Bankart Repair

Bankart Repair surgically treats torn ligament tissue in the lower, front part of the shoulder. Shoulder dislocation often causes a Bankart lesion, or tearing of the inferior glenohumeral ligament part of the labrum. The labrum is a ring of fibrous cartilage that lines the bone socket of the shoulder, known as the glenoid. The labrum deepens the socket and adds stability to the shoulder. A Bankart lesion significantly weakens the shoulder.

Common signs and symptoms include:
  • Weakness in the shoulder when lifting, throwing or reaching overhead
  • Rotational instability
  • Pain in the shoulder with movement, especially overhead motions
  • Aching sensations
  • The shoulder locking up or needing to pop

Arthroscopic Bankart Repair is a relatively new procedure that uses three or four smaller incisions. The arthroscopic procedure takes longer but has a shorter postoperative recovery time. Factors such as age, physical activity, and the extent of damage are taken into account before deciding which procedure is best for each patient.

Once the anaesthesia has taken effect, small cuts (about 5mm long) are made in the skin around the shoulder that is being treated. Sterile fluid is injected into the joint to help produce a clearer picture. The arthroscope is inserted through one of these cuts into the joint.

The surgeon will look around the entire joint to check the cartilage, tendons, and ligaments of the shoulder. If damaged tissues need to be repaired, the surgeon will make 1 to 3 additional small incisions to insert other instruments. These may include a blunt hook to pull on tissues, a shaver to remove damaged or unwanted tissues, and a burr to remove bone. The surgeon will attach sutures to dissolvable anchors and securely fix the anchors to the glenoid. The surgeon will then run the sutures through the labrum and securely fasten it to the glenoid, thereby fixing the Bankart lesion.