What is a Bankart Tear?

A Bankart tear is a type of injury to the rim of rubbery tissue (labrum) that surrounds the shoulder joint socket. It typically occurs as a result of shoulder dislocation. A dislocated shoulder is an injury in which your upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket. Once you’ve had a dislocated shoulder the labrum, joint capsule and surrounding ligaments may be damaged and the shoulder may become unstable and recurrent dislocations may occur.


What Causes a Bankart Tear:

  • Shoulder Dislocation- common in contact sport
  • Falling onto an outstretched arm
  • Direct shoulder impact
  • Note: Males in their teens or 20s, a group that tends to be physically active, are at highest risk of shoulder dislocation.


Symptoms of a Bankart Tear:

  • Feeling of instability/ fear of dislocation
  • Repeated dislocations
  • Diminished range of motion


What we do at Acumen for suspected Bankart Tear

  • A thorough history and evaluation exam are completed
  • An x-ray may be needed to examine your joint for signs of bony abnormalities.
  • An MRI, with injected dye (referred to as an arthrogram) is typically required to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment Options for Bankart Tear:

  • Rest and activity modification can help to reduce the pain.
  • Physiotherapy can improve shoulder stability and strength of surrounding muscles.
  • Surgery to reattach the torn labrum back to bone. The procedure a shoulder arthroscopy, where a camera is inserted into the joint to view the damage and guide the repair process. Anchors and sutures are used to secure the labrum and restore joint stability.
  • Open stabilization (Latarjet procedure) uses transferred bone to stabilize the shoulder.