There are a couple of violin/viola support products currently on the market. I have never tried them,
but one is to be found at http://www.happynex.com/
About 12 years ago the violist in my quartet was suffering from frozen shoulder.
I remember playing a concert where he had rigged some sort of cane to his elbow for support.
He got through the concert, and his shoulder did eventually recover.
I can't quite remember how he did it, but I think perhaps it was a tripod-like,
or pronged cane perhaps belted to his elbow.......
Best Wishes for your recovery,
Inventor of Bow Hold Buddies[tm] Instant Bow Hold bow accessory for violin/viola, and
CelloPhant[tm] Instant Bow Hold bow accessory for cello
I know of a person who used to roll a thick soft towel up and place it under his left armpit. He swears it really helped.
Hi Carolyn -
Here's an idea....Instead of trying to 'hold up' your viola, why not give some support to your injured arm?
Try this: Take a towel, and roll it up. Put it under your armpit. You will be amazed at how easy it makes playing a viola. You can experiment with different sized towels to find the "perfect fit". Viola! No strain on your shoulder, and it takes the pressure off your elbow.