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Bankart Tears


Bankart Tears

A Bankart lesion is when the labrum becomes detached from the front of the glenoid socket. In this area, the labrum serves as the attachment point for the main ligaments that stabilize the shoulder (the inferior glenohumeral ligament). If the shoulder has dislocated, the labrum is often detached causing the inferior glenohumeral ligament to lose its attachment to the glenoid. This typically does not heal and recurrent dislocations can recur.

This is diagnosed by a careful history and thorough physical examination looking for signs and symptoms of persistent instability in the shoulder. A sensation of looseness, popping out, instability, or locking of the shoulder can be associated with this. The Bankart lesions typically do not heal on their own and require surgical repair. In fact, an active male athlete who has had a dislocation of his dominant shoulder will have an approximately 80-90% chance of having repeat episodes if he does not have surgical treatment and continues his usual activities. Most athletes prefer to have this repaired. This can often be done arthroscopically, but in collision athletes (such as football players) open repair may be preferred. The repair technique involves reattachment of the labrum to the glenoid using suture anchors embedded in the glenoid which are then used to tie the labrum back to its normal position. This serves to reattach the ligaments to the socket and restore stability to the shoulder. Rehabilitation takes approximately 3-4 months to return to full sports, but you would be able to begin moving your shoulder within the first few weeks after the surgery. The timing of this depends upon the exact nature of the repair. Supervised physical therapy is necessary to assure satisfactory progression of motion and strength without putting undue stress on the repair.

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