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What is Bankart Lesion?


Are you experiencing pain when throwing things, or raising your hands over your shoulder? Are you feeling unstable or ‘loose’ in the shoulder? You may be having Bankart lesion.


Before explaining what Bankart lesion is, we will first have to understand that our glenohumeral joint is made up of three bones – scapula, clavicle, and humerus. The complex is highly unstable to achieve maximum function. To connect them all, there must be a lot of soft tissue as assistance. The labrum, which is a strong and fibrous tissue, locates between the glenoid of the scapula and the head of the humerus. It deepens the concavity and covers half of the humerus head inside. Hence, it helps reinforce stability, minimizing the chance of dislocation and wear and tear between bones.


Bankart lesion refers to the tear of the anteroinferior aspect of the glenoid labrum. It usually happens when the shoulder is anteriorly dislocated. When the humeral head is dislocated anteriorly, the ball will forcefully push against the front of the socket, causing a tear over the anterior glenoid labrum. Once the labrum is injured, it will not only cause pain but also reduces the stability of the shoulder, patients with Bankart lesion might not be able to exert normal force and limiting their range of motion. They might hear a clicking sound while feeling the pain with movement.


Bankart lesion can result from FOOSH, repetitive and excessive movement, overuse, improper posture, or immediate lifting of heavy objects. Depending on the cause and severity of shoulder instability and Bankart lesion, patients may require conservative treatment, including physiotherapy, steroid and PRP injection, or surgeries like shoulder arthroscopy.

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