Arthroscopic Anterior Labral Repair Overview

The labrum is a c-shaped rim of cartilage that lines and reinforces the shoulder joint. This important structure is the attachment site for the shoulder’s ligaments, as well as a stabilizing unit for the ball (humeral head) and socket (glenoid) and the rotator cuff. A shoulder labrum tear on the front of the glenoid, typically caused by an anterior shoulder dislocation and known as a Bankart tear, can cause patients living in the greater Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC area to experience pain and instability. Certain patients may be candidates for a surgical procedure known as an arthroscopic anterior labral repair. Dr. Jonathan Ticker, orthopedic shoulder surgeon, specializes in labral tears and the appropriate treatment for each specific type of tear.

If the labrum becomes torn during an anterior shoulder dislocation or other traumatic injury, the shoulder joint can become unstable. A tear located at the front (anterior) of the shoulder is called a Bankart tear. A Bankart tear is defined as a shoulder labrum tear off the bone of the glenoid. Patients suffering from this injury often seek treatment to alleviate joint pain and instability.

Dr. Ticker commonly recommends surgical treatment if a patient experiences a Bankart tear from a dislocation. Patients are prone to recurrent dislocations because the soft tissue restraints become stretched or torn during the initial dislocation, causing the joint to no longer sit firmly in place.

Surgical treatment for a shoulder labrum tear at the front of the joint is known as an arthroscopic anterior labral repair. The overall goal of surgery is to repair the torn labrum with the use of anchors with attached sutures. Dr. Ticker typically uses anchors that gradually dissolve after the repair is fully healed. The anchors are first placed in the bone and then the attached sutures are passed through the torn labrum and tied down to bring the labrum back to its original attachment site on the glenoid.

Arthroscopic Anterior Labral Repair Recovery and Rehabilitation

Many patients can expect shoulder pain for several days following arthroscopic anterior labral repair. Pain will be managed with a combination of ice, cold packs and medication. Patients will be expected to follow medication guidelines at all times. Patients will be placed in a sling or similar device for approximately four weeks after the procedure. The sling will only be removed for bathing and when sitting alone in a quiet atmosphere. Physical therapy will begin at the first post-operative visit with Dr. Ticker and will continue for several months until a full recovery is achieved.

Arthroscopic Anterior Labral Repair Recovery Time

The majority of patients can expect a full return to activities within 16-24 weeks. Dr. Ticker and his orthopedic team will monitor each patient’s return to full activities.

For more resources on a Bankart tear, or to determine if you are a candidate for an arthroscopic anterior labral repair, please contact Dr. Jonathan Ticker, orthopedic shoulder surgeon serving patients living in the greater Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC communities.