An Overview of Bankart Repair

A Bankart repair, also known as capsulolabral reconstruction surgery, is the most common surgery performed on patients with chronic instability. This procedure can be performed by Dr. Peter Millett as an open procedure or by using an arthroscopic technique. If the problem is in fact due to the inferior shoulder ligament tearing away from the labrum within the shoulder, then a Bankart repair can be performed to fix this ligament. Arthroscopically, the torn labrum is repaired and the stretched-out anterior shoulder capsule is made to lie on top to make it smaller. This procedure is successful approximately 95% of the time in eliminating recurrent dislocations.

A capsulolabral reconstruction is a fairly new technique that has been developed using a transplanted tendon (from another part of the body or from a cadaver) to make new ligaments and cartilage, which then act to prevent dislocation and stabilize the chronically unstable shoulder. This is a salvage procedure that serves as a promising alternative to shoulder fusion for patients with severe shoulder instability.

Bankart Images

Bankart Lesion

(Click to Enlarge) Bankart lesion

Bankart Repair

(Click to Enlarge) Bankart Repair

Top left arthroscopic image shows as Bankart lesion (tearing of the anteroinferior labrum). The top right arthroscopic image shows the tear being reduced with the first suture anchor. The bottom image shows the final repair of the Bankart lesion.

After Capsulolabral Reconstruction Surgery

Following either arthroscopic or open operative repair and stabilization, the patient will wear a sling for about 6 weeks so that the repaired labrum can continue to heal to the glenoid. Sutures will assist in this healing process. The following guidelines are recommended:

  • Apply ice to the incision site to help combat pain; protect your skin with a light cloth to avoid burning the skin.
  • Wear your sling or brace until Dr. Millett specifies that you can remove it. You may take off the sling to dress or bathe, but be careful not to move your arm.
  • Keep your arm immobile.
  • For pain management, Dr. Millett can prescribe a pain medication. Please take as prescribed and follow the precautions listed for the drug. You also may take over-the-counter medicines for pain.
  • Do not remove your sutures—they will disintegrate by themselves. Follow the incision site care instructions that are given to you after your surgery.
  • If excessive pain, swelling, nausea, fever, numbness or trouble breathing takes place, please call our office immediately.
  • Physical therapy, as prescribed by Dr. Millett, should begin using exercises that stress range of motion for about 8 weeks after surgery, or until full strength is regained.
  • Overhead sports may resume about 3 months following surgery.
  • Patient can resume contact sports after 6 months.

Are you a candidate for Bankart repair?

There are two ways to initiate a consultation with Dr. Millett:

You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review ($250).

You can schedule an office consultation with Dr. Millett.

To learn more about the Bankart repair procedure, or to discuss capsulolabral reconstruction surgery in greater detail, please contact the office of Dr. Peter Millett.

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