Shoulder stabilisation

Shoulder stabilisation

What is an unstable shoulder joint?

An unstable shoulder joint causes laxity and pain. Many years living with shoulder instability leads to shoulder arthritis. The anatomy of your shoulder includes the ball, which attaches to the long upper arm bone (humerus) and connects to the glenoid socket and scapula. A cartilage ring called the labrum surrounds the socket for the ball to fit in snugly. A water sac (joint capsule) fills the area around the shoulder joint, storing essential fluids to lubricate the mobile component for swift, painless movements. Sturdy ligaments line the walls of the joint capsule and reinforce the connection between the ball and socket, preventing a dislocation.

What is arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation?

Arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation is a less invasive surgical procedure of reinforcing the shoulder joint to prevent instability. Surgery occurs through small incisions- keyhole arthroscopic surgery using a small camera(arthroscope) and instruments to identify and treat the anomalies.

When do you need it?

Shoulder instability is due to sports injuries as a result of throwing a ball, tackling or being tackled during a rugby game, lifting weights or falling on the shoulder. Once your shoulder dislocates, it is most likely to happen again, especially if you are in your twenties. As a result of the dislocation, rotator cuff and labrum tears are possible causes of shoulder instability.

How do I prepare for arthroscopic shoulder stabilisation?

Gentle pre-rehabilitation is encouraged if not painful It helps to prepare your shoulder muscles months before the procedure to speed up recovery and promote healing. Dr Pirjol orders you to work closely with a physiotherapist beforehand to fuel this process. This stimulates healing and improves your shoulder’s flexibility.

How long will recovery take?

You will be instructed to wear and maintain a sling. Your orthopaedic doctor removes the stitches after ten days and checks for signs of infection. The shoulder joint takes six months to heal before you can even think of returning to your usual sporting activities. Until then, you cannot engage in any strenuous sports.


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