The 38-year-old sustained the injury while fielding during Durham's LV= County Championship Division One victory over Surrey last week and, after scans deemed the problem needed surgery, he will go under the knife on Wednesday.
It is not known how long the former South Africa one-day international will be out for but Durham hope he will be available for the season run-in.
A Durham statement read: "Dale Benkenstein will undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday next week to repair a badly torn left rotator cuff tendon.
"Following the operation Dale will undergo a period of rehabilitation and could be available at the latter end of the season."
- Disease & Medical Conditions