don’t be afraid to use some creativity and figure out how to fix it yourself. Remember, an extra hand or two would always come in handy during these tasks!

About Karen Miller

As an interior designer, I believe that living spaces should be welcoming and comfortable. When you walk into your home or office for the first time after it's been remodeled by me - all of those efforts are paid off with a sense of comfort in knowing how much care went into making sure every detail was attended too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


We know you're busy, so we've done the research for you and found all of your favorite recliners. We want to leave absolutely no doubt in your mind about which chair is best for you!

2600 W 35th St #240,
Chicago, IL 60632

Our Choice & Amazon's Choice
Ashley Yandel Leather Recliner
Ashley Yandel Faux Leather Electric Power Lift Recliner