A Bankart lesion is a type of shoulder injury that occurs when the joint labrum is torn. This type of lesion is common with shoulder dislocations, and is associated with shoulder instability (subluxation).
A Bankart lesion often occurs when a person sustains a dislocated shoulder. When the upper arm bone pops out of the joint socket, this force will tear the labrum, which is a ligament associated with the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is called the glenohumeral joint, and it allows for 60 percent of the movement of this structure.
Bankart repair is a procedure done to fix the labrum and capsule of the shoulder, which has been stretched or torn. The fully intact shoulder allows for the widest range of motion of any joints within the body. It is made up of the ball, socket, and rotator cuff. T
he labrum is a ring that is fibrous and located inside the shoulder socket. The Bankart procedure can be performed using open surgery or an arthroscope. Either procedure requires an operation where the damaged labrum and any related ligaments are attached back together and tightened. These structures must be reattached using anchors and sutures.
When done by means of arthroscope, the Bankart repair procedure involves small incisions made around the shoulder region. The orthopaedic specialist can then insert a tiny camera so he/she can view the structures on a TV monitor. The labrum is attached to the glenoid bone using small instruments. To hold the tissue in place, the surgeon inserts small anchors into the bone on and stitches to suture the labrum in place.
With the open shoulder stabilization procedure, the Bankart lesion is repaired and stability of the shoulder is restored. This operation involves a large incision over the front of the shoulder joint so the doctor can reposition the labrum and ligaments. This operation is best for individuals who have a completely detached labrum from a violent dislocation.
Both surgeries are performed under general anesthesia and can take anywhere from 1 ½ hours to 2 ½ hours. The arm nerves are numbed with a local anesthetic so the pain relief lasts up to 24 hours (called a regional block). Also, a bulky dressing is applied to the surgical sites following either of the two procedures.
The Bankart repair procedure requires you to stay overnight in the hospital. The stiches will not be removed for 10 to 14 days. Expect your arm to be positioned in a bulky immobilizer sling. Many Phoenix orthopedic surgeons will administer pain medications and antibiotics following the surgery, to alleviate pain and prevent infection.
The week after surgery, a physical therapist will meet with you to instruct you on exercises and home care. Expect to only be able to use your non-surgical hand for the first four weeks after the Bankart repair procedure.
You will be allowed to drive a car at around six weeks, and should be using the shoulder by week 10. Contact sports are not usually allowed until six months following the surgery, but activities such as swimming are allowed at around three months.