A Bankart tear, which is a tear to the inferior glenohumeral ligament of the labrum, is a common injury resulting from a shoulder dislocation, particularly in younger patients. This tear makes the shoulder more susceptible to repeat dislocation in patients under 30 years of age.
To diagnose a Bankart tear, the physician will inquire about the patient's medical history and perform a physical exam. Additional tests, such as X-rays or an MRI, may be recommended.
Conservative treatments for Bankart tears include rest, immobilization with a sling, and physical therapy. If these treatments are ineffective and the shoulder dislocates repeatedly, Bankart repair surgery may be recommended. This surgery can be performed using an arthroscopic technique, which involves making small incisions around the shoulder joint and inserting a thin tube with a camera and surgical instruments to reattach the torn labrum to the glenoid with suture anchors.
After Bankart repair surgery, patients will spend about an hour in the recovery room and will begin physical therapy the day after the procedure to improve their shoulder joint's range of motion and strength. Patients should avoid lifting heavy objects, but can engage in light activities like jogging or swimming 8-10 weeks after surgery. Contact sports may need to be avoided for some time.
While arthroscopic Bankart repair is a relatively safe procedure with a faster recovery time, there are still potential risks, such as infection, injury to nearby nerves or blood vessels, joint stiffness, and pain.