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Shoulder stabilisation (Bankart repair)

Keyhole surgery to stabilise the shoulder

Shoulder instability is often the result of a dislocation – when the ball of the joint slips out of its socket. This can tear the cartilage (labrum) and ligaments that hold everything in place.

At Sulis Hospital Shoulder and Elbow Unit, we’re experts at diagnosing and treating the causes of shoulder pain. Book your consultation today to see if we can help you get back to the sports and activities you love.

Specialist facilities

When you choose Sulis Hospital, you’ll be welcomed into state-of-the-art facilities, where our dedicated shoulder and elbow team will ensure you receive the highest possible standard of care.

Rapid diagnostics

If your consultant suspects you have torn the cartilage in your shoulder, it’s likely that you will be referred for an MRI arthrogram. We offer advanced diagnostics at Sulis Hospital with reduced waiting times, so you can get the information you need to move forward.

Peace of mind

If your consultant recommends shoulder stabilisation surgery, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands. Our team of specialists includes world-class surgeons, experienced theatre nurses and physiotherapists.

Your shoulder stabilisation questions answered

If you’ve fully dislocated your shoulder, you may have damaged the cartilage in the joint. This can lead to shoulder instability, loss of function and pain.

You may need surgery following a single injury or because you have experienced repeated minor injuries.

Of all the joints in the body, the shoulder is the most frequently dislocated. The most common injury is an anterior dislocation (the ball coming out of the front of the socket). This can happen if the arm is forced backwards at the elbow, for example, during contact sports, during a skiing accident or if you fall off your bike.

Upon impact, the ligaments at the front of the socket and the cartilage can tear away from the bone, which causes the feeling of instability in the shoulder.

• Anterior Bankart Tear: At the front of the shoulder

• Posterior Bankart Tear: The back of the shoulder

When you have an unstable shoulder, you may not feel that you can trust the shoulder when you move the arm into certain positions. It can feel as if the ball and socket aren’t quite in the right place. You might feel pain during certain movements or that you can’t move your shoulder like you used to.

If your consultant suspects a tear, they are likely to request an MRI arthrogram to investigate the extent of the damage. This is a type of scan that uses a contrast medium (dye) to reveal issues in the joint.

Your consultant may recommend non-surgical interventions, such as ice, a shoulder brace and physiotherapy first. In other cases, ever early surgery may be the best choice.

Our specialist team will make sure you are fully prepared ahead of surgery. You will be asked not to eat or drink anything on the day of the procedure, to stop smoking or to stop taking certain medications.

We will also make sure you know what to expect after surgery so that you can prepare your home for a comfortable recovery.

The aim of shoulder stabilisation surgery is to restore normal function in the joint. The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, during which time you will be sat in an upright position so that the surgeon can mobilise your shoulder. They do this while the muscles are relaxed to get a deeper understanding of the extent of the instability. Usually, the injured shoulder will move out of its socket more easily than your other shoulder.

During the operation, the surgeon will usually use a keyhole technique known as arthroscopy. This reduces the damage to the surrounding muscle. Your surgeon will make an incision in the shoulder and insert a small camera. This is so they can view the inside of the joint on a screen.

The surgeon will then insert specialist tools and create a rough surface on the bone. This creates a sticky surface for the cartilage to attach to and stimulates blood flow to the area, which promotes healing. The labrum is then secured back into place.

Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will check the range of motion and the stability of your shoulder – it shouldn’t slip out of its socket anymore.

Patients can usually return home either on the same day or the day after surgery. You will need to arrange for someone to pick you up, as you won’t be able to drive for around 3 to 4 weeks after surgery.

This depends on the surgery performed and your goals. At Sulis Hospital Knee and Elbow Unit, we find that many patients can return to the sports and activities they love even as early as 3 to 3.5 months. Athletes are likely to have extensive physiotherapy, and some can return to contact sports in as little as eight weeks.

Our team of physiotherapists are here to support your recovery with exercises you can do to strengthen your shoulder – giving you the best chance of a safe and speedy recovery.

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, but all surgery carries risks, including those associated with anaesthetic.

For shoulder stabilisation surgery, complications can include pain (including the rare complication of chronic regional pain syndrome) and stiffness. In rare cases, patients might experience bleeding or infection at the surgical site. Your surgeon will discuss the risks and limitations of shoulder stabilisation surgery with you ahead of your procedure. In extremely rare cases there can be damage to nerves and blood vessels around the shoulder.

You may be covered by private medical insurance, or you may wish to consider spreading the cost of your surgery by opting for a monthly payment plan.

We aim to make our costs as transparent as possible, but it’s important to talk everything through in detail with your consultant at the time of your appointment. Some costs may be paid directly to the hospital, while others, such as your consultant fees, may be paid directly to the consultant.

Sulis Hospital Bath

View the video on shoulder stabilisation at Sulis Hospital here.

Why choose Sulis Hospital Shoulder and Elbow Unit for your surgery?

We believe that creating specialist teams benefits patients. Our Shoulder and Elbow Unit combines world-class surgeons, physiotherapists skilled at working with patients with shoulder issues and a team of experienced theatre nurses to deliver an exceptional standard of care.

What’s more, we’re dedicated to reducing waiting times with faster access to diagnostic scans and procedures. Please get in touch today to find out if we could get you seen by an expert sooner.

Treatment Overview

Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover as quickly as possible.

  • Typical hospital stay Daycase

  • Type of anaesthetic General

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

You’re in safe hands at Sulis Hospital.

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