A Bankart lesion, also known as a glenoid labrum tear, is a specific type of shoulder injury that occurs when the labrum of the shoulder joint is torn. A Bankart lesion is the name for a tear that happens in the lower rim of the labrum. It is very common with shoulder dislocations, and often contributes to shoulder instability. The labrum is a cartilage present in the shoulder joint. It is a firm ring of tissue around the socket of the shoulder. A labrum tear causes shoulder pain and restricts the arm movement. These tears result when there is a shoulder injury such as a fall on an outstretched hand. Overuse injuries also can cause labrum tears. This type of injury often occurs when the shoulder pops out of joint, thereby tearing the labrum. This is quite common in younger patients.

Causes

A Bankart lesion is very common when an individual sustains a shoulder dislocation. As the shoulder pops out of joint, it often tears the labrum. The tear is to the inferior glenohumeral ligament, which is part of the labrum. When the inferior glenohumeral ligament is torn, this is called a Bankart lesion.

Symptoms

  • A feeling of the joint being instable
  • Dislocations occurring repeatedly
  • Catching sensations
  • Aching of the shoulder
  • A feeling that the shoulder may dislocate again

Surgical Procedure

Arthroscopic Bankart repair is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to re-attach and tighten the detached labrum within the shoulder joint. This arthroscopic procedure involves re-anchoring and suturing the torn piece of cartilage to restore security and stability to the shoulder.

The approach for surgery is from the front (anterior) aspect of the shoulder. The surgeon makes small incisions around the joint. In one incision, the arthroscope is introduced to view the shoulder joint. Along with the arthroscope, a sterile solution is injected into the joint which expands the shoulder joint, giving the surgeon a clear view to operate. The other portal is used for the insertion of surgical instruments to probe various parts within the joint to repair and reattach the damaged labrum. At the end of the procedure, the incisions are closed with sutures.

This procedure is typically performed arthroscopically at an outpatient surgery center, meaning patients go home soon after the completion of surgery.