DAVE WATTS, MD
The Bankart Tear takes place in the shoulder joint called labrum. The labrum is a ring of fibrous cartilage surrounding glenoid. Labrum tear can cause recurrent painful dislocations, lack of strength, feeling of looseness, pain, arthritis of the shoulder, and clicking.
Reasons for shoulder instability may include injury, repetitive overhead movement of the shoulder in sports (basketball, volleyball, weightlifting), or outstretched hand. The patients having shoulder instability may have swelling, grinding or popping sounds, severe pain, partial or complete dislocation, loss of sensation, loss of function, or partial paralysis.
When conservative treatment options like prescription medicines, physical therapy, immobilization, closed reduction, manipulation or occupational therapy fail to treat shoulder instability, the surgeon recommends a reconstruction surgery.
Shoulder Reconstruction Surgery
The shoulder reconstruction surgery repairs the torn and stretched ligaments to hold the shoulder joint in place. The orthopedic surgeon attaches the shoulder socket using anchors and tightens the overstretched capsules and ligaments.
A surgeon may opt for a shoulder arthroscopy which involves the use of small incisions and tiny instruments to repair the tendons. In some cases, the surgeon may opt for an open surgical procedure involving larger incision over the shoulder.
The surgeon may ask the patient to keep their arm rested in a sling for four to six weeks. A physiotherapist will show the way the sling needs to be used and would also instruct the patient to do simple exercises. The patient may feel reduced pain after surgery. Medication can further help alleviate the pain. The doctor may also ask the patient to apply ice on the shoulder to reduce swelling. The patient may also be advised to use a pillow under their shoulder while lying in bed. Patients who have undergone Bankart repair are advised to avoid heavy lifting and driving during the first 6 weeks. The doctor will give specific instructions related to activity and rehabilitation program of exercise and strengthening.
Usually, there involve no complications in a Bankart repair. However, at times the patient may have problems like infection, the stiffness of the shoulder or restricted movement, failure of the procedure, nerve and vessel injury, and side effects of generation anesthesia.