What Is a Bankart Tear? Learn About This Injury & How It Can Be Treated in Lafayette, LA

The shoulder is a highly mobile and complex joint. Its relatively shallow socket (glenoid) is coated with a layer of cushioning cartilage (labrum), which stabilizes the joint without restricting mobility. The labrum can tear suddenly through trauma, or it may fray gradually with repetitive overhead movements, such as serving a tennis ball or pitching a baseball.

One of the most common labral injuries is a Bankart tear, which occurs when the labrum pulls away from the front of the glenoid. This injury often occurs when the shoulder dislocates anteriorly, which means the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) is pushed forward and pops out of the glenoid. As the humerus is forced forward, it can strain the labrum, causing it to tear.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bankart Tear?

A telltale sign of a Bankart tear is a popping or clicking sensation during shoulder movement. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Instability
  • Weakness
  • Recurrent dislocations

Prompt treatment for a Bankart tear is important. If the injury does not fully heal, the shoulder may become chronically unstable and prone to dislocation.

How Is a Bankart Tear Treated?

Conservative remedies such as rest, immobilization, and physical therapy can be very effective for treating a Bankart tear. In severe cases, a surgical procedure may be considered. The goal of surgery is to re-anchor the torn piece of cartilage and restore joint stability. This procedure can often be performed arthroscopically.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a Bankart tear, you’ll want to have your injury promptly evaluated and treated so you can return to your daily activities as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment to see Peter D. Vizzi, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Schedule an appointment about your Bankart tear / Injury