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Conservative Treatment

There are some very basic procedures which are done out of theatre. These treatments are for example could be injections or medication.

Arthroscopic Surgery

At the Cape Shoulder Institute, a large proportion of surgical procedures are performed arthroscopically. The arthroscope is a lens, which is passed through a cannula (small metal tube), that is passed into the shoulder joint through a small incision in the skin.

The surgery entails three or four small incisions (each about 3mm), through which the arthroscope is passed and through the others, surgical instruments. Attached to this above-mentioned scope is a camera, which transmits the picture of the inside of the joint to a large TV monitor. This allows the surgeon to see the inside of the shoulder clearly through this small hole. The instruments are passed through other holes (referred to as “portals”), and the surgeon can watch these instruments while he performs repairs, removal of certain abnormal tissues etc.

With these specialised instruments even stitching type of repairs can be done to torn tendons and ligaments. The success rate of such minimally invasive procedures is very high, and is performed whenever technically feasible.

Open Surgery

Some operations can only be carried out through “open” incisions as it is not possible to perform them arthroscopically. Examples of such operations are a shoulder replacement or the Latarjet stabilization operation. Every effort is made to reduce the scarring. Achieving maximum function with minimal pain is the aim of surgery. 

Dr Joe de Beer

Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

Dr Joe de Beers’ practice is confined to the care of shoulder problems of all types, and he does both open and arthroscopic surgery. He is a keen shoulder arthroscopist, and has developed an expertise in ultrasound of the shoulder, both diagnostically and for intervention.