Shoulder arthroscopy

Shoulder Arthroscopy


Arthroscopy is a procedure that allows your orthopaedic surgeon to look at the surface of your joints using a small fibre-optic camera. The procedure can be used to diagnose joint problems, perform surgery or monitor disease. The procedure is often used to treat knee, hip, wrist, ankle, and shoulder injuries.


Shoulder arthroscopy involves your doctor inserting a tiny camera into your shoulder joint after which images are displayed on screens for your orthopaedic surgeon to see as he works with small surgical tools. The surgical equipment used in arthroscopy is particularly small, which means that the incisions made in the body will be small, less painful, and will heal much quicker than those made in traditional open surgery.


Shoulder arthroscopy is often performed for the following:

  • Rotator cuff repair
    A rotator cuff tear is a common shoulder injury, which can cause considerable discomfort and pain. When a rotator cuff tendon tears, the tendon pulls away from the bone, damaging the soft tissue or, in some cases, splitting the soft tissue completely. Dr Pirjol performs rotator cuff repair surgery according to the latest and most successful techniques using the arthroscopic suture bridge technique.
  • Removal of bone spurs
    A common cause of shoulder pain are bone spurs. Impingement occurs when structures within the shoulder (such as tendons and bones) rub together, causing the development of bone spurs. Impingement can be treated with cortisone injections, sports therapy and physiotherapy. Arthroscopic surgery might be required to remove the bone spurs.
  • Labrum repairs
    Labral tears often occur after a fall or sharp blow to the shoulder, or with throwing and pulling sport injuries. Tears can be repaired with arthroscopic surgery.
  • Shoulder dislocations
    The shoulder joint is among the easiest joint in the body to dislocate. Shoulder dislocations can be treated with physiotherapy or sports therapy, however repeated dislocations can cause lasting damage to the joint. In this case, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend arthroscopy to repair the damage to the shoulder joint.
  • Various sport injuries
    Sport injuries in the knee and shoulder are among the most common conditions treated by Dr Pirjol. His use of minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery ensures patients will recover with as little pain and discomfort as possible.


Your orthopaedic surgeon will conduct a thorough physical examination and order X-rays and most probably an MRI scan before considering surgery. During the arthroscopic surgery, you will be placed in a seated position on the operating theatre table. Your orthopaedic surgeon will make small puncture-like incisions in your shoulder, and insert instruments to repair your injury. The latest surgical technology will allow your surgeon to perform techniques like tying knots, anchoring stiches to the bone and passing sutures through small incisions.


Recovery will depend on the severity of your injury, as well as your personal condition. Speak to your orthopaedic surgeon about rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any lifestyle changes that might be required. Recovery from arthroscopy is generally much quicker than traditional open surgery, but your doctor will advise you on methods of reducing discomfort after your surgery.


Dr Gabriel Pirjol is an orthopaedic surgeon based in KwaZulu-Natal at St Augustine's Hospital in Durban. He also operates from Westville Hospital and Capital Haematology Hospital.


Telephone: +27 31 202 5463

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Address : Suite 24 Chelmsford Medical Centre
St Augustine's Hospital
107 J B Marks Road
Berea, 4001
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal