Bankart Repair

What is a Bankart Repair?

Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body. It is dependent on muscles, ligaments (including the joint capsule) and a rim of cartilage (called the labrum) to stabilise it during movement. Some injuries to the shoulder can dislocate it forwards, stretching and in some cases, tearing the joint capsule and ligaments away from the front of the joint. A tear of the anterior-inferior (front lower)labrum is called a Bankart Lesion.

What are the benefits of having a Bankart Repair?

The purpose of a Bankart repair operation is to re-attach the capsule and ligaments to the socket of the shoulder joint to restore stability to your shoulder and prevent further dislocations. The operation involves tightening and/or repairing the overstretched and damaged ligaments, capsule and cartilage. The surgeon will reattach a torn labrum back to the shoulder socket using special anchors.

What are the risks of having a Bankart Repair?

All operations involve an element of risk, these are very small but you need to be aware of them and can discuss them with your doctor at any time.
The risks are complications relating to the anaesthetic, infection, stiffness and or pain around the shoulder, damage to nerves or blood vessels around the shoulder and the need to re-do the surgery e.g. if the repair fails and the shoulder becomes unstable again this occurs in only 2-15% of cases.

What can I do to aid the recovery process after my surgery?

Your shoulder is likely to be uncomfortable in the first few days post-surgery. This is normal but can be helped by wearing a sling which will be fitted to support your arm and allow the surgical repair to heal. You will have to wear the sling for three weeks following your surgery. It can be removed for washing and dressing only – the Physiotherapist will advise you how to do this safely before you go home.

Using ice on your shoulder for 15 minutes, 2 times per day or after exercise and therapy. Gel packs, frozen peas or a plastic pack of ice can be used. These must be wrapped in a moist towel as direct contact with the skin can cause burns (cover your dressings with cling film or a plastic bag to prevent them getting wet).

Sleeping can be uncomfortable if you try and lie on your operated arm. We would recommend that initially you lie on your back or on the opposite side. If you lie on your back support the operated arm with a folded pillow under your lower arm. Make sure that your elbow is above your shoulder. If you are on your side then a folded pillow supports your operated arm from your elbow to your wrist. You should also have a pillow between your knees.

Posture can make a significant difference to your pain post surgery. Avoid hitching your shoulder or holding it in an elevated position. Also try to avoid slumping or standing/sitting with round shoulders.

As you start to wear your sling less you will find it helps to support your arm on pillows with your elbow in front of your shoulder and slightly out to the side when you are sitting down (see picture).

When will I be fit enough to return to work?

You can self-certify for the first seven days of sickness. Before you are discharged, a medical certificate (sick note) may be issued by your consultant to cover the expected time off you will need. The time that you can return to work will depend on the nature of your work. If you are in a relatively sedentary job you may be able to return as early as 4-6 weeks after surgery. If your job involves heavy lifting or sustained overhead positions it may take up to 12 weeks
before you can return. Your consultant and physiotherapist will discuss this with you and advise you accordingly.

Manual work and driving

Lifting and heavy manual work must be restricted for 2-3 months following surgery. For specific guidance regarding sport or DIY please speak to your physiotherapist.

Driving If you feel comfortable and have good range of movement you can begin driving 4-6 weeks after your operation. It is advisable to check this with your consultant or physiotherapist if you are unsure. It is important to advise your Insurance Company that you have had Shoulder Surgery

Will I need any follow up appointments?

You will be seen in outpatients clinic approximately 1 2 weeks after your surgery. This appointment will be made and given to you before you are discharged from hospital.

If you are continuing with your physiotherapy at Lourdes an outpatient physiotherapy appointment will normally be arranged within the following week. The amount of physiotherapy you require will depend on your individual progress.

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