Shoulder

Dislocations, Shoulder

What is a shoulder dislocation?

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body, and the large bony "ball" has to balance on a relatively smaller socket, in the same way a golf ball is balanced on a tee. The shoulder can slip out of place; if it slips completely out of place this is called a shoulder dislocation. The shoulder can dislocate anteriorly (out the front) and is the most common direction for dislocation; or posteriorly, which can occur after seizure or electric shock.

What causes a shoulder dislocation?

A shoulder dislocation will often occur after a trauma or injury to the shoulder. After the shoulder has dislocated once and structures are torn or stretched, the shoulder can slip out of place even with no trauma. Some people will have their shoulder slip out of place when they are sleeping, reaching, or other non-traumatic incidents.

How is a shoulder dislocation diagnosed?

A shoulder dislocation is diagnosed with X-ray. X-rays are also taken after the shoulder is reduced (put back into place) to confirm that the shoulder is properly located.

How is a shoulder dislocation treated?

Shoulder dislocations may be treated nonoperatively (with physical therapy and medication) or with surgery. This depends on a number of factors that your surgeon will take into account, including how much bony and soft tissue damage there is in your shoulder; your age and activity level; whether this was a first time or subsequent dislocation; and your occupation or work requirements.

What happens if I need surgery?

Shoulder dislocations are typically treated with shoulder arthroscopy and arthroscopic repair of the torn labrum, or Bankart lesion. Occasionally, this may require open surgery for fixation of the bony piece or transfer of a bony graft, depending on the amount of bone loss or damage.

Bankart Lesion

What is a Bankart lesion?

A Bankart lesion is damage to the labrum at the anterior inferior aspect of the glenoid, or socket. A Bankart lesion occurs when the shoulder has dislocated. It may be soft tissue, or it may also include a broken or damaged piece of bone from the anterior inferior glenoid. This is a bony Bankart.

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body, and the large bony "ball" has to balance on a relatively smaller socket, in the same way a golf ball is balanced on a tee. A Bankart lesion basically involves damage to the tee. In the same way that it is difficult to balance a golf ball on a broken tee, it may be difficult to maintain joint stability and avoid dislocations in a person with a Bankart lesion.

What causes a Bankart lesion?

A Bankart lesion is created when the shoulder dislocates anteriorly. When the shoulder dislocates out of place, the large bony ball can break off a rim of the socket. Similar damage that occurs when the shoulder dislocates posteriorly is called a "reverse Bankart."

How is a Bankart leison diagnosed?

A Bankart lesion is typically diagnosed with MRI, which will show the soft tissue damage after a dislocation. A bony Bankart may be seen on X-ray or CT scan.

How is a Bankart lesion treated?

A Bankart lesion is managed as a part of managing shoulder dislocation. Shoulder dislocations may be treated nonoperatively (with physical therapy and medication) or with surgery. This depends on a number of factors that your surgeon will take into account, including how large the Bankart lesion is and whether it is a bony Bankart; your age and activity level; whether this was a first time or subsequent dislocation; and your occupation or work requirements.

What happens if I need surgery?

Bankart lesions are typically treated with shoulder arthroscopy and arthroscopic repair of the torn labrum. Occasionally, this may require open surgery or fixation of the bony piece, depending on its size.