Sport injuries

Sport Injuries

Sports injuries in the knee and shoulder are among the most common conditions treated by Dr Pirjol. Although Dr Pirjol will explore all non-surgical options in treating sports injuries, his practice offers minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to ensure that patients recover with as little pain and discomfort as possible.

Some common sports-related shoulder injuries include:

  • Dislocations
    The shoulder joint is among the easiest joint in the body to dislocate. Dislocations can be treated with rehabilitation, as in sports therapy and physiotherapy; however, repeated dislocations can cause lasting damage. In this case, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend arthroscopy of the shoulder and a repair of the labrum – the constraining cartilage of the shoulder.
  • Impingement
    A common cause of shoulder pain, impingement occurs when structures within the shoulder (such as tendons and bones) rub together, causing a build-up of scar tissue and bone spurs to develop. Impingement can be treated with cortisone injections and sports physiotherapy. Arthroscopic surgery might be required to remove the bone spurs and scar tissue(bursitis).
  • Rotator cuff tears
    A rotator cuff tear is a common shoulder injury, which can cause considerable discomfort and shoulder joint pain. When a rotator cuff tendon tears, the tendon pulls away from the bone, causing pain and weakness of the shoulder. Tears can be repaired with arthroscopic surgery.
  • Biceps tendon injuries
    Biceps tendon injuries usually occur when the biceps tendon ruptures at the elbow or shoulder. Surgery may be required to reattach the tendon.
  • Labral tears (SLAP lesions)
    Labral tears often occur after a fall or sharp blow to the shoulder or with throwing and pulling sports injuries. These tears can be repaired arthroscopically.

Some common sports-related knee injuries include:

  • Ligament tears
    Knee ligament injuries can occur in the cruciate ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament- ACL or posterior cruciate ligament- PCL) and the collateral ligaments (medial- MCL or lateral LCL). Ligament tears can cause considerable knee pain, and in severe cases, may require surgery. More on anterior cruciate ligament (ALC) reconstruction.
  • Fractures
    Symptoms of a knee fracture include significant knee pain, swelling, and bruising. Unstable displaced fractures will require knee surgery.
  • Kneecap dislocation
    Kneecap dislocation occurs when the bone is pushed out of place, and soft tissues such as ligaments, muscles and tendons are damaged. More on patella (kneecap) dislocations and how they can be treated.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
    This condition causes knee pain in the front of the knee and is caused by sports injuries, overuse or congenital abnormalities. It can be treated with physiotherapy, immobilisation and anti-inflammatory medication; however, in some cases, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend surgery.

Some common sports-related elbow injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow
    Despite the name, this does not only affect tennis players. Lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow, is a painful condition of the elbow in which the tendons are overloaded by repetitive motions of the arm and wrist. Tennis elbow is a type of tendinosis. Repetitive gripping motions involving the thumb and two forefingers are usually the cause of this condition and may be treated using non-surgical treatment.
  • Golfer’s elbow
    Golfer's elbow (also called medial epicondylitis) is a condition of the elbow in which inflammation in the tendons connected to the forearm cause pain in the inner elbow area. Golfer’s elbow is also a type of tendinosis. It is usually caused by overuse or strain of the forearm muscles and can be treated with non-surgical methods.

Common sports-related ankle injuries include:

  • Achilles tendon injuries
    Achilles tendon pathology can vary from tendinitis, calcification to overt rupture during sporting activities or activities of daily living. The treatment is non-operative first with rest in a moon boot, anti-inflammatories, and physiotherapy. If that doesn’t help or, in the case of complete rupture straight away, operative treatment is recommended.

Dr Pirjol performs the following surgeries for sports injuries:

  • Arthroscopic meniscectomies
  • Meniscal tear repairs
  • Cruciate ligament reconstruction with hamstring, bone patella bone, allografts, Synthetic grafts in case of repeated 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

Email: /

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