The socket of the shoulder, or glenoid, is covered with a layer of cartilage called the labrum that cushions and deepens the socket to help stabilize the joint. Traumatic injuries and repetitive overhead shoulder movements can tear the labrum, leading to pain, limited motion, instability and weakness in the joint.

Symptoms of a labral injury can include shoulder pain and a popping or clicking sensation when the shoulder is moved, as well as rotator cuff weakness. One of the most common labral injuries is a Bankart lesion, where the labrum pulls off the front of the socket. This happens most often when the shoulder dislocates. If a Bankart tear doesn’t heal properly, it can facilitate future dislocations, instability, weakness and pain.

Successful treatment of some Bankart lesions can at times be achieved through conservative methods such as rest, immobilization and physical therapy, particularly in older patients. However, many cases require surgery to reattach the torn labrum to the socket of the shoulder. This procedure is successful for most patients, allowing them to return to regular activities with little to no incidence of recurring dislocation.

Surgery to repair a Bankart lesion can often be performed through arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive technique that uses tiny incisions to insert a probe-like camera, allowing Dr. Williams to fully examine the area before performing corrections. He will then insert specialized instruments through the arthroscope to repair the damage to the shoulder at the exact location of the injury. These small incisions allow for more precise movement and reduce the risk of infection and other complications of surgery. Arthroscopy is especially effective in treating joint conditions such as when Bankart repair is necessary. This technique offers patients minimal pain and trauma, less scarring and less damage to surrounding tissue as well as a faster recovery and shorter length of rehabilitation than with traditional open surgery.

Patients under the age of 30 are more likely to sustain multiple shoulder dislocations after experiencing a Bankart lesion. In fact, more than 80 percent of patients under 30 experience a subsequent dislocation in the shoulder if surgery has not been performed. Correcting the lesion through surgical treatment will significantly reduce this occurrence and allow patients to take part in physical activities without the worries of dislocation.

After arthroscopic Bankart repair, patients will generally be required to keep their arm immobilized in a sling for approximately one month. In addition, you will need to undergo physical therapy for between one and four months to strengthen the muscle tissue and improve the range of motion in your shoulder. Most patients will be restricted from participation in contact sports for a six-month period after surgery to allow the shoulder to fully heal.

As with any surgical procedure, arthroscopic Bankart repair does pose a risk of complications, although it is uncommon. The risks include bleeding, infection, development of a blood clot, shoulder stiffness, failure of the repair to heal, shoulder weakness, failure to provide symptom relief and injury to a blood vessel or nerve. Dr. Williams can discuss any potential risks with you prior to the surgery and answer any questions you may have.The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that support the shoulder joint and allow for complete movement while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. These tendons and muscles may become torn or otherwise damaged from injury or overuse and can lead to pain, weakness and inflammation. Surgery may be used to treat this often serious condition.

Rotator cuff repair is performed under general anesthesia and aim to reattach the tendon back to the arm, along with removing any loose fragments from the shoulder area. Most rotator cuff procedures can now be performed through arthroscopy, which uses a few tiny incisions rather than one large incision. This technique offers patients minimal trauma, less scarring and less damage to surrounding tissue.

Rotator cuff repair surgery is usually successful in relieving shoulder pain, although full strength cannot always be restored. Patients must undergo physical therapy after surgery, and it may take months for the shoulder to fully heal. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is considered much safer than the traditional procedure, although risks such as infection, pain or stiffness, nerve damage or the need for repeated surgery do still exist. These risks are considered rare, as most people achieve successful outcomes from this procedure.Questions? If you would like more information about Arthroscopic Labrum/Bankart Repair & Rotator Cuff Repair or to schedule an appointment, feel free to fill out our appointment form or call our office at (212) 606-1855.