What is a Bankart lesion?
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint formed from the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the glenoid portion of the scapula (shoulder blade socket). This joint allows shoulder movement in several directions. This freedom of movement is facilitated by the lack of bony constraint characteristic of this joint. The soft tissue restraints of the glenohumeral joint are important in maintaining shoulder joint stability. When there is an injury to these soft tissue restraints, the humerus can dislocate or subluxate out of the joint.
Falls associated with sports or typical daily activities can result in a traumatic shoulder dislocation. When the shoulder suffers a forward (anterior) dislocation, the stabilizing ligaments that surround the shoulder joint are usually damaged. A Bankart lesion describes the area of anterior capsulolabral detachment from the glenoid socket that often accompanies a traumatic shoulder dislocation. The labrum is a “bumper” or restraint to abnormal forward translation of the humeral head. Detachment of this structure at the front of the shoulder is a primary cause of recurrent anterior shoulder instability.