Cold Compression Therapy

You may have a special shoulder sling after your shoulder operation. These have been shown to lessen swelling and pain after surgery or injury, thus improving the recovery time.

We currently use the Activewrap cold compression cuff and have previously used the Shoulder Cryocuff.

How to use the Activewrap Cuff 

We recommend that for maximum benefit you use the Active Wrap:
- Day 1-7 after surgery - Apply cold pads for a maximum of 15 minutes at a time every 2 hours (you can increase this to every hour if you want). You should leave the compression sling on when you remove the gel pads to put in the freezer.
- Days 8-21 - After physiotherapy sessions and when required.

We advise you should ice with a small towel or cloth between skin and ice pocket.

The gel pads should be stored flat in the freezer for 1 hour before each use.

For more info and a video on how to apply the Activewrap see the official website

How to use a Cryocuff:


1. Prepare Cooler
Connect the blue tube to the cooler. Add cold water to the inside of the cooler with some ice. Lay the insulation disk on top of the ice. Close cooler lid tightly. Allow 5 minutes with occasional shaking to chill water.

2. Put on the EMPTY Sling:
At first it is helpful to have another person assist with this.
Attach the main straps around torso securing in front and behind (Fig 1).
Figure 1
Secure the underarm strap (Fig 2).
Figure 2
Secure the front and back elastic straps (Fig 3). The elastic straps can be opened during shoulder exercises.
Figure 3

3. Fill Sling:
Connect the blue tube to the Cold Compression Sling . Open air vent on cooler lid and raise cooler no more than 15 inches (38cm) above the sling (Fig. 4).
Hold raised cooler for about 30 seconds while the sling fills. Close air vent on cooler lid. The cooler can now be disconnected from the sling by pressing the metal tab on the quick-disconnect while the cooler is raised.

4. Rechill Water:
At first rechill the water in the cuff by the above process after 15 or 30 minutes, then once an hour or as needed.
Reconnect the blue tube to cuff, lower the cooler below cuff and the warmed water will drain from the sling into the cooler. Allow a minute or two for the water to mix with the ice and rechil, then raise the cooler and repeat the filling process (see step 3).l

Length of Use:

We recommend that for maximum benefit you use the Cold Compression Sling:
- Day 1-3 after surgery - Continuously
- Days 4-7 -  at night only, whilst sleeping
- Days 8-21 - After physiotherapy sessions only (for 2-4 hours)


  1. Do not use an elastic wrap with the Cold Compression Sling
  2. Keep dressings under the sling loose
  3. Check your skin under the sling regularly
  4. Do not raise the cooler than higher than 15 inches above the sling.
  5. Release the sling if any sense of discomfort, numbness or tingling in the arm.
  6. Do not share the sling with others. It is for single patient use only.

Related Links:

 Images & Text courtesy of Donjoy & Aircast UK

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here. satisfies the INTUTE criteria for quality and has been awarded 'editor's choice'.

The material on this website is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between ourselves and our patients. Full Disclaimer